Monday, June 27, 2011

Old Trash-Transfer Structure to be Thrown Out of Southeast

Washington DC commercial real estate newsAn old Department of Public Works (DPW) trash-transfer site at 900 New Jersey Avenue SE currently stands in the way of plans to reconnect I Street SE between 1st and 2nd Streets, and nicely square off the parcels to the north and south. But it won't stand for long; a raze application was filed on June 13th by the property owner, the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA), and according to David Maloney, D.C.’s Historic Preservation Officer, “We will clear the raze application, it’s not a historic building; it’s a pretty typical industrial building from the 1940s, and we are not asking them to try to salvage any of it.”

Demolition of the structure will allow DCHA to sell the bit of land that currently overlaps the future I Street and protrudes into the land to the north, at 880 New Jersey Avenue, owned by William C. Smith + Co. (WSC). The belief is that DCHA will sell this small section to WSC, which will fill out the Square 737 site for WSC. However, DCHA will likely retain the majority of the property at 900 New Jersey Avenue, and develop it into additional Arthur Capper Hope VI housing.

"We hope that it's gone by the end of the year," says Michael Stevens, Executive Director of the Capital Riverfront BID, which will allow "I Street [to become] a major east-west connector."

Post demolition, land purchase, and the I Street connection, WCS will be able to begin phase one of its 1.1 million s.f. mixed-use project planned for the northern site, which it purchased from the Washington Post in 1999. Phase one will be a 13-story, 430-unit apartment complex.

Stevens adds that, "[WSC] intends to break ground in March of 2012, if everything goes according to plan with the trash transfer site."  The two-story, brick-concrete-and-steel structure was built in 1948 and is one of many designed by the municipal architect for the District, as was standard practice from the 1910s through the ‘50s.

The site is currently being used solely for the storage of Department of Public Works' vehicles.; trash-transfer operations and administrative offices have both already been relocated to Northeast, where the vehicles will also be headed. The old transfer site will likely need environmental remediation before construction is to begin, as it has dealt with waste for over a century. Previous to the current, 63-year-old structure, was a more rudimentary trash operation in place on the site at the turn of the 20th century.

The site is in a prime location, two blocks north of the Navy Yards Metro and east of Canal Park (now in development), and is part of the steady, ongoing transformation of the Southeast neighborhood into a vibrant live-work-play area.

"We'll see the trash transfer site and the [Florida Rock] concrete plant disappear, two of the last vestiges of our industrial history," says Stevens. "These sites will be put back to productive use. The Florida Rock site is already entitled as a major mixed-use project with office, hotel, residential and retail, but we don't know when they're going to pull the trigger on that."

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Baby steps. Now we just need to tear down the Southeast/Southwest Freeway...

MJM on Jun 27, 2011, 3:22:00 PM said...

In 1951, the American Public Works Association bestowed upon, William Xanten, the District superintendent of sanitation, the Charles Walter Nichols Award (and $500). The award was in response to the construction of a $918,700 state of the art garbage transfer facility built two years earlier at NJ Ave which incorporated "a unique dust and odor control system." One of the functions of this new plant was to grind up garbage and dump it into the city's sewer system and to load street sweepings onto railroad cars for transfer to Cherry Hill, VA.

Eric said...

You missed something pretty important. The building sits directly atop the site of the old Washington City Canal.

Anonymous said...

I believe Eric is incorrect about the canal, which ran just to the east of this parcel, under where the Canal Park is currently being installed.

IMGoph on Jun 28, 2011, 9:42:00 AM said...

if I remember correctly, claiming that I Street will be "reconnected" is incorrect. i'm pretty sure I Street never actually went through here due to the canal.

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