Posted tagged ‘construction’

DCRA Director Bolling to Engage Neighbors at Wednesday’s Park View UNC Meeting

September 3, 2018

The September 5th meeting of the Park View UNC has special guest, Director Melinda Bolling of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), better known as the agency that approves building permits and sends out inspectors when construction exceeds permitted work.

In neighborhoods like Park View where a large majority of housing stock is rowhouses, major construction can have — and often has — an impact on property owners next door.

If you live next to a construction project, or just have questions and want to know more about the process, join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition this Wednesday evening for their special meeting:

“The problem next door: What to do when development, illegal construction or a vacant property affects your home.”

When/where: Wednesday, September 5, 7-8pm, Park View Rec Center (Warder St. and Otis Pl. NW)

The discussion will feature Melinda Bolling, Director, DCRA and neighborhood residents who will share their experiences dealing with neighboring property issues

This is a great opportunity to join the UNC and neighbors for an informative meeting to learn from neighbors who’ve been through these experiences and from the director of DCRA about your rights, responsibilities, and tips for what to do.

Water Main Replacement on Park Road Moving Along

August 24, 2017

Work on the 600 block of Park Road.

DC Water’s replacement of existing 12-inch and smaller cast iron water mains on Park Road and Morton Street is moving along. The mains have been replaced on the 400 block of Park Road with work continuing on the 500/600 block of Park Road. Work has not yet begun on Morton Street.

Construction may last through April 2019. DC Water’s efforts will help improve water quality and system reliability, increase water pressure in some areas, and maintain adequate flows throughout the system.

After visiting the construction area on Park Road, it appears that we’re getting some new sidewalks out of the effort as well. This should be a temporary benefit, however, as the sidewalk abutting Park Morton should be reworked in the future as part of that effort as well.

New Gymnasium at Chavez Prep Completed & Opened

December 17, 2013
Cesar Chavez Prep's new gymnasium -- Kenyon Street facade.

Cesar Chavez Prep’s new gymnasium — Kenyon Street facade.

For those that live near the Cesar Chavez Prep school — located in the historic Bruce School building at 770 Kenyon Street, NW — I’m sure they are glad that the gym  construction project is finished and the impact to traffic on the street is over. While planning for the gym started over a year ago, construction didn’t begin in earnest until August 2013.

Chavez Prep Gym renderingNow, the dust has settled and the gym is open for use. Last week, on December 11th, the completion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting and speakers. Below is a photo from the ribbon cutting shared on Twitter by @Fight4Children.

Principal speaking at Chavez Prep ribbon cutting (from Twitter user @Fight4Children).

Principal speaking at Chavez Prep ribbon cutting (from Twitter user @Fight4Children).

More Housing Coming to the Neighborhood — 756 Park Road in the Midst of Construction

November 25, 2013
The blighted building at 756 Park Road, NW, that was recently razed.

The blighted building at 756 Park Road, NW, that was recently razed.

The long blighted building at 756 Park Road has been razed to make way for new development. According to building permits, construction has begun to replace it with a new three-story four-unit residential building. Consys Inc. is the local contractor doing the work. A quick review of their Website did not provide any additional details about the project.

Getting blighted properties back into productive use, especially when they add housing, goes a long way in moving the neighborhood forward in a positive way. Along with the new three-story building next door at 762 Park Road, this section of the neighborhood will  have eleven more housing units when both projects are done.

756 Park Road(A view of the construction at 756 Park Road from the alley (south))

Foundation Work for Chavez School Addition Near Completion

August 5, 2013

The foundation work for the gymnasium addition to the Cesar Chavez School’s Chavez Prep Campus appears to be done, or nearly so.  The building permit for the above grade construction was finally issued on August 1, 2013, so I expect above grade construction to begin soon. In speaking to representatives of the school this spring, they had hoped to get started on the project at the end of June and have all major construction completed prior to the start of the 2013/2014 school year. I’m not sure if that goal is still possible though.

Readers will recall that the Chavez Prep Campus is housed in the historic Bruce School building at 770 Kenyon Street, NW.

Below are some photos showing the status of the project at the end of July.

View of the site from the northeast.

View of the site from the northeast.

View of the site from the southeast.

View of the site from the southeast.

Parking lot excavation in preparation of construction.

Parking lot excavation in preparation of construction.

Sherman Avenue Reconstruction is Officially Over — Mayor Gray Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for Tomorrow

July 8, 2013

Sherman Ribbon cuttingThe reconstruction of Sherman Avenue is finally over. A ribbon cutting has been scheduled to celebrate its completion for Tuesday July 9th at 10:00 a.m. According to the flyer (click image to right), the ceremony will be held on the southeast corner of Sherman Avenue and Morton Street and will include Mayor Gray and members of DDOT.

Councilmember Graham originally announced the reworking of Sherman Avenue on October 8, 2010 with construction set to begin on October 18th of that year. During the ensuring two and a half years, the street has been resurfaced; new curbs, gutters, and storm drains have been installed; new streetlights have been installed; and a median with new trees, shrubs, and other plantings has been created. The sidewalk areas along the east and west side have also been re-worked to include more trees.

According to DDOT’s project Website, the project’s goals were to:

  • Make Sherman Avenue feel more residential rather than a commuter route by reducing vehicular lanes to one in each direction.
  • Improve pedestrian safety by widening the sidewalks to make them ADA compliant, and upgrading the wheelchair ramps and crosswalk markings.
  • Make Sherman Avenue more attractive by planting trees and shrubs along the corridor, upgrading street lights and upgrading traffic signals.

The $13 million project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape, looking north from Street.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape project, looking north from Columbia Road.

Chavez Prep Preparing for Gymnasium Addition

July 1, 2013
Chavez Prep is getting ready to add a gymnasium addition to the east side of the building.

Chavez Prep is getting ready to add a gymnasium addition to the east side of the building.

In checking out the Cesar Chavez Charter School’s Chavez Prep Campus — located at 770 Kenyon — over the weekend I noted that they are in the beginning stages of preparing for their planned gymnasium addition. When I first reported on this addition, I didn’t have as much information to share with the public as I would have liked, but now have more details.

While the building permit was still in the review process when I checked on Friday, it looked far enough along that it could be issued soon. According to the general plans of the addition that I received, the addition will be constructed above the parking lot, preserving the first level for the off street parking the school already has. The gym will be on the second level.

Chavez had hoped to start the project in late June, which clearly hasn’t happened. I know they  have a tight window for construction as they want to have the major work done prior to the start of the school year this fall.

Below is a general sketch of what the addition will basically look like from the street. Frankly, I think the design would have been better if it had gone through the Historic Preservation Office’s design review process. But, currently charter schools, even those in District owned school buildings, are not subject to that review process.

Last month I posted a history of the Bruce School for those interested in knowing more about the building.

Elevation concept sketch of Chavez Prep's gym addition.

Elevation concept sketch of Chavez Prep’s gym addition.

So, Where Are All the District’s Construction Cranes

March 20, 2013

At nearly every major speaking opportunity, like the Mayor’s recent State of the District address, the number of construction cranes is mentioned as an indicator of a vibrant, growing Washington. That got me wondering just where all these cranes are. So I reached out to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development and learned the following.

Currently there are 50 active tower cranes in D.C. at 29 construction sites. While most sites only have one tower crane, a few have two or three cranes. The Blue Plains construction site, however, has twelve. I created the map below to graphically show tower crane distribution in D.C. Locations are approximate (based on address) and I’ve color coded the sites based on the number of cranes — yellow (1), green (2) and purple (3).

Depending on the rate of development, I plan to revisit this map in six to twelve months.


DCRA Reviewing Sweet Mango Building Permit History

October 17, 2012

If you’ve been waiting for Sweet Mango to reopen it looks like you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

Due to resident concerns about unpermitted construction at Sweet Mango over the years, DCRA construction inspections supervisor Garret Whitescarver was in attendance at the monthly ANC 4C08 meeting hosted by Commissioner Timothy Jones. Renewed interest in construction and safety at Sweet Mango arose after the recent August 4th fire. The restaurant has been closed since that time.

Based on what was learned at the meeting, it appears that Sweet Mango may be closed for a while longer.  Before DCRA issues a certificate of occupancy for Sweet Mango they are reviewing all discernible work at the building and comparing it with known permits. The intent is to review unpermitted work, like that of the second story addition (enclosed in 2009), and make sure it is safe and meets current building codes. While its likely that most if not all of the work would have been allowable as a matter of right, that doesn’t negate the requirement of permits or inspections. Should anything not comply with current building codes, Sweet Mango will either have to remove it or go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment for a variance.

The long and the short of it is that this may take a little time, and until the review, inspections, and permits are issued the restaurant will not get the occupancy permit required to reopen.


School’s Tot Lot Dismantled, New Wall Being Constructed

August 8, 2011

Workers have made quick work at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View School’s tot lot. When I checked it out on Sunday the play equipment was completely dismantled and a crew was on site digging a trench behind the existing wall. I asked what the trench was for and was  told that they plan to build a new higher wall behind the existing one. Judging from the cinder blocks (below), it looks like the wall will achieve their aim but will not be inspired.

Textured cinder blocks on site for the school's new wall


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