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District Condos Halts Excavation at 14th and S NW

by Borderstan.com May 25, 2011 at 11:43 am 0

District Condos, 14th Street, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

The west side of 14th Street NW between S and Swann will become 125 condos with ground-floor retail. Digging at the site has been temporarily halted due to underground fumes affecting the residential building in the background at right. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Just two months after the groundbreaking of the District Condos project at 14th and S Streets NW in Logan Circle, developer JBG/Grosvenor has ceased site excavation work along the western edge of the project.

The action was in response to an incident on May 8 in which fumes penetrated the two ground floor units of a neighboring residential condominium in the 1400 block of Swann Street NW. The project is on the west side of the block that runs from S Street north to Swann Street.

In a May 21 email to neighbors of the project, James Nozar, Development Manager for JBG Companies, said:

“JBG voluntarily ceased all excavation work on our District Condos project until methods are approved by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to deal with unknown soil conditions in the alley (public space) on the western side of the site. All other work on the project will resume on Monday.”

“We notified the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) of the issues we experienced immediately (two weeks ago), and they have responded that all of JBG’s actions have been prudent and proactive. They have been fully informed and aware of this situation.”

Apparently, drilling for tiebacks — long rods that secure footings during the shoring of the buildings foundation — disturbed soil that contained the substance. The tiebacks are 30-feet long and penetrate the soil under the public alley and the private homes adjacent to the project.

Nozar, who quickly responded to our inquiries, confirmed that JBG has construction agreements with neighboring property owners. The affected residents have been given hotel rooms and per diem paid for by the developer. Work will continue on other parts of the project, which include the former Whitman-Walker building at the corner of 14th and S.

On Monday, Borderstan spoke with and emailed representatives from DDOE asking for information on the incident, proposed solutions and a timeline for action; we have not yet received a response.

At the May 11 ANC 2B meeting, JBG announced that two retailers were close to signing lease agreements for portions of the ground floor retail space.

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