Thursday, March 26, 2015

Top Restaurateurs Want to be at The Wharf

The Washington Business Journal is reporting that some star restaurateurs are interested in opening restaurants at The Wharf, the massive development under construction on the SW waterfront.  The likes of Mike Isabella, Cathal Armstrong, Robert Wiedmaier, Stephen Starr, the Hilton Brothers, Jackie Greenbaum, Jamie Leeds and Fabio Trabocchi are all sniffing around to see the possibilities.  Armstrong is already in and the Hilton Brothers, Greenbaum and Leeds have already signed letters of intent (though no leases have been signed). 

For more details, read the full article here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mortgage Rates to Rise...But Not Yet

The Federal Reserve conspicuously dropped the word "patient" from their policy statement regarding when to raise mortgage rates on Wednesday.  This news created quite a flutter in the residential real estate world with people wondering when and how much.  but as today's rates show us, the time is not here just yet. 

Average rates actually went down this week.  A 30 year fixed rate mortgage is at 3.78% down from 3.86% last week and a 15 year fixed rate mortgage went from 3.10% last week to 3.06%.  So when will the rates start rising?

The Fed's decision on when to start raising rates is based on the economy's performance.  Their decision to no longer say it "can be patient" about raising short term interest rates doesn't mean it will happen immediately.  They could however start in June or shortly thereafter.  But once they do start, they'll rise more gradually than previously projected.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What's Next for The Yards?

The Washington Business Journal got a sneak peek into what can be expected next at The Yards.  Located between Tingey and Water Streets SE, Parcel O at The Yards will serve up the first condo building of the site and the next apartment building to come up.  The buildings will be connected on the main level by an enclosed walkway and that will be located on the west part of the building. 

The condo building will be 142 units and 11 stories with street level retail while the apartment building will be a two-tower 190 unit building also with street level retail.  246 underground parking spaces will be shared by both.  Work on both projects should get started later this year.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow Specials

Hopefully everyone got a chance to enjoy the snow yesterday!  If you're already sick of it, perk up with these DC snow specials.  Curbed DC rounded up a list of restaurants and bars offering snow day specials today:
  • Hawk n Dove has a $5 soup of the day, $5 hot drinks, $5 wine and rail drinks and $4 Miller Lite.
  • Willie's Brew & Que has all day happy hour with $5 wine, rails, tequila shots and $4Miller Light, plus food deals like a $6 taco of the day.
  • Molly Malone's has $6 Irish and Baileys coffees, hot toddys and vanilla vodka-spiked hot chocolate.
  • 701 Restaurant is offering $7 You-Call-It on select liquors and $7 cocktail flight on their Filibuster oak aged cocktails from 3-7 p.m.
  • The Star & Shamrock will be offering $5 Hot Toddies to go along with their Friday Fish Fry.
  • Cuba Libre is offering all day happy hour all day today at the bar (drinks only). Guests have to mention "Frozen Havana" to get it.
  • Water and Wall is having a Lunch Happy Hour with $5 red, white, and sparkling wine and beer selections.
  • 2941 Restaurant is offering a $10 All American Burger or Greek Turkey Burger (with fries or salad and a soda or iced tea). They're also bringing back their date night special this evening for $68 per person (five courses).
  • Kids Eat Free at Pizzeria Orso today at lunch and dinner.
  • Irish Times has $3 Natty Bohs, $3.50 PBR Tall Boys and $5 Irish Coffees during snow.
Enjoy and stay safe and warm out there!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Peak Cherry Blossom Dates Announced

The National Park Service has announced that the peak bloom dates of the cherry blossoms this year will be from April 11 - 14th.  Unfortunately, the dates for the National Cherry Blossom Festival are chosen well in advance of knowing when the peak will be so they'll be a little off the mark.  This year's festival begins March 20th and ends April 12th.  But we doubt that will keep the crowds away.  Last year's festival brought between 1.5 - 1.6 million visitors even with a weekend washout.

In a new addition to this year's festival, the celebration will end with the Anacostia River Festival which will take place on April 12th.  This free event will bring together residents from across the region to engage in hands-on art workshops, musical performances, tours of historic Anacostia, boating and even fishing workshops.  The festival is meant to highlight both the planned 11th Street Bridge Park over the Anacostia River as well as Anacostia Park, the riverfront park that will anchor one end of the new elevated park.  And while Anacostia Park does not currently have any cherry blossom trees, the 11th Street Bridge Park Team plans to plant a small grove on April 11th.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mixed Use Project Planned for Rosslyn

Penzance, in partnership with Arlington County, plans to build a new office building, two residential towers and a fire station.  The plan is to merge 1555 Wilson Blvd., which Penzance currently owns, with what is now the site of the Rosslyn Highlands Park.  Replacing the park will be a 17 story office building, a 27 story residential building, a 24 story residential building and the new fire station (site plan is shown below).  Plans do include an 11,500 SF park to replace the one they're building on but the park space will be greatly diminished from the current 43,500 SF field and 18,500 SF public plaza.  That means the community is not thrilled.  Carolyn Haynes, Chair of Arlington's Park and Recreations Committee, said the proposal would "fail to meet the diverse recreation and open space needs of the Rosslyn community."

In addition to these new buildings, Arlington Public Schools is proposing a  new 6 story, $80 million secondary school at the corner of Wilson Blvd. and Quinn St. or possibly along 18th St. which would hold 775 students.  This would put the school immediately west of Rosslyn Highlands Park.  So maybe if the school gets enough support, the full project will be able to go through.  We'll keep you posted on any updates.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mortgage Rates on the Rise...Slightly

Freddie Mac reported yesterday that mortgage rates continued to rise this week (despite still being much lower than rates at this same time last year) with a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3.76%, up from 3.69% last week.  But again, this is a far cry from the 4.33% we saw this time last year.  15 year fixed rates barely rose to 3.05% from 2.99%.

Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, said “Mortgage rates rose for the second consecutive week as 10-year Treasury yields surged. Housing starts declined 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted pace of 1.065 million units and housing permits dipped 0.7 percent in January."