38°Partly Cloudy

NoMa Beer Garden to Open in May

Wunder Garten's logo (Photo via Facebook/Wunder Garten)(Updated at 9:40 a.m. Friday) A kid-friendly beer garden in NoMa will open next month just west of the neighborhood’s Metro station, a community group announced today.

Wunder Garten is looking to start pouring German beer and other brews in a lot at 150 M St. NE in mid-May, co-owner Christopher Lynch said. But he didn’t have a specific date for the opening.

The 8,000-square-foot property will have “grand” portable restrooms with marble, and benches and tables for as many as 300 people, Lynch has said. The lot also will include space for children to play and for REI to hold classes on bike repair, camping and other outdoor activities. REI is opening a store in nearby Uline Arena.

Wunder Garten will have 12 beers on tap, as well as cans of beer. The beer garden will feature German beer, with some brews from other European countries and local breweries.

One or two local food trucks will be at Wunder Garten, too.

“We are excited to provide an inviting space for the neighborhood and the city to gather, enjoy themselves outdoors, and have a beer,” Lynch said in a statement. “With all the rapid growth in NoMa, bars and recreational spaces were two things we have consistently heard that residents want.”

Photo via Facebook/Wunder Garten


Man Wanted for Punching 69-Year-Old Man in Eastern Market Metro Station

Elijah Smith (Photo via Metro Transit police)

A 19-year-old man from Northeast D.C. is suspected of punching a 69-year-old man in the face inside the Eastern Market Metro station last week, police said today.

Elijah J. Smith, 19, is wanted for the assault, which happened about 1 p.m. last Friday. Metro Transit police have an arrest warrant for Smith, whose whereabouts are unknown.

The incident began when the attacker shoved the man as they exited a train, police said. The pair argued as they walked up an escalator.

The attacker moved in front of the victim on the non-operating escalator and then turned to face him, a video distributed by police shows. The suspect spat in the senior citizen’s face.

Then, the teenager punched the man three times before the victim fell on the escalator. The suspect walked away, as bystanders stopped to help the man, the video shows.

The victim was hospitalized with facial injuries.

Due to the victim’s age, Smith could face an enhanced penalty if convicted of felony assault.

Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the person depicted is asked to call Metro Transit police immediately at (202) 962-2121 and reference case 2015-21061. Tips can also be sent via text message to MyMTPD (696873). Do not take action other than calling police.

Photo and video via Metro Transit police

2 Comment

Hiring a Property Management Company – What Should You Look For?

Gordon James Realty banner

This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Hiring a property management company can save you time and money, especially if you own multiple properties, live far from your rental property or have a busy schedule. Companies can also monitor your property and protect you from problems that can impact its value and your revenue.

But finding the right company requires a careful assessment of your needs, budget and goals as a landlord.

There are several factors to consider before choosing a property management company:

  • What are your needs and do the company’s services match them?

A property management company should be able to handle the entire rental process for your property — from advertising and marketing the unit to tenant screening and collecting rent once a tenant has been found.

Once a tenant has been placed, key tasks property managers handle include: preparing leases and enforcing the lease terms, inspecting the property regularly, and overseeing all repairs, landscaping and other maintenance.

A property management company should also have a sophisticated system to track rent collection, notify you of any property issues, document all financial transactions and provide you with regular reports of income and expenses. Because the company should handle all communication with the tenants, great customer service and the ability to maintain positive relationships with tenants are critical.

If you own a D.C. rental property but do not live in D.C., you are legally required to provide the city with the name and address of a resident agent based in D.C. Since the resident agent can be an individual or a business, you can use the services of a D.C. property management company, which can receive any communication on your behalf.

  • What is the company’s fee structure?

Ask for details about the company’s fees, and what services they cover, before you sign a contract. This is an area where companies differ.

Is there a flat percentage fee for an all-inclusive package or does the company charge different fees for separate services?

Are there extra charges for specific services or items?

For repairs, does the property management company add a percentage “mark-up” fee to contractor’s invoices?

How often will you be billed for the fees?

  • Who will be responsible for handling your property?

Find out whether the company will designate a dedicated property manager for your property. If so, find out whether the manager is licensed and how much experience he or she has, including experience managing properties similar to yours. Find out the company’s procedures for handling issues that might come up when your manager is busy or on vacation.

  • How and when can you and the company communicate?

When you have a question, will the company answer quickly? The company’s availability and responsiveness to you and to tenants is important. Note their hours and learn how they respond to owners’ questions and how they handle urgent and emergency property issues that occur outside of those hours. Do they have 24-hour emergency service?

Some companies have sophisticated property management software that allows owners to securely view their property records and monthly reports online anytime. If the company doesn’t offer that, find out when and how they issue reports.

Decide how often you want your manager to contact you with updates. In addition, it is wise to set limit on how much the company can spend on repairs without your approval.

  • Does the company have good references?

Request and call multiple references from the company. Has the company managed properties comparable to yours? How many additional properties does the company manage? How do they divide their time to address issues at different properties?

These questions can help you start the process of selecting a property management company for your rental property. When interviewing companies, this article includes in-depth interview questions to help you find a qualified company that matches your needs. Click here for more information about Gordon James Realty’s comprehensive property management services.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.


Man Pulls Knife on Woman on X2 Bus

X2 busA man flashed a knife at a woman on a bus traveling the X2 line last night, only hours after a juvenile hurled a rock through a window of another bus on the line.

Devon Jefferson, 40, threatened a woman and pointed a small knife at her during an argument as the bus drove along the H Street corridor, police said. Metro Transit police arrested Jefferson on the 1000 block of H Street NE at 7:30 p.m. It wasn’t immediately clear if the pair knew each other.

Information on Jefferson’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

The incident occurred the same day a bus on the X2 line was damaged on the 1900 block of Benning Road NE. Three juveniles exited the bus and then one member of the group threw a rock at the bus’s back door, shattering one of the glass panels just before 9 a.m., Metro spokesman Mike Tolbert said. No one was injured.

Police quickly spotted and stopped the juveniles, the spokesman said. They may be charged after authorities review surveillance video footage.

Last month, someone reportedly threw a brick through the windshield of a bus on the X2 line at the same location, injuring two people. There’s no indication the two instances of property damage are related, Tolbert said.

X2 riders have expressed frustration with the line, telling WMATA officials about delayed service, disruptive passengers and impolite drivers at at a community meeting in March.


Near Northeast Yoga Studio to Offer Charity Class for Nepal Earthquake Victims

East Side Yoga (Photo via East Side Yoga)Capitol Hill yogis can help victims of the Nepal earthquake at East Side Yoga in Near Northeast this weekend.

The yoga studio at 518 10th St. NE is scheduled to have a charity class Sunday to raise money for the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief fund. East Side Yoga is accepting donations of $5 to $50 for the session, which runs from 1 to 2 p.m.

Interested yogis can sign up online. The studio holds 27 students.

Yoga is more than the “funny shapes we make on the mat with our bodies,” East Side Yoga owner Alia Khan said.

“Compassion and service to those in need are two fundamental concepts in the yogic tradition — the word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union,’ and refers to the notion that all humans are connected as one large, global community,” she said. “So when a tragedy of this magnitude occurs, there is no question that we will want to do our part to try and help.”

The Nepal fundraiser will be the second charity class East Side Yoga has held since it opened in February. The studio last week held a charity class in support of Calvary Women’s Services, a local housing and support service organization that helps homeless women.

Photo via East Side Yoga


Where to See the Mayweather-Pacquiao Bout on Capitol Hill

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao (Photo via Facebook/Floyd Mayweather)Numerous Capitol Hill-area bars are showing this weekend’s fight between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao — but some viewings require a ticket.

The Ugly Mug on Barracks Row, Avery’s Bar and Lounge on the H Street corridor and The Big Stick in Navy Yard all are selling tickets online for the highly anticipated Saturday night bout.

Avery’s (1370 H St. NE) has the cheapest tickets of the three bars, with general admission costing $20. The bar has nine flat screen televisions spread across two floors and its rooftop deck.

The Big Stick (20 M St. SE) has $27.50 tickets online or $35 tickets at the door.

The Ugly Mug (723 8th St.) is charging $30 online or $40 at the door for general admission and $250 for group packages. The group package includes six tickets, a private table and a “Miller Lite Beer Tower.”

Halftime Sports Bar (1427 H St. NE) will have a viewing party, too. A $40 admission fee at the door includes a buffet.

People also can call Halftime Sports Bar at (202) 437-7240 to reserve tables that include a bottle of liquor. Tables cost between $100 and $400.

The fight starts at 9 p.m.

Photo via Facebook/Floyd Mayweather


Morning Rundown

Flowering tree in NoMa

How the Gyrocopter Made It Onto the Capitol Lawn — Aviation and security officials said yesterday that the gyrocopter that landed on the west lawn of the Capitol building April 15 appeared on radar screens as a tiny dot — like how a balloon or a flock of birds would appear. [Washington Post]

Transit Perks at H Street Development With Little Parking — A 28-unit development planned at 501 H Street NE will have just five designated parking spaces, so residents have proposed giving new residents a SmartTrip card, Bikeshare membership and carshare membership. ANC 6C supports the plan. [UrbanTurf]

Metro Fare Evasion Crackdown — Metro is warning people not to try riding the bus without paying. Police may make arrests on board buses with high numbers of unpaid fares. [NBC Washington]

Union Kitchen Grocery to Open Next Week — The founders of Union Kitchen will open their cafe and small grocery store at 538 3rd St. NE on Monday. Union Kitchen Grocery is a “combination of a comfortable coffee shop and … [will] harken back to its history as an old school corner grocery,” co-owner Jonas Singer told Hill Now earlier this year. [Washington Post]


New Union Station App Gives Visitors History Lesson, Scavenger Hunt

Union StationUnion Station visitors now can go on a scavenger hunt and learn about the building’s history, with the help of their smartphones.

The “Union Station Tour: Washington, DC” mobile application is out with photo tours through the building’s past, a quiz and a scavenger hunt, among other features, the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation announced this week. The self-described “official app on the history of Washington’s Union Station” is available for free on iTunes and Google Play.

The app encourages users to find and take pictures of the “The Progress of Railroading” statues and the two pavilions that feature Death Cab for Cutie lyrics in Morse code, as part of its scavenger hunt.

It also asks users to test their knowledge of Union Station’s history. Questions include: “When the station was first built, where were the ticket counters located?”

“We have received continued interest from the public on the history of Union Station, which we like to encourage,” USRC president and CEO Beverley Swaim-Staley said in a statement. “We hope this app will harness that interest and allow visitors of Union Station to learn more about the grand historic structure, outside of what’s visible today.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation partially funded the app through a grant.


Pitching Your Capitol Hill Home

Ask Tom Column Banner

This regularly scheduled, sponsored Q&A column is written by Tom Faison of ReMax Allegiance at Eastern Market. Please submit your questions via email.

Did you see the new Acura? With the clean lines, sophisticated engineering, leather seats, and real wood trim? What I just heard was “clean” and “sophisticated,” not because I want to drive those two things, but because I want to be those two things. If I hear “hybrid,” I’ll be as green as Al Gore. If I hear “Cadillac,” I’m feeling McConaughey. Otherwise it’s just transportation, four tires and a trunk, plus maybe a 3.57056 liter Hemi under the hood…feeling powerful yet?

Real estate promotion is similar, but residential re-sale involves almost as many individual marketers as there are homes to sell. Like five blind guys touching an elephant, each realtor might describe a different beast of a home depending on their personal perspective. Otherwise, it’s just shelter, four walls and a roof, plus maybe a fancy alarm system…feeling safe yet?

In the D.C. metro area, our Realtor Multiple Listing Service (MLS) allows us a maximum of 400 characters with which to describe a home we’re marketing and, unfortunately, “this home has lovely granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances” only uses 71. So what else is an agent supposed to say to get sellers to agree that we’re painting a proper picture of their homes, or to make that right buyer look twice, or just to eat up the daunting 400 characters?

Thanks goodness for hyperbole (and puffery):

“Chef’s kitchen!” (15 characters) But really, what is a chef’s kitchen? The last time I saw a chef’s kitchen, I was in the basement of the White House. That was long enough ago that they still let guys like me into the White House basement. I wonder how often chefs have Indian food delivered.

“Amazing back yard!” (17 characters) This is a tall order, even on Capitol Hill where I’ve seen folks do amazing things with limited yards. But I haven’t seen a coconut grove yet, which would be truly amazing indeed.

“Great buy!” (only 10 characters) “Fantastic buy!” would have used up 16 characters, but who’s counting. I think the secret is out. If the guy crying “best buy” stands to make a buck on the buy, one needs to explore further. If he is at a loss for filler, he can say, “this house is a really great buy!” and BOOM, he just bought 33 characters!

Then there’s the ever-inspiring “handyman special!” (17 characters). But if the agent is promoting the poor condition of the house, then the place must be missing its roof. Besides, handymen are becoming as rare as WWII vets. How about “call the architect quickly!” (27 much more honest characters).

“Incredible location!” (an even 20 characters). But sounds a bit too South of France.

“Bring an offer!” (15 ridiculous characters) What with the sign, balloons, flowers, and cookies…I believe it’s understood that the seller would like to receive an offer.

Adjectives and redundancy help these listings a lot. Apparently exclamation points are a must. Unnecessarily repeating the number of bedrooms and baths can eat up space. If the front door is a blue (5 characters), we are apt to put it in writing. If not, at least it can be a “lovely door,” “lovely blue,” or an agent can go for broke and use “this home has a lovely wooden deep blue front door,” and BAM, 50 characters knocked out of the park!

What agents are effectively doing in an MLS description is “pitching” the home.

In Hollywood, producers allow less than 10 minutes for television hopefuls to pitch a plot. The pitch is a dynamic verbal description of the show. The key is to keep it short, focus on the highlights, steer clear of too many details, and sell, sell, sell. I like the “elevator pitch,” where an idea must be sold to a potential buyer in the time it takes to ride from the 10th floor to the lobby, give or take a couple of stops.

When pitching your home, try to find its soul, personality, and disposition. Is it a party animal or a bookworm? What would you name it if it were a pet? When I’m pitching a home I take the 400-character rule seriously, which can throw punctuation out the window (the clean, clear, bright, shiny glass window = 45 characters!)(add a few semicolons and you’re up to 48!). But mostly, I try to avoid describing anything that buyers can touch or see with their hands or eyes. I try to aim straight for the heart because that’s where the wallet is located, and yes, occasionally I’ll take a bit of poetic license.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.


Navy Yard Traffic Could Be Snarled by Charity Walk This Weekend

March for Babies (Photo via March of Dimes)A charity walk is coming to Navy Yard this weekend and it might tie up traffic.

The March of Dimes “March for Babies” will block intersections around Nationals Park and Yards Park Saturday morning. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., marchers will walk in a three-mile loop that begins and ends at the ballpark.

The walkers are expected to remain on sidewalks. But they could hold up traffic as they cross streets.

Drivers should expect delays at the intersections of Potomac Avenue and 1st Street SE, 3rd and Tingey streets SE, Tingey and N streets SE, and N and 1st streets SE, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The March for Babies raises money to help mothers deliver healthy children. March of Dimes has received more than $320,000 in donations for the walk so far, according to its website. They’re looking to raise more than $508,000.

March of Dimes still is registering walkers online.

Photo via March of Dimes


Youth Throws Rock Through X2 Bus Window

X2 BusA bus on the much-discussed X2 line was damaged this morning when a juvenile hurled a rock through one of its windows, just one month after a similar incident in the same location.

A westbound bus on the X2 line, which runs along H Street NE, was damaged just before 9 a.m. on the 1900 block of Benning Road NE, Metro spokesman Mike Tolbert said.

Three juveniles exited the bus and then one member of the group threw a rock at the bus’s back door, shattering one of the glass panels, Tolbert said. No one was injured.

D.C. police quickly spotted and stopped the juveniles, Tolbert said. They may be charged after the Metropolitan Police Department and Metropolitan Transit Police review surveillance video footage.

Twitter user @JadeMStone told the blog Frozen Tropics she spoke with people onboard the affected bus:

Two people were injured on a westbound X2 bus the morning of March 30 when someone reportedly threw a brick through the windshield, at 19th Street and Benning Road NE. There’s no indication the two instances of property damage are related, Tolbert said.

X2 riders told officials at a community meeting in mid-March that they’re frustrated with delayed service, disruptive passengers and impolite drivers.

“Any time you get on the X2, you get a show,” a WMATA street operations supervisor admitted.

Frozen Tropics and The Washington Post assembled dozens of tweets last month about life aboard the often-raucous X2, covering everything from a passenger going into labor to a homeless woman “putting a curse” on the bus driver.

Ridership on the line recently climbed an estimated 14 percent.


Flea Market, Moon Bounce to Hit Near Northeast School This Weekend

J.O. Wilson Elementary School flea market (Photo via J.O. Wilson Elementary School)A flea market, artisan fair and moon bounce are slated to come to J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Near Northeast this weekend.

The school at 660 K St. NE is scheduled to have its third annual “Spring Community Carnival & Flea Market” Saturday, with as many as 50 vendors. The event will feature artists, a “jumbo yard sale” and “tons” of children’s activities, along with food and live music, according to a flyer.

The Spring Community Carnival & Flea Market will take over J.O. Wilson’s soccer field from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

If it rains, the event will happen May 9.

Photo via J.O. Wilson Elementary School


Morning Rundown

Sidewalk near the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Coworking Space, Coffee Shop Reportedly Planned for H Street — The development on the 600 block of H Street NE that will have a Whole Foods may also be home to a coworking space and coffeeshop. WeWork and The Wydown, which has a location at 14th and U streets NW, are reportedly in talks to open at the Apollo. [Washington Business Journal]

Bayou Bakery Update — The Louisiana-themed cafe coming to the carriage house alongside the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) will open its doors “as soon as next week,” The Hill Is Home reported. Chef David Guas spoke on Monday night about his new book. [The Hill Is Home]

Where Metro Expects Ridership to Grow — Metro expects that development will boost use of the NoMa, Union Station and Navy Yard stations. [Washington Post]

Who Uses Capital Bikeshare — According to Capitol Bikeshare’s annual member survey, users have grown increasingly white, male and high-earning. [Washington City Paper]


‘Concerned’ Hill East Group Asks to Reboot Boys and Girls Club Redevelopment Process

Dantes Partners' rendering for redevelopment of the Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club Building(Updated at 11 a.m. Wednesday) Hill East residents are trying again to overhaul plans to develop the former Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club building, despite the District’s opposition to starting anew.

A group that calls itself “a concerned coalition of the Hill East Community” sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser today, asking her to work with the neighborhood on new plans for the building at 261 17th St. SE.

The coalition, like ANC 6B, is seeking “more potential uses and flexibility” for the dilapidated building.

Hill East resident Denise Daniel, who helped write the letter, said it won’t be easy to convince Bowser’s administration to change course on the development. Last month, the interim director of the D.C. Department of General Services wrote a letter to the ANC saying D.C. won’t start from scratch on the building as the group requested.

“We took this positive route and positioning because we feel Mayor Bowser’s administration’s approach to gathering community input and [cleaning] up of city processes is good for the people of the District,” Daniel said today about her letter. “And a restart could prove just that.”

During months of community review, DGS offered a 25-year lease for use of the 31,000-square-foot-facility, which is two blocks west of the Stadium Armory Metro station.

Century Associates, a developer that proposed market-rate units for seniors, said that lease term will make it nearly impossible for them to secure financing for the project. The second bid for the space, from Dantes Partners, proposes affordable units for seniors.

Daniel surveyed several Hill East households on the proposals this year, finding that only 17 percent supported the Dantes bid. More than half favored the Century Associates proposal.

The survey reached 268 households, 81 of which responded.


Pet of the Week: Andrea

Metro Mutts

A 2-year-old Washington Humane Society rescue named Andrea is Hill Pet of the Week. She’s a domestic shorthair mix who was ill and needed to wear “the dreaded kitty-cone.” She’s up for adoption now. Here’s the bio shared by the shelter on New York Avenue NE:

I’m in foster care! Andrea is a beautiful orange and white kitty who has had a bit of a rough time. She came to foster care with an eye ulcer, but after many weeks of the dreaded kitty-cone (which she looked really cute in), she is healed and ready for her new forever home!

Andrea loves to jump on your lap while you are watching TV and make sure you know how much she loves you by kneading on your stomach. Andrea also loves her cat scratchers and never even looks at a piece of furniture as a potential scratching post. Andrea is a little bit of a diva and would prefer a house where she can be the only cat and the center of attention.

To adopt Andrea or other pets from the Humane Society, see the Petango adoption site or call 202-576-6664.

Want your pet to be considered for Hill Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least three horizontal photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a gift bag of dog or cat treats from Metro Mutts, along with 100 Metro Mutts Reward Points.

Known for “What dogs and cats want. What owners need,” Metro Mutts specializes in products and services for passionate pet owners. Now offering individualized dog walking, pet sitting and cat care from two store locations on Capitol Hill, on Barracks Row and on H Street NE. Learn more at www.metromuttsdc.com.


Subscribe to our mailing list