Construction Progress: Penn11 Development (aka Frager’s)

After the disastrous Frager’s Hardware fire on June 5, 2013, the remnants of the building at 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue SE remained “as is” for 4 years.  Finally, in early May 2017, Perseus Realty (the developer) gave the renewal project a name (“PennEleven”) and announced the start of construction that involves saving the historic exterior brick walls and adding a multi-story structure with a new space for the return of Frager’s Hardware and its Garden Center, more street front retail space, and about 39 condo units with underground parking.  To view the plans, go to my article The Return of Frager’s Plus …

Grunley is the General Contractor and has said that bracing of the historic walls and demolition of the rest will take about two months during Summer 2017.  I post periodic updates that Grunley sends out at!forum/penn11fragers

Below are photos I have taken to document the progress of the development.  Photos/comments are reverse order, most recent on top.

October 19, 2017: Excavation is well underway.  A stationary crane to be installed in mid-November.

Penn11 10-19

September 26, 2017: The excavation phase has begun.

2017-09-26 B Buck Penn 11
View from 11th Street SE. Photo courtesy of Byron Buck.

September 1, 2017: The auger in operation.  The pile installation process was completed mid-September, bringing some peace to the neighborhood.

Penn11 9-1
Auger Up Close

August 27, 2017: The auger/drill (in background of photo) arrives on site. It’s operation, drilling to install piles, caused at least one noise complaint. Still, better than using a pile driver that pounds in the piles.

Penn11 drill 8-27
View to south from site gate

July 21, 2017: Most of the wall bracing and repair are completed

Penn11 7-21
Looking west along PA Avenue SE

By the end of June, most of the walls not being saved have been demolished.  It’s a mess out there today (6/28) with Pepco added to the mix, digging a trench in one of the eastbound lanes of PA Avenue.

Penn11 6-28 blue sky
View thru to 11th Street SE with Pepco equipment reducing 1100 block of PA Ave to one eastbound lane. (6/28)
Penn11 6-28 corner
View from 11th Street Corner showing the inside of the 11th Street wall (6/28)
Fragers 6-20
Demo from the inside looking West, June 20
Fragers 6-3
Initial Bracing Along 11th Street, June 3
Fragers 4-24
Corner of 11th & Pennsylvania SE on April 24

Moving Beyond the Fire with Frager’s

[This piece written 8 June. For Updates, see Frager’s Fire News above.]

We all know about the quite awful Frager’s Fire.  We mourn but are hopeful that our beloved Frager’s will rise from the ashes some day.  And, sooner rather than later.

The community doesn’t know what the financial needs are yet (i.e., what insurance won’t cover).  But, donations are being collected, fundraisers are being announced, and a Frager’s “Pop Up” will be in operation Sat and Sun at Eastern Market.

The specifics. You can …

… stay in touch, post information and ideas, by joining the Friends of Fragers Yahoo Group

… learn more at:

… donate money through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.  Online: click on the Donate button and write Frager’s in the dedication section.  Visa, Mastercard, and Amex accepted.  Or, you could send a check to CHCF, 419 East Capitol Street SE, DC 20003.  Be sure to note it is for Frager’s.

On Sat 8 Jun and Sun 9 Jun, Frager’s will operate a “pop up” garden center on the old East Hall pad across the street from Eastern Market (7th & C Streets SE).  Mayor Gray will welcome Frager’s to Eastern Market on Sunday at noon.

On Wed 12 Jun, the Hill Center and DC Jazz are teaming up to present a concert to benefit the Friends of Frager’s Fund.  Details are on the Hill Center website: and at the Friends of Frager’s Yahoo Group.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Another benefit concert may be in the works for Fri 21 Jun at The Fridge.  Details to come.