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 …

As of November 2018, the developer says construction will be completed by December and condo move ins are expected to begin by the end of 2018.  Frager’s Hardware will be doing build out of its new space in the 4-story infill building in 2019 Q1 and to open in March.  In September 2018, Perseus announced that a new restaurant–Emilie’s–will occupy the ground floor space at the corner of 11th and Pennsylvania SE.  The developer is still seeking a neighborhood serving shop or shops for the balance of the ground floor space.

Also in September 2018, condo sales began in earnest.  Go here to sign up.

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

November 24, 2018
Sidewalks are back along Pennsylvania Ave and 11th Street

August 25, 2018
Or, maybe it’s a cargo ship hauling dry wall materials

August 24, 2018
Is this a cruise ship or a condo building?

August 3, 2018
Shrouded in plastic and scaffolding; pointing of old exterior walls on floors 1 & 2.  I’m not sure of what’s going on behind the plastic.

July 23, 2018
Repair of walls affected by the fire begins

May 1, 2018
Topped out and lit at night.

April 20, 2018:  Not quite five floors

April 14, 2018:  Preparations begin to dismantle the crane.  Fifth floor added so most of concrete work completed on the building.  Installing exterior walls and windows is next.

March 21, 2018:  A day of no work

February 21, 2018:  Close up of second floor

January 4, 2018:  Building progress obscured by focus on clouds.

December 14, 2017:  Looking northeast from 11th Street, showing work on basement walls and columns

November 18, 2017:  The tower crane is installed enabling the construction of five floors.

October 19, 2017: Excavation and shoring 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.