Developer Changes Course: Rentals Not Condos at 14th & S NW

by Borderstan.com November 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm 1,653 6 Comments


Northwest corner of 14th and S Streets NW: District Condos project switches to rentals. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See In Pictures: Development Projects Line the 14th Street Corridor (August 11, 2011).

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

In a press release issued this afternoon JBG Companies and Grosvenor announced that the much heralded condominium project at the corner of 14th and S Streets NW would be developed instead as a “boutique apartment building.” When delivered in fall 2012 the seven-story building will have 125 apartments.

Kai Reynolds, a principal with JBG, said “We received a substantial amount of interest in the condominium project, but the strong fundamentals of the rental market and our confidence in the opportunity to deliver an exceptional boutique apartment building ultimately swayed our decision to deliver the project as an apartment.”

The condo project was unveiled last fall at an event attended by Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2). The project was to be called District Condos. The site includes the historic building at the northwest corner of 14th and S that once housed the Whitman Walker Clinic, and the now-demolished one-story properties north to Swann Street. Graham had once served as director of the Whitman Walker Clinic (now Whitman Walker Health)  from 1984 until election to the City Council in 1998.

Whitman Walker bought the building for $1.25 million in 1986. When the District Condos project broke ground, James Nozar of JBG said the condo prices would likely start in the low $300,000 range, with a bulk of the units priced under $600,000 and a few running up more than $1 million.

Projects Underway on 14th & U Corridor

Numerous residential projects line 14th Street from Thomas Circle north toward Columbia Heights. Some of them include –

  • Two condominium projects are underway a block south of the JBG / Grosvenor project — one in a former Verizon building the other on a former Zipcar lot next to AYT Auto Service (which is departing at the end of the year).
  • At 14th and Wallach NW,  Level 2 Development is also readying plans for an apartment building.
  • Across the street at the southweset corner of 14th and U, work will begin shortly on a large 200-plus unit project that JBG is a partner in as well.
  • South of P Street, a small condominium project is in the works for 1328 14th Street, just south of the 7-11.
  • Around the corner on the south side of Rhode Island Avenue developer ABDO  has plans for a building on the last bit of vacant land on that block.

Previous Stories On The Project

Comments (6)

  1. the strong fundamentals of the rental market and our confidence in the opportunity to deliver an exceptional boutique apartment building ultimately swayed our decision to deliver the project as an apartment.

    That’s pretty compelling evidence to show just how absolutely nuts the rental market is in DC right now.

    Assume 20% down-payment and the monthly payment on a $300,000 condo is about $1,400, plus whatever the condo fee is. What are the odds that even the least expensive unit in the building rents for no less than $2,000? $2,500?

  2. So instead of a CONDO building for RICK people we get an APT. building for RICK people. Check.

  3. Correction RICH people. How come there’s no correction feature after posting a comment. Grrrr!

  4. This is all a matter of risk mitigation. It’s much easier to sell a single apartment building to an investor and cash out than it is to sell 125 individual condos. And oh by the way, investors are clamoring to buy Class A apartment buildings, so much that the values of apartment buildings (with lower quality finishes mind you – renters are less discriminating than condo owners) is actually greater in some cases (on a per unit basis) than the value of condos. No bubble here!

  5. The good news here? The milquetoast name “District Condos” gets tossed down the memory hole. Good riddance!

  6. I heard a rumor they MAY be “District Apartments.” (:>)

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