See In Pictures: Development Projects Line the 14th Street Corridor (August 11, 2011).
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
The fast pace of residential development continues in the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods. A few recently announced projects are working their way through regulatory and neighborhood approval.
Dupont Parking Lot To Become Residential Building
At the southeast corner of 17th and O Streets NW, on what is now a parking lot, the First Baptist Church is seeking approval for a 228-unit apartment building. The developer is Keener-Squire, which manages a number of properties in the Dupont Circle area. The Architect is Eric Colbert, also a well-known name in the neighborhood. The project must obtain approval from the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), as well as receive a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).
At the August 10 ANC meeting, a few commissioners voiced support for the design elements of the project. Several attendees, who mostly identified themselves as residents of the neighboring Richmond and Boston House condominiums, were opposed to many aspects of the project, including design, scale and amenities. The ANC’s Zoning, Preservation & Development Committee will meet September 6 to discuss the project in detail.
More Residential Developments Coming to Logan Circle
In Logan Circle, the Community Development Committee of ANC 2F heard the proposal for a 55-unit residential project at 1328 14th Street NW. This parcel is a few doors south of the 7-11 at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. The architect for the project is Torti Gallas, who designed The Ellington in the 1300 block of U Street NW and several new residential building around the Columbia Heights metro station. According to Urban Turf, the design includes mostly studios and one bedrooms — a trend in many of the projects up and down 14th Street NW — with a mostly glass facade and ground floor retail. This project is also subject to HPRB and BZA review.
Just around the corner, Abdo Development announced plans to construct a 70-unit residential building on vacant land at 1427 Rhode Island Avenue NW. This plot is the last vacant property on the 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue and will complete the transformation of the block that began a decade ago. Abdo had maintained an office at 1402 14th Street and rumors circulated last year that the space would become an Italian restaurant. However, Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D) recently leased the space as his campaign office in advance of the April 2012 primary and September general election.
Pigs, Pixie’s and Pedicures
Lots of activity on the commercial front as well. Eatwell DC — owners of Logan Tavern, Commissary, Grillfish and The Heights — have announced a new venture in Logan Circle at 1320 14th Street NW. The restaurant will be called The Pig, and, as the name implies, will focus on pork. According to their press release, the restaurant will have just 72 seats and a target opening in Spring 2012.
A Washington Examiner piece by neighborhood resident and journalist Harry Jaffe on how 14th Street NW is being transformed broke the news that Miss Pixie’s would be moving in March 2012. Miss Pixie’s is the landmark antique furniture store with the pink awning that has operated at 1626 14th Street NW since 2008. Borderstan editors contacted Pixie Windsor to confirm the details. Windsor said she holds some small hope of remaining in her current space beyond March 2012, especially if no new tenant is found. In the meantime, she is looking for other retail space and said she would like to remain in the area if possible.
It seems like nail salons open up faster than CVS drugstores in D.C., and Logan Circle is getting their own. Construction is underway for a nail salon at 1410 P Street, a small storefront in one of the few historic buildings that remain on the commercial strip. The other tenants in the building are a barbershop and Mac Dee Cleaners, and is across the alley from Logan Hardware.
Irvine Contemporary Closes
After five years at 1412 14th Street NW, Irvine Contemporary closed over the weekend. Earlier this summer the owner cited rising rents as the reason for closing. Not a good sign, especially since the the gallery is at the heart of the recently branded DC Arts District. The gallery is next door to the space that previously held the Mar de Plata restaurant, which has remained vacant since the restaurant relocated in 2009.
Anyone out on 14th Street NW this past weekend surely noticed the massive construction equipment lined up between S and T Streets in front of JBG Cos.’ 125-unit District Condos project. Lining the streets for 12 hours, the equipment was used to erect the construction tower and crane for that project. (Excavation was temporarily halted in May due to some problems with soil conditions.) In an email to nearby neighbors of the construction, James Nozar, development manager for JBG, reported that excavation work on the site is complete, and that the project is on track for completion by late summer or early fall 2012.
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.
In a town that is often under a political microscope in terms of honesty, rank and file, Washingtonians are now also being measured on the standard of conduct. Honest Tea, the maker of the popular line of iced teas, has set up an unattended pop-up shop in Dupont Circle as part of their nationwide experiment to find the most honest city. Payment of $1 for each bottle of iced tea is collected on the honor system. As of this writing, D.C. was doing pretty well with a 92% honesty rating.