Monday, February 12, 2007

Abdo to Expand Arlington Holdings, Buys Land Across From Its Mercer and Wooster Project


Jim Abdo must like what it sees when surveying the sites from his new Mercer and Wooster Lofts condo project in Arlington along Clarendon Boulevard between Rosslyn and Courthouse. That would explain his company’s recent purchase for $42.2 million of five lots, bounded by North Quinn, and North Queen Streets, 16th Road and Clarendon Boulevard, across from his existing complex. While no plans have been drawn up yet for this stretch of street, Abdo is contemplating building residential condos. Currently the lots hold aging garden apartment buildings and a single-family home – most likely these will be demolished. Sales at the Wooster and Mercer Lofts (pictured) started last Fall, with delivery expected this year. The Mercer will house 34 condo units averaging about 1,500 sf, while its sister Wooster will contain 53 units. Both brick structures will feature 17-foot ceilings and floating stairs, penthouses with 21-foot high living spaces, private roof terraces, and underground parking and storage. There will also be a garden pool between the buildings. Pricing begins in the $500,000s and goes up to $2 million.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

They should throw in a free butler for those prices...

Any word on the number of condos sold in the Mercer or Wooster buildings?

Anonymous said...

The gentrification of old Virginia continues. One day we'll be as corrupt and dependent on government services as the rest of the DC region.

Nick on Feb 13, 2007, 11:25:00 PM said...

Not sure about all Virginia being "gentrified." This stretch of Clarendon Blvd certainly has changed over the past 2 decades since metro came in, but that has been on the planning books since the 1980s (as has all areas around metro stops). The neighborhoods off the metro path are not seeing the same type of rapid, pricey growth. But yes - affordable housing is an important issue that must be addressed and required by County officials when working with developers.

Nick on Feb 15, 2007, 6:37:00 PM said...

As for Wooster and Mercer - I believe about 80% of the units have been sold.

gpliving on Feb 16, 2007, 1:45:00 PM said...

Nick, In the last ABDO email, Jim states that "Over 80% of the people that have made appointments and toured the buildings have purchased"

That *could* mean that only 5 people toured the buildings and 4 units sold.. Of course, you probably have more insight into the sales. The tone of the email was VERY upbeat, so I wouldn't be surprised if Jim wants to build a lot more in the area.

Anonymous said...

There are about 8 sales at Mercer/Wooster, 4 of which I am told are "friends and family"

Abdo is seriously smoking something to think that this project will work. Who's going to pay $700k for a 1BR in no-mans-land between Rosslyn and Courthouse?

He has over 75% of the building left to sell and will deliver in March. This project is going down the tubes.

Nick on Feb 16, 2007, 6:05:00 PM said...

Thanks for the corrections - I certainly mistyped quickly on the way out the door ... gpliving spells it out correctly, based on Abdo's pr release. Based on quick surveys, about 10% have gone under contract, but we'll see how things progress over the next few months.

Nick on Feb 16, 2007, 6:14:00 PM said...

A follow-up, as anonymous says, the fun will start when the units deliver and only a handful have sold. My guess is that rather than prices being reduced, the usual incentives might pop up to get folks in the door. Abdo is not one of those small developers which littered the DC scene the past few years thinking they could make a killing, and got smacked when the market softened - he can wait things out and let the units sells slowly if need be. Though between this and his delivering-soon Landmark Lofts at Senate Square project, we'll see how the company responds. Abdo has had the best publicity possible, but it's interesting that it might not be translating into sales as all thought it would ....

Anonymous said...

The Washington Post just adores him, I don't get what that's about, but that's about the only publicity I've seen on this project, other than a few emails to subscribers - my guess is that he doesn't think he has to advertise. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Nick, I heard Abdo just announced a price hike for remaining Wooster & Mercer units. Is that true, or just more marketing hype?

Anonymous said...

The information on this blog (which I think came from a report in the Washington Business Journal)about how much Abdo paid recently to assemble the site across the street from the Wooster and Mercer is erroneous. The recorded agregate purchase price is $21,200,000 ($10,500,000 from Rothe + $7,500,000 from Smith + $3,200,000 from House) -- not $42,200,000 as reported. Someone apparently misinterpreted the deed reference that Rothe sold Abdo three lots for a combined $10,500,000, and decided incorrectly that Abdo paid $10,500,000 for each of the three Rothe lots! Abdo's agreegate purchase price comes to just under $200 per square foot, no more than what he paid per SF for the Mercer-Wooster site in 2004-2005.

Anonymous said...

Believe the HYPE!

I had the pleasure of touring the Mercer and the Wooster and I was very impressed. There is no other place like it in Arlington. Every floor plan is top notch (except one), the quality workmanship is excellent, and I had a very difficult time trying to find any flaws with the property. Yes the price is a little high but you get what you pay for.

The one bed room for 700k is worth it. The place is HUGE. This aint your typical shoe box condo that is so typical in the DC metro area.

As for it being no mans land I woud have to disagree. You are one block away from 5 reasturants, across the street from a county park, and a couple of blocks from court house and clarendon.

You have to at least check it out to determine if it will be a pig or a princess.

Anonymous said...

I toured the project back in October and have to say I was a bit disappointed. For the price, some of the unit layouts and the finish work was not up to par. They have the nice big window with one operating pane, but no screen that will fit given the handle. Some units have roof terraces but to get to them the stair goes right through the living space. Saw some bad choices to deal with field conditions that required changes too. One unit we liked had a nice outdoor terrace but the living area on the other side of the 'aircraft carrier' sized kitchen island was only about 12 feet wide - not realistic to plan with a length 3-4 times that. Too bad - Rob

 

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