Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Broadway's ambitious Senate Square Towers project, which closed its sales office doors last month vowing to reopen in a few weeks, has quietly revealed that it will cease to sell condominiums in its 432-unit project, and will now finalize the construction to turn the project into a "luxury" apartment building. The 12-story towers at 201 I Street began sales in September of 2005, but as of the date of closure had no more than 150 units under contract, and was at least 6 months behind schedule for project completion. The first settlements had been anticipated to take place in November.
As the first residential project on H Street, NE, the New York-based developer had faced the daunting hurdles of selling a "luxury" building in a scrappy, low-density location that had yet to feel the effects of revitalization now taking place, just as the condo market was beginning to wane. Broadway eventually hired Shvo, a Manhattan-based condo marketing firm, to bolster the marketing efforts of McLean-based Mayhood, but sales remained lackluster, inevitably forcing prices down. Speculation had long pointed toward the project converting to a rental apartment building, and the developer had entertained offers to sell the entire project, and has now quietly changed its website to reflect its new status. And while other residential projects queue to break ground in the immediate neighborhood, Senate Square joins a long and well documented list of projects that could not garner sufficient selling prices to justify construction, turning instead to the fast-growing rental market, taking yet another whack at the shrinking supply of condos.