Ecco Park Condominiums, planned as Takoma Park's only new condominium project, will now go forward as an apartment building. The 85-unit condominium had been designed and was to be developed by SGA Architects of Bethesda, but SGA began returning money to purchasers several weeks ago. The site, two blocks from the Takoma Park Metro Station, was a brownfield and former gas station, a condition the developer remedied last year by removing and replacing the soil, but construction and excavation had not yet begun.
According to the developer, the lack of financing for a new condominium building became the insurmountable hurdle in the development process, requiring a new financing agreement that precluded condo sales. Domus Realty had presold 35 of the 85 units as of last fall, when the sales center closed. "I'm really excited that the project is still moving forward despite the turmoil in the markets." said Sas Gharai, the architect and developer of the project. But Gharai also suggested that with the dwindling condo construction the decision may not be irreversible, "At some point, we may re-evaluate when the market changes."
Ecco Park is designed to include 6,500 s.f. of retail, and at one time was mentioning a Trader Joe's Express as a possible tenant. It would also feature underground parking, and patios or balconies for most of the units. Prices started at $180k for a studio and in the high $200k's for a one-bedroom, and at $495k for a two-bedroom. SGA recently completed and is selling the last few units at the Butterfield House on Capitol Hill.