Thursday, January 08, 2009

The North Star of Shaw Development


Northwest Washington's Shaw neighborhood could receive its first New Year’s batch of condominiums as soon as next month. Currently under construction at 1910 8th Street NW, the Stella Polaris Condominiums will be bringing five upscale, 1,100 square foot units to the foot of the U Street corridor - within an earshot of popular local destinations like the 9:30 Club and Town.

The project is under the purview of Blue Sky Housing (not the similarly-named Blue Skye Development), a local developer whose last publicized project was the renovation and conversion of two Hanover Place NW apartment buildings into condominiums. Earle "Chico" Horton, a partner with the Graves & Horton LLC law firm and Blue Sky principal, tells DCmud that all of the units will feature 2 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths, in addition to amenities like “10 foot ceilings and high-end finishes.” Once completed in February, prices on ground floor units will start around $330,000, while top floor units will be "in the range of $480,000 to $500,000." Caltec Construction is serving as general contractor.

The project stands feet from the corner of 8th Street and Florida Avenue NW – an area that has hosted vacant lots since long before developers renewed their interest in the historic Shaw community. “Whatever structures were there were probably damaged in the 14th Street riots [of 1968] and subsequently torn down. It’s easily been over 20 years since there’s been construction at the site,” said Horton. ‘“Once people get financing, I think they’ll be a lot in store for the area. I was one of the original buyers of Harrison Square back in 2000. I’ve been in the area for a while and have seen the growth, which has been good.”

Indeed, growth is continuing unabated in the neighborhood. A few blocks away Castlerock Partners will be constructing the sprawling Howard Town Center project, while a parcel literally around the corner at the 9th and U Streets NW – currently the site of a weekly flea market - has been slated for redevelopment by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority. Those projects are set to join Ellis’ recently-approved redevelopment of the Howard Theater, and other in-the-works efforts like Broadcast Center One, the Wonder Bread Factory and O Street Market complex, as possible additions to the Shaw of the new millennium's second decade.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the project controversial? Or is it only "polarizing" because of the name pun?

Ken on Jan 9, 2009, 4:50:00 PM said...

Not really, just a play on the name.

Anonymous said...

If they can make it happen, God bless them everyone. With the downturn in the market the big projects that Shaw needs badly are just not going to make it, we need revitalization in a small way for now, that will at least seed the neighborhood with change. And for once, it looks like the design for a small building doesn't totally suck; its a start.

 

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