In a market lean on financing and glutted with faltering projects, Monument Realty announced Monday that their Potomac Place Tower in DC's southwest will move forward with renovation and sales, having secured the support of a new lender. Potomac Place Tower, a 396-unit condominium at 800 4th Street in Southwest Washington, DC, has been stalled since Lehman Brothers, the primary lender, filed for bankruptcy last September. Designed by Cloethiel Woodard Smith and built in 1959, Potomac Place Tower and Monument Realty were saved from sharing the same fate as another southwest renovation and (failed) condo conversion, The View, which recently sold at foreclosure.
Monument obtained the project as the Capitol Park Apartments in 2001, the aesthetically challenged building was registered as historic landmark in 2003, and in 2005 residents elected to convert it to condominiums; sales began back in March, 2006. Monument employed architect Jane Nelson to renovate and redesign the interiors. According to Natasha Stancill, Director of Marketing at Monument Realty, the owner stopped settling units early last fall, but did continue to sign contracts through the spring with purchasers who were willing to wait out the unresolved financing problems. With the recent announcement, Monument expects to have units available for settlement in the next 30 to 45 days.
In a press release, Monument advertised that Potomac Place Tower has units in the $200,000 range available for occupancy in the next 30 days, including studio, one bedroom, one bedroom with den, and two bedroom units. Records show that Monument sold 132 of the units in the North Tower, with an average price of $241,000. According to Stancill, the North tower renovation is complete and 17 units will be available for settlement in the next 30 days, while the remaining 35 units of the North tower should be ready for settlement come the 1st quarter of 2010. The South tower project is not complete; half of the 200 units there should be ready for settlement in the next 30 days, with the remaining 100 ready before the end of the year.
DC's land records reveal that on January 26, 2009 Lehman assigned Potomac Place to SwedBank AB's New York branch. In a statement, Michael J. Darby, founding Principal of Monument Realty, said that Monument worked with the lender (SwedBank) to resolve a "very complicated situation" and was "pleased to be in a position to pay contractors and vendors and to bring the project back to market." You can bet the vendors and contractors are very pleased too.
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