Brightwood neighbors gathered in excitement to mark a day many of them thought would never come - the opening of 6425 14th Street, NW. The Tewkesbury, once the neglected eyesore of a slum lord, now offers 26 renovated condo units to the Ward 4 community, thanks to the District government and developer Blue Skye. The relatively small project drew significant political attention, with Councilmembers Muriel Bowser and Kwame Brown joining Mayor Adrian Fenty in the festivities; even Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs Director Linda Argo showed up.
The DC government purchased the property in 2008 for $3 million, after filing suit against its owner for “numerous" building code violations. Blue Skye won the right to develop and invested $3.8 million in the renovation. Half of the building is being sold at market rate, the other half is subsidized for tenants earning from 30 to 80 percent Area Median. Several condos have already sold.
The community expressed relief to be free from the blight that once filled the lot, "[we] almost assumed it would always be [that] way...this makes a huge difference," said Kamili Anderson of the Brightwood Neighborhood Association. The building offers a mix of one- and two-bedroom units and, according to Scottie Irving of Blue Skye, there is no difference between the affordable and market rate units, which range in size from 900 to 1,200 s.f.
Blue Skye served as developer and contractor, partnering with PGN architects and subcontracting to several local businesses for materials and labor. According to Irving, 90 percent of the money put into the property stayed in the District. The Tewkesbury has 10 parking spaces available for an additional fee.
Construction took 14 months, though several last minute touches were being applied as neighbors toured for the first time. Reactions seemed mixed: one neighbor complained about a questionable paint job in the hallway and another criticized the way the flooring was laid in the bathroom. Irving took both praise and complaints, smiling as he showed off his work. Blue Skye is working on "phase 2" of the project, a 54-unit affordable senior housing project, at nearby 1330 Missouri Avenue, NW with partner Donatelli.
Washington, DC real estate development news