PERS Development, a plan to remodel an abandoned 32-unit building at 329 Rhode Island Avenue NE will soon be underway, making way for "hip, boutique, luxury condominium homes." Just a few blocks east of the Rhode Island Ave - Brentwood Metro, the project will build off the local momentum of Baltimore-based A&R Development Corp's 8.5 acre, $108 million project (including 274 new residential rental units and 70,000 s.f. of ground floor retail) that broke ground this spring on the former WMATA parking lot, making the vicinity a "transit oriented developer hot spot." PERS Development is a young and ambitious team with four completed projects under their belts, and now two more in the works. All four of their finished developments have sold out, the last being Sky DC in Randall Highlands. On their four previous projects, PERS has specialized in small, moderately-priced condos. But as advertised, this endeavor seems destined to be slightly more high end than the units sold in Randall Heights for $200,000. However, while PERS President and CEO, Ramin Bassam is promising a "very, high-end boutique product," a price point between high $200,000s and $350,000 proves value also remains a priority. Marty Zupancic of Marcus & Millichap brokered the deal that sees the property travel from the reluctant hands of the previous owner Byung S. Shin of BSS Partnership to the more purposeful and enterprising hands of the developer.
Dan Silverman gave voice to Conn and his cause by highlighting the property with the honorable distinction of the Horse's Ass Award. The District was in the midst of designating the building as blighted and condemned only two months ago, but PERS was able to step in, usher through the necessary building improvements, and remove said designations, enabling the financing and property transaction to go through, and development plans to move forward. The top floors of the building were significantly damaged by a fire that raged in the evening hours of July 31st last summer. While the neglected building, singed, dirty, and windows boarded, is an eyesore at the moment, its proximity to the metro and its location on a highly visible island-like street corner, makes the property apparently attractive to real estate developers. In a press release, Bassam stressed that: “This project represents a great opportunity to fulfill the growing demand for luxury condominiums in the District of Columbia by delivering a high end product in an under-served submarket at a time when supply is getting tight. It has just the type of character and location that we have been looking for.”
SGA Arcitects have been contracted for the design, and initial renderings should be finalized later this week. The building will transform from a sordid blemish of a property into ultramodern, highly-wired chic condos. Each unit will be outfitted with wi-fi and iPad docking stations. Other amenities include a state-of-the-art glass-enclosed gym, a rooftop deck outfitted with a European shower, and various community lounges. Units will be planked with natural bamboo flooring. The bottom floor will reserve room for five retail tenants, an amenity that new owner Bassam says is desperately needed in the neighborhood. "A late weeknight trip to the McDonald's across the street is an at least twenty minute wait in line, there are not enough retail options at the moment," explains Bassam. The often elusive project financing of the acquisition and needed construction, normally the last piece of the development puzzle, is already in place, compliments of Bethesda-based Monument Bank.
Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News