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Monday, June 25, 2012

Bright and Bold: Shaw Apartments Nearly Complete


McCullough Construction, LLC, will soon complete construction of one of the more colorful apartment buildings in Washington D.C.  Bailey Park, located at 625 Rhode Island Avenue in Shaw, was designed by Suzane Reatig Architecture, and includes an unusual color scheme and Trespa panels, rare in American architecture.


The 32,125 s.f., 4-story apartment building will hold 16 units in place of the 4 townhouses torn down in advance of construction, and 2 will be reserved exclusively for tenants making less than 80% of the AMI (area median income), with 14 of those being rented at market rates.

More noticeable, however, is the now complete façade of background grey with three bright accent colors: carmine red, ochre and purple.

“They picked some very interesting façade colors,” said project manager Seamus McCullough. “We’ve gotten some complements. It definitely grabs your attention as you walk down Rhode Island, let’s put it that way.”

The building’s façade is made of aluminum windows, architectural concrete masonry and Trespa phenolic wall panels for screening rain.

“[The panels] are supposed to be extremely durable and hold up to weather and sun for a lifetime,” McCullough said. “There’s no caulk in the joints, so it’s an open system.”

“It has a roof deck with four individual patio areas,” McCullough said, as well as a green roof.  “From the inside, one of the nicer features is the amount of natural light,” McCullough said. “in most of the units, you don’t even need the lights on during the day.”




Ground broke on the project on Sept. 26, 2011, and completion is expected at the end of July.  “We expect to turn it over by July 15, at the very latest,” McCullough said.

Washington, D.C. real estate and development news

31 comments:

  1. Lipstick color swatches on a gray building is one way of enlivening a street. Let's hope that the color's hold up through the seasons.

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  2. i live around the corner from this place. i have heard zero compliments from neighbors and almost universal scorn. personally, i think it's a huge eyesore..

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  3. Absolutely hideous. It's not even complete yet and already looks 30 years old.

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  4. The building is a dog, but I do like the colors. It is definitely cheery.

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  5. I love it - makes me smile every time I walk by!

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  6. Just what Shaw needs, more low income housing. I am all for mixed income, but i think time has proven over and over again that concentrating low income housing in one area or one building is good for no one.

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  7. i like the colors and the panel system. the units look like they have fabulous light and views! and the balconies, roof deck and garden seem like nice outdoor amenities.

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  8. The article is incorrect...A few of the units are for people making 60-80% AMI but not all of them. And that's hardly low income in DC.

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  9. First of all, I really like this building. I HATE the Reatig building on M Street that has the yellow, blue and red panels, but this one has is more visually appealing. I used to hate the way the Floridian looked, but now I've come to like the way it looks as I walk up Vermont Ave. This one didn't take me nearly as long to appreciate.

    My question is about the future tenants. I thought originally that only a percentage of the units were for people making less than a certain amount and that the majority of the building would be market rate. Is this incorrect?

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  10. I like the colors, too. Adds some life to a stretch of street that needs it!

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  11. Chances are it will be known as "The Lipstick Building" (thanks to the first anon. for idea. The color gamut is much better than the one on the Floridian. HOWEVER (note to Reitig, Colbert, etc.): mediocre architecture will hide behind cheerful colors.

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  12. Will be nice when the parcel in front is developed and hides this eyesore before the colors start fading and it looks decrepit.

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  13. It's great that there are private entities willing to devote such a deep level of subsidy $$ to create a high-quality building. Having driven by during the construction, I note that the structural system is steel & concrete -- almost unheard of for any new building (even "luxury") of less than 5 stories due to the economics of wood vs steel/concrete. Rainscreen systems in general and Trespa panels in particular are also notable as high-quality but relatively costly options. Does this architectural largess extend to the interiors, one wonders?

    So, kudos to the client! I would have to think that even those who think the building is ugly and/or are concerned about an overconcentration of subsidized housing would be glad to hear that the construction is solid, the building is not cheap.

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  14. UHOP owns the site and is bidding ont he vacant site at 7th and RI NW. They own way too much property in the neighborhood now and Reatig is their achitect of choice. Shaw has way too much subisidized housing including the ugly suburban style apts built after the riots by UHOP, Lincoln Temple and Westmoreland Church. Why can't UHOP build housing in G'town or upper NW for people making less than the DC average?

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  15. Obviously because Georgetown and Upper NW are much more expensive than Shaw. Low income housing always ends up in the cheaper neighbourhoods; it's more cost-effective.

    So long as UHOP pays property taxes on these buildings (take that Shiloh Baptist!) I don't care who owns them. It's nice to see low/medium-income housing look like something other than federal housing projects.

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  16. I personally think this building is atrocious. The details are terrible. The balcony railings are mounted in such a way as to hang over the edge of the concrete slab. Sloppy construction, sloppy detailing. Looks like the work of a mediocre student.

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  17. This building just further deteriorates the potential of Shaw's central transportation hub. More warehouses for poor people on top of metro equals more limited retail, office space and market rate tenants in what should be prime real estate, equals fewer people on the street with purpose during the days and nights, equals ongoing drug traffic and BS up/down 7th. Shaw/Howard metro, even with Progression Place, will continue to be an area to rush through on your way to someplace you want/need to go until somebody wrestles control of these parcels away from narrow-minded churches with poor taste in architecture.

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  18. While the building looks as cheap as possible, the idea of having moderatley priced units hold back a neighborhood's potential is silly. Logan circle's R street has a block full of low income housing and it hasn't hurt it's revival one bit. Plus, as the whole area grows, Shaw will become even more central, expecially as Noma grows to it's east. Shaw's only worry is the amount of these "mid-modern" revival buildings they infill with. Shaw has huge chunks of it's older fabric blown out and will require sensitive infill that stiches together what's left of the characterfull architecture.

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  19. Wow, visually very cool. Would be like living in a LEGO building!

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  20. Maybe this is something that the people of DCmud can clear up, but this is NOT low income housing. I even think the fact reported that the entire thing is for 68-80% AMI is incorrect. I believe that only a portion of it is not market-rate and the rest is market-rate. Either way, there is a huge difference between the income requirements on people who will inhabit this building and the people who live in the highrises a block away.

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  21. Agree with poster above; I can't wait until the parcel on RI and 7th is developed so I can't see this from my house anymore. Truly an eyesore.

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  22. will be glad to not look at construction anymore... no matter what the colors. Better than cyclone fence.

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  23. The comment about low income housing not hurting development (and giving 14th street as an example) is ridiculous. Shaw, Truxton, SE and other areas with a lot of public housing have been held back by it for decades, which is why no one, not even those areas, really want public housing. Have you heard how the people in Anacostia are up in arms about more public housing being put there? Why? Cause it kills development. Common sense tells you that businesses are not going to flock to areas with low income and high crime.

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  24. I think it's great that more and more apartments are build for mid-range to low-income renters especially since they make up most of the country's population. And so, I would say affordable homes like these are good for property owners and their tenants!

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  25. "Common sense tells you that businesses are not going to flock to areas with low income and high crime."

    That's why Shaw, Logan Circle, and Columbia Heights are awaiting new businesses.

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    1. They've been awaiting new businesses for decades but only getting then now that gentrifiers are moving in. In other words, Shaw, Logan and CH are attracting businesses to the extent that they are making the poor and public housing a smaller and smaller segment of the population. Face reality, no one wants to be near public housing.

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  26. "...the idea of having moderatley priced units hold back a neighborhood's potential is silly."

    Actually it's not. The median income is dragged down in Shaw due to overwhelming amount of low-income housing. Crime is also higher around concentrated low-income housing areas. When people are doing their market research and looking at a potential customer base to determine if an area is a good place to invest money in opening a local business, they often pass over Shaw. After all, why would you risk opening a business in an area with fewer potential customers (as fewer people can afford your goods/services) and a greater chance that a crime could be committed against your business, when other areas don't have the same challenges?

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  27. "Just what Shaw needs, more low income housing"

    80% AMI = around $80,000/year in income in this city. If people earning $80,000/year are who you consider low income, your perspective is terribly askew.

    "Crime is also higher around concentrated low-income housing areas."

    The highway robbery and fraud that destroyed the global economy was concentrated in a high income area called Wall Street. There is also rampant drug use and solicitation of prostitution there, as revealed in tell-all books from brokers. There are many types of crime and crime is actually diffused throughout our society, stop being blind.

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  28. Common sense droping science.

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  29. Well, I guess that we can all now agree that apartments with a starting price of 2,700 a month are not low-income housing. I also believe that tenants paying the "affordable housing" rate will also be paying a sizeable amount. So, it looks like your neighborhood is still safe from working professionals who don't quite have an annual salary of
    $100,000.

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  30. Who had the idea of putting all those colors in the condo walls? They look amazing: very modern and futuristic. Though they do remind me of La Boca neighbourhood in Argentina. I had gotten a Buenos Aires temporary rent there and the houses that remained from the beginnings of the 20th century were of all colors: yellow, green, pink and violet. So it means your construction is modern as well as vintage, a very difficult thing to achieve!

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