Sunday, December 10, 2006

View 14 Condos Goes Rental

View14 condos, the high-profile project by DC-based Level 2 Development, will reportedly end sales on its project at 14th and Florida, NW, and build the yet unrealized project into rental apartments. Bethesda-based SK & I Architects designed the building to angle away from the road with walls of glass that, with the natural slope of the land, will supply many of the 170 units with a view downtown when completed in mid 2008. The much anticipated project is expected to realize the District's goal of creating a retail strip from downtown through Columbia Heights, replacing a once thriving row of auto dealerships that in recent decades became the archetype of urban blight. The 14th Street corridor's more recent rebound includes local developers like PN Hoffman populating the strip with pricey condominiums, and one of the higher concentrations of local retail in the city - at least up to W Street, where Busboys and Poets signals the end of the developed strip, until now. View14 is replacing the old Petrovitch body shop and a bevy of enormous Comcast satellite receivers, most of which have already been removed.

Many local developers have faced pressure from investors to move away from condos and toward the more lucrative apartment market, especially where investors require pre-construction sales up to 2 years in advance. Such requirements have been harder to accommodate as fewer buyers are finding it advantageous to sign a contract one to two years before completion, forcing developers to cancel condo projects early in the development projects. Level 2 is partnering with Centrum Properties, a large Chicago-based developer, to help realize the ambitious project, and retains further plans to replace the outdated Nehemiah strip mall across the Street, which it purchased for $13.2m in March of this year and intends to plow under next year in favor of a mixed-use development with condos and retail.


Anonymous said...

This is the same situation that happened at the Chase at Bethesda. They only sold about 7 out of 110 units in one of the two buildings originally planned for renovation and accordingly could not proceed. The website has removed all mention of the second building (although you can see it on the map). Many of the units were already renovated, so it will be interesting to see if the building is sold or turned into rentals. Unfortunate situation for all of the previous renters who were forced out for no reason.

Ken on Dec 13, 2006, 10:46:00 AM said...

Unfortunate for all involved. The project looked very nice, by almost any standards, and no one expected it to sell out 12 months before being built, but lenders are preferring rental units now, even though they can't make a penny on it until the project is built.

Anonymous said...

Hard to feel sorry for them. On two visits to sales office, I was virtually ignored by the "too cool" sales help. Not the way to sell in a cooling market.

Anonymous said...

the too cool sales team is like that with all their projects. too bad they rep half the projects going up in the city.

Anonymous said...

I was on of the buyers at View14 and was very sad to see it go :(

I was really looking forward to living there! Apparently the developer said they could make more money as a rental... but who knows!

As for the comment about the too cool sales team, I'm not sure what you're talking about. I found them to be extremely helpful.

Anonymous said...

Please check out the condomium "Halstead Tower" in Alexandria. This condo(about 170 units) sold out 2 years ago and it is completed in last November. However, developer, DSF, cancelled whole contract right after settled 2 units and returned earnest money deposit to rest of purchasers. Developer is dealing with another developer who is trying to convert this condo to rental APT.

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