Friday, June 29, 2007

DC Condo Growth to Slow

The DC condominium supply chain will decrease significantly over the next 2 years, adding fewer new condominiums to the market than it has over the past 2 years and supplying only half the number of units that had previously been expected, according to data provided by DCRE real estate, a DC-based marketing firm and real estate brokerage. The analysis shows that during the next 24 months, approximately 7600 condominium and coop units will become available for sale within the District as a result of new construction or apartment conversions, a forecast down markedly from the 13,000 new units that had been expected to be released over the 24-month period beginning January, 2006. An analysis of the market shows that many of the projects that had been expected to begin sales over the next two years had been delayed, canceled, or converted to rental units as a result of perceptions about the housing market's inability to absorb large additions to the housing supply. 

The pullback in the market reflects decisions over the past 18 months about whether to advance a project in the initial planning stages, affecting supply as early as one year later, but in many cases three to four years later due to the time needed to approve and build large projects, which often require lengthy review by a city nominally encouraging growth but fastidious about architectural review and skittish about density. Though the pace of development could be considered brisk compared to the '90's, the softening of the condo market that began in the Spring of 2005 led many developers to shelve planned construction, decisions that will reverberate even through an upturn in the market. And despite factors favorable to further development - strong job growth numbers, low vacancy rates on apartments, rising rental rates, and projected population increases across the DC area - confidence in the housing market may take some time to rebound. According to the analysis, 2871 newly built or converted units are now available for purchase on the market, a number that is likely to decrease gradually over the next year as new condominiums developments replenish supply less rapidly than it is absorbed. 

By contrast, MRIS, the region's multiple listing service, reports less than 1400 units actively on the market in the District, a total that includes resales listed with a brokerage as well as some new construction, though many new developments list only a fraction of the inventory in MRIS, or none at all. The city fared better than its immediate neighbors, which not only experienced a slowing of construction and conversion, but which saw numerous projects canceled even after significant pre-construction sales had occurred, a predicament that affected very few purchasers of property in the District. Construction and conversion that has not materialized as expected included Broadway's Atlantic Plumbing site (700 units, and may instead become apartments), the Fairfield Residential project in NoMa (650 units), Pavilions at Takoma (93 units, now to be built as apartments), T Street Flats, and Il Palazzo on 16th St. (79 units, canceled for now due to zoning issues). Many other buildings will simply be built or marketed as apartments, including Vaughan Place (530 units) and View14 (170 units) The study also shows new development is shifting dramatically, away from the Northwest quadrant of DC to Southeast. 

The spurt in development toward the less densely populated areas of Southeast DC results from several forces, including construction of the new ballpark, but also from investment in areas south and east of the Anacostia River, an area once considered less attractive by developers, but where construction can satisfy the growing demand for more affordable housing, and where land is more available and communities less opposed to construction. Building outside of downtown, where developable land is less scarce, less subject to historic restrictions, often with Metro Rail access, and offering larger parcels for development, is beginning to prove increasingly attractive for developers. And as commute times lengthen and empty lots in urban areas decrease, the middle ground between the downtown and the suburbs has become the new hotbed of land speculation. Areas with the most projected condominium development include the ballpark / Navy Yard, Anacostia / Southeast, and upper Georgia Avenue - areas where the DC government has encouraged investment and where developers hope to find better appreciation in the short term. 

Areas that had seen the largest pace of development over the past several years - Logan Circle, Penn Quarter and Mt. Vernon Triangle - will see far less new construction due to the lack of developable land. And despite persistent public fears that housing is overvalued and that supply is excessive, the development community generally perceives the market as stable to positive, viewing the market as more a factor of consumer confidence than of actual demand. "We continue to believe, and our success at CityVista supports the notion, that infill communities close to transportation nodes and differentiated by their proximity or inclusion of a neighborhood amenity base will continue to see strong demand", according to Jeff Miller of Lowe Enterprises. Adding to the woes of developers is the recent reluctance of some lenders to fund condo projects. Instead, lending institutions have in numerous cases conditioned funding of residential development on building units as rental apartments, in some cases forcing the conversion to apartments after condo sales began, to the consternation of both developers and purchasers. The perceived over-supply has led investors and banks with little stomach to fund a project that may take years to build and face uncertain sales.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Hotel Coming to the West End

One of the hottest areas for development these days is the District’s West End, the once-quiet stretch of Northwest Washington between Dupont Circle and Georgetown (north of Foggy Bottom) best known in the past for its unremarkable office buildings and lack of retail … well, excluding the long-gone and missed Cineplex West End Theater and the original Goldoni restaurant on 22nd Street between L and M Streets, and the more-recently gone and not missed Lulu’s nightclub on M Street. But new development is quickly awakening this area, starting a few years ago with the building of the Ritz-Carlton hotel/condo at 22nd and M Streets, followed by the Columbia Residences development and The Atlas on 25th Street, the new Trader Joe’s grocery store, and still more to come. The most recent news now comes with Perseus Realty’s announcement that it plans to build a new luxury hotel for Starwood Capital Group called "The One" at 2201 M Street, the site of the former Nigerian Embassy, just across the street from the Ritz. While Perseus still needs to gain approval for the project from the DC Zoning Commission (as it would exceed current zoning permission), the developer envisions a LEED-certified “green” hotel, with a glass and greenery-filled atrium stretching from floor to roof visible from the exterior. In all, the building would be 125,000 sf and 110-feet tall. Perseus expects to submit its formal zoning application in late July.

Update: The Washington Business Journal is reporting the hotel will officially be called "1 Hotel & Residences," and the $100 million, 5-star hotel will feature 180 rooms, a "double skin," vine-covered surface to insulate the building, and solar water heating. Ground is expected to be broken in summer 2008, with completion in late 2009.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Zoning Appeal for 2175 K Street Addition Postponed

The DC Board of Zoning Adjudication (BZA), scheduled to hear an appeal last week by developer Minshall Stewart Properties regarding its 2175 K Street NW project in the West End (just east of Washington Circle), instead postponed the hearing until September. Minshall Stewart had submitted a zoning application to add three stories to the office half of the existing office/condo complex at this address, but the city zoning administrator ruled that such a move would necessitate a variance from the BZA. Depending on the September appeal, Minshall Stewart will either be able to build the addition without issue, or have to go before the BZA again in November for the variance. Opposition to the addition has been voiced by both the condo side of the complex and nearby row homes to the west, which fear they will lose their views and sun to the new office floors.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bethesda’s The Veneto Project

The Woodmont Triangle area of Bethesda has been a particularly active corner of the DC region of late. In March 2006, developer Gus Pappas submitted to the Montgomery County Department of Park & Planning plans for The Veneto, to be located at 4901 Cordell Avenue, at the southwestern intersection of Cordell and Norfolk Avenues (the former location of Gallery Neptune). The project, which will curve around and front both Cordell and Norfolk Avenues, is planned to be an eight-story building with two below-ground parking levels (45 spaces), with 4,575 sf of retail and 33,824 sf of total residential space, containing 13 dwelling units. Well, that was over a year ago, and so far things are … status quo, it seems – the project application signs are still on the windows, but no movement has been seen or documented recently with the County. Looking ahead, though, it is easy to see the few blocks south of Norfolk Avenue being busy with construction cranes, with this project, The Monty at 4915-4917 Fairmont and 4914-4918 St. Elmo, and the Bethesda Maryland construction project4900 Fairmont residential project, among others, all hitting their stride around the same time. As we learn more of The Veneto’s fate, we will pass details along. 

Bethesda Maryland commercial real estate news

William C Smith to Develop S.E. Residential Projects

DC-based William C. Smith & Co. (WCS Development) has announced that it will build two new projects with a combined 322 units near Mississippi Avenue in Southeast DC near Oxon Run Park. The first of the two, Park Vista Condominiums, will add to an existing structure, in a design by Architect David Bell, to build a total of 82 condos on the 3400 block of 13th Street, all to be sold at market rate. Across the street, WCS is in the early planning stages for Archer Park, a development with approximately 240 units on 8 acres of hillside, to be built either as condos or apartments. The first phase of construction on Park Vista is expected to start this Fall, with sales likely to begin around the same time, with completion likely next Spring. WCS does not yet have an established timeline for Archer Park, but has chosen SK&I as the project architect. Both projects will be relatively close to The Town Hall Education, Arts & Recreation Campus (THEARC) and the Congress Heights Metro Station.

This is the third area development for WCS, which began sales in April on Ashford Court, a 75-townhouse community at 15th & Mississippi Avenue, SE. Home prices at Ashford Court range from the mid $400's to the mid $500's, 17 units have sold since its opening.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Randall School Project Update

Last November, the vacant Randall School at Half and I Streets in Southwest DC, long the desire of many dreaming developers, was purchased by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which announced it had bought the 80,000-sf building from the DC government for $6.2 million, and hired Monument Realty to manage its renovation into new art space and apartments. However, last week the Southwest Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6D) voted in opposition of this renovation plan, stating that the development didn’t do enough for the surrounding community. The Corcoran was hoping to gain the commission's approval before going before the Mayor’s office on June 27 (and after that the Zoning Commission, as part of the historic structure is slated for destruction), though the ANC’s approval is not required.

The Corcoran, which has outgrown its home on 17th Street near the White House, envisions using half of the fixed-up school for studio, classroom, and display space for its larger-scale art collection, while converting the other half of the building into market-rate and affordable apartments. There will also be underground parking. As part of its deal with the city, the Corcoran will offer some space in Randall to artists who used to lease space in the building. For this project, the Corcoran will sell Randall to Monument for $8.2 million, which will then manage the building. The Corcoran is donating its profit from the sale to the city’s public school modernization fund. As for the apartments, while numbers are not yet known, twenty percent of the units will be affordable housing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Greenbelt Station Transformation

Creating a “transit-oriented community” in the area surrounding Prince George’s County’s Greenbelt Station, GB Development, Fairfield Residential, Pulte Homes, RCP Development, and others are working together to complete the $2 billion retail, office, residential, and transit-inclusive Greenbelt Station project. At its completion, the project, designed by Bethesda-based SK&I Architects will include approximately 2,000 residential units, 1.5-million s.f office space, and 1 million s.f. retail space. According to the development’s website, it will also be adjacent to and centered around WMATA's Greenbelt Metro Station.

Replacing what is now a concrete plant and the existing Metro Station parking facility, the development will be pedestrian-friendly with wide sidewalks, landscaping, and benches throughout. The New York Times’ coverage of the development said the project would also offer community amenities such as ball fields, a pool, and a community center.

The development would include a variety of housing options; RCP is planning a 4-story, 378-unit multi-family housing community that will contain either apartments or condominiums at its completion. RCP’s portion will also include 80,000 s.f. ground floor retail with above grade, above-grade structured parking. Pulte homes will be constructing town homes, while Fairfield Residential is planning additional apartments. A hotel is also a possibility for the development.

According to Martin Klingel, Vice President of Development at RCP, his company has not yet submitted for its detailed site plan approval, but will within the next month. He said site plan approval could take up to a year, with construction likely to take another two years beyond that point.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Takoma Project Gets Underway as Apartments

The developer of the aborted Centex project, the Pavilions at Takoma, has begun excavation on the site to carry the project forward, now as an apartment complex. Atlanta-based Gables Residential, which owns numerous apartment buildings throughout the DC area and has substantial assets throughout the Southeastern U.S., demolished the existing structures after it purchased the land from Centex in January of this year, and has begun underpinning to make way for the new building. Gables will go forward with the same Eric Colbert-designed project originally planned by Centex, with 144 units, 180 underground parking spaces, and street-facing courtyard two blocks from the Takoma Park Metro Station, but will develop the property as rental apartments instead of condos. Centex began selling the project as condominiums in the Fall of 2006 before selling the development outright, but sales for the project were reportedly slower than anticipated, one of several Centex projects locally that began marketing but never got out of the ground. Gables expects the project to complete in the first quarter of 2009.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Silver Spring’s 1200 Blair Mill Project Has a New Name – The Argent

As mentioned just a few short weeks ago, Perseus Realty, LLC was observed breaking ground on the fence-enclosed, small 0.77-acre triangular lot located at 1200 Blair Mill Road in Silver Spring (where Blair Mill, Newell Street, and East-West Highway meet - previously home to a car detailer shop) in preparation of the developer’s $37 million residential development (pictured, but without the Mica condo looming behind it). Word now comes that this address now has a name: The Argent. When completed in mid-2008, The Argent will be a nine-story building featuring 96 condominium units (including 12 moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs)) and 46 below-grade parking spaces. Perseus is also expected to offer a roof top deck and a 4,200-square-foot public park. The residences will include efficiencies, one, and two bedroom units starting in the $400,000s. The Argent will be designed by architectural firm JSA Inc., employing art deco touches and nine-foot ceilings. JSA will also work with Baltimore-based landscape architecture firm Mahan Rykiel Associates to design the public park in front of the building, with the focal point being a commissioned sculpture by local artist Mary Ann E. Mears.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Name, New Town Center for Rhode Island Metro

As first reported in dcmud back in March when it won zoning approval, big plans are in the works for the area immediately surrounding the Rhode Island Metro station in Northeast DC, with the then-named Brentwood Town Center by developer Rhode Island Avenue Metro, LLC (the combination of Mid-City Urban LLC and A&R Development) looking to emulate the successful Bethesda Row and Shirlington mini-village concept with a “main street” and town-house style buildings. But while the plans remain, the name has now changed. The $96 million Rhode Island Station project, as it is now known, will contain a total of 370,000 sf and will include 274 rental apartments and 70,000 sf retail space that will spread along Rhode Island Avenue NE and surround the entrance to the metro station. The complex will feature a number of small buildings as opposed to two or three larger structures, allowing for color and architectural diversity. In addition, the town center will include two parking garages with over 400 parking spaces for retail and residential uses as well as parking for metro customers. The developers expect to have letters of intent from national businesses for 50 percent of the retail space by the end of this summer. The land for this project is owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, but is being rented to the developer under a 60-year ground lease. The project is set to break ground in early 2008.

"Contested" 5220 Wisconsin Project Wins Zoning Approval

Last week, the DC Zoning Commission granted its initial approval to DC-based developer Akridge’s proposed mixed-use development for 5220 Wisconsin Avenue NW, over objections by the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission regarding the project. Akridge hopes to build its $30 million Friendship Heights condominium complex just south of the metro station between Harrison and Jenifer Streets NW, now home to a flower store and a used-car lot and auto body shop. The planned building would house up to 70 condo units (seven percent reserved for affordable housing), and offer 13,200 square feet of street-level retail, plus two levels of underground parking.

In unanimously approving this project, the Zoning Commission reject opponents’ claims that the 79-foot building would tower over the neighborhood, and instead saw it as a natural continuation of the larger-scale development just to the north. A final vote on this project has yet to be scheduled.

Condo units at 5220 Wisconsin (one and two bedroom) are expected to be between 1,100-1,300 sf, with an average price of $800,000. The structure would include a five-story traditional-style brick section facing Wisconsin Avenue to help mesh it in with the existing streetscape, with an additional two stories of glass set back from the street. The southern part of the structure will taper down to three stories on the southwestern side. There will also be an open courtyard at the center of the building, which is planned to be LEED Certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), with "green" features such as a roof that stores and filters storm water and the recycling and reuse of 50% of all construction materials waste. In addition to this building, Akridge plans to upgrade the existing yet foreboding PEPCO substation to the south of this site by restoring its fa├žade, fixing the sidewalks around it, and adding windows for artwork displays. The developer hopes to start construction on this project later this year.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Howard Town Center to Move Forward Slowly, but Surely

Redeveloping almost an entire city block at Georgia and V streets, Dallas-based High Street Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trammell Crow Company, is planning Howard Town Center, a mixed-use project that will include 70,000 s.f. first-floor retail that may include a Fresh Grocer, 322 market-rate apartments, and a parking garage that will hold approximately 500 spaces at its completion. Designed by Michael Marshall and Gensler and co-developed by Michele Hagans, the $75 million project was announced by developers in April 2003, but has been on hold ever since.

According to Ed Morgan, a Principal at Trammell Crow, developers have been awaiting a final land swap of the city’s Bond Bread Building for the university’s land at Sherman and Florida Avenues. The end may, however, be in sight. Morgan said applications for permits are expected to be submitted in the spring of next year.

While Morgan did not comment on the lawsuit, the Washington Business Journal’s coverage of the suit reported that People’s Involvement Corp., a community development company filed a lawsuit against the city stating that the Bond Bread Building had been promised to the company in the 70’s. That same building was a key component of the aforementioned land swap. A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the city in September of 2005, PIC responded with an appeal. In December 2006, D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham introduced legislation to finally begin the construction of the Howard Town Center in 2007.

If permits are obtained in a timely matter, Morgan said the project could be completed as early as 2010.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pearson Square in Falls Church To Go Rental

Continuing a familiar trend, last week Atlantic Realty, the developer of the mixed-use Pearson Square condominium project currently under construction in Falls Church on the former 4.6-acre site of a duckpin bowling alley at 410 S. Maple Street between Route 7 and South Washington Street, approached the Falls Church City Council and requested permission to convert all of the building’s 230 residential units from condos to rental apartments. If Atlantic wins approval for this conversion to rentals, the company will then sell the units to Carr Homes, which in turn has a deal to convey them to the Trans-Western Company. The Falls Church City Council is expected to officially vote on this request at an upcoming meeting. This move by Atlantic is not expected to impact its deal with the city on the massive City Center redevelopment plan.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Portico a Go?

When we last left off on our saga of the Portico condominium in Silver Spring at 1203 Fidler Lane (next to Cubano’s and its tasty offerings, and just a quick walk to the Metro), it appeared the project was moribund, if not outright dead. The Patriot Group’s projected 12-story, 158-unit condominium with 89 parking spaces (original rendering pictured) was initially delayed in 2005 when the neighboring Cameron Hills townhouse development complained about the insufficient parking and density for the project, and soon after the Patriot Group abandoned the project, selling it to Centex Homes, which has been mum on its plans for the project since that time. However, there now appears to be serious activity on the site, with a massive shovel arriving on the lot last week, and excavation now in full swing this week, indicating that Centex (if not another group or even Patriot Group itself) might in fact be moving forward with this project, though whether in its original configuration or a new direction is unknown at this time. We are poking around to uncover more details, and will be sure to update this post as soon as we learn new information.
Update: It's indeed Patriot Group that has retained this project and is moving forward with developing Portico.

Monday, June 11, 2007

West End Condos Inch Forward

TRS Inc. received approval this week from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) , one of several approvals needed to develop its mixed-use project as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 1227-1231 25th Street NW in DC's pricey West End. The lot, just north of M Street across from Rock Creek Park, is currently occupied by three office buildings that will undergo a renovation and conversion over the next year, modifying one of the office buildings (at 1227) and turning the other two structures into condominiums and adding four stories to each, permitting up to 295 residential units, including up to 8,000 s.f. as "affordable" housing. The site currently houses the Bureau of National Affairs Office, which will relocate to Crystal City.

The NCPC approval was needed because the project will rise to 110 feet, potentially obstructing adjacent federal land. The DC Zoning Commission heard arguments regarding the project in March but has not yet ruled on the matter.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Old New York Avenue Hecht’s Building To Become New Mixed-Use Development?

Readers of dcmud know of our particular fascination with all the new development slated for what we call The Devil’s Bowling Alley – that stretch of New York Avenue NE starting from N. Capitol Street going to the Maryland border long known for its auto lots, warehouses, and houses of "entertainment" of mixed repute. But the march of redevelopment continues its move eastward, first with MRP Realty’s mixed-use Washington Gateway project at the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues NE, and Abdo’s massive $1.1 billion Arbor Place complex planned for where New York Avenue, Bladensburg Road, and Montana Avenue NE meet. And now, it looks like the old Hecht’s distribution warehouse, located between these two projects on 16 acres at 1401 New York Avenue NE, will be the next to go under the knife. Pennsylvania-based Patriot Equities is now under contract to purchase the750,000-sf warehouse from Macy’s, and the company plans to develop a mixed-use complex on the site, with retail, office space, and residential units. As the property is currently zoned for industrial use, Patriot will need to have the zoning changed, as well as deal with the building’s landmark status. We will be sure to update you as plans are further developed and released.

Previously: Exclusive: Washington Gateway Project Images, Details
Previously: DC Zoning Approves Abdo’s Newly Named "Arbor Place" New York Avenue Project

Thursday, June 07, 2007

JPI Announces New Residential Project for Ballpark Area

Just when you thought every available scrap of land had already been claimed around the new Nationals Ballpark area in Southeast DC, they find a new patch on which to plan another project. According to a press release just issued by developer JPI, the company is planning to build a fourth residential tower in the Ballpark zone (joining the 674-unit 70 and 100 I Street project buildings, and the 237-unit 909 New Jersey Avenue complex (pictured), which just broke ground this week). The new development – 23 Eye Street SE (on the south side of I Street, between South Capitol Street and Half Street SE) – will be a $150 million project and feature 421 residential units, plus up to 35,000 sf of retail space. Construction is expected to start in 2008. These new projects fall within what JPI is now referring to as the "Capitol Yards" neighborhood, north of the Ballpark and south of the US Capitol, below the Southwest-Southeast Freeway. 70 and 100 I Street are scheduled to be finished at the end of 2008, with 909 New Jersey Avenue set to deliver in mid-2009.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Silver Spring’s 1050 Ripley Street Project Gets Go-Ahead

Last week, the Montgomery County Planning Board gave its approval to 1050 Ripley Street, a new mixed-use Silver Spring project planned by Bethesda-based developer Washington Property Company for the warehouse-heavy 1.16-acre plot of land south of Ripley Street (and the Silver Spring Metro), east of the CSX/Metro rail lines (and future Metropolitan Branch Trial) and west of Colonial Lane. The 1050 Ripley Street project will be a 17-story building containing 305 rental apartments (46 will be moderately priced dwelling units, or MPDUs), plus over 3,000 sf of ground-floor retail. There will also be 328 underground parking spaces. Architect will be the Weihe Design Group (WDG Architecture). In addition, the developer has proposed building a new road connecting Ripley Street and Bonifant Street to the north, and a plaza/rest area alongside the planned Metropolitan Branch Trial. There will also be room allotted alongside the track/path for the planned Purple Line light rail system. The 1050 Ripley Street project might be eventual neighbors with Kettler's Midtown Silver Spring hi-rise residential project, slated for the 70,000-sf parcel of land on the north side of Ripley Street between Georgia Avenue and the railroad tracks, which (if built) will feature 317 residential units (42 MPDUs), 6,000 sf of ground floor retail/office, 480 parking spaces, and a 19th-floor swimming pool deck.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Our Feature Presentation: More Development!

Given the twists and turns of the real estate market, we often feel like cooking up some popcorn, sitting back, and watching the show. But this is taking things literally. Out in Fairfax County, the Merrifield Multiplex Cinema, located where Lee Highway meets up with Gallows Road, might soon be demolished and replaced with a massive 27-acre "town center" complex containing 800 residential units, 600,000 sf of retail (plus a rebuilt theater), and possibly hotel and office space, if South Carolina-based developer Edens & Avant and Bethesda-based Clark Realty have their way. Initial plans for this project were honored last year by the Washington Smart Growth Alliance, which praised the town center concept, along with plans to include three new urban parks throughout the site. There will also be a focus on mass transportation, with free shuttle service and pedestrian/bicycle accessibility to the nearby Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station. To date, the development team has spent over $100 million just acquiring land and planning for the project, and expects to have final site-plan approval before the county’s Board of Supervisors in October 2007. If approved, ground could be broken by Summer 2008. Together with Trammel Crow Residential’s plan to build a 720-unit apartment building with retail down Gallows Road on a 15-acre lot at the Metro station, Merrifield might soon be known for its bustling activity rather than rundown warehouses.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Silver Spring's 1200 East-West Highway Project Starts Work

For those living in Silver Spring in the Silverton or Mica, I would suggest investing in earplugs for the next year. In late May, dcmud reported that preparation work was being started on 1200 Blair Mill (the small 0.77-acre triangular lot where Blair Mill, Newell Street, and East-West Highway meet ), a $37 million, 99-118 unit condominium project by MR Associates, LLC (Perseus Realty, LLC). And now, as confirmed by our daily walk past this corner on the way for coffee, demolition work has kicked into gear on the site of 1200 East-West Highway (at the southwest corner of East-West and Blair Mill), with the existing auto repair shop on the property now meeting the wrecking crane. Originally a twinkle in the eye of Centex Cityhomes, 1200 East-West was shelved by that company last October. However, the project and plans were bought by Home Properties, with the only change now being apartments replacing the planned condos. When completed in 2009, 1200 East-West will contain a 14-story, mixed-use building, including 247 rental units (ranging in size from 715 to 1365 sf) and approximately 10,600 sf of retail space on the first floor, with over 200 below-ground parking spaces. These two projects, plus JBG and Turner Construction’s imposing 460-unit Silver Spring Gateway project just across East-West Highway, will ensure another year of orange cones, cranes, and dust for this tiny corner of town.

Previously: Signs of Life at Silver Spring’s 1200 Blair Mill Project?

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