Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Demolition on East Capitol

Hill East has fewer abandoned buildings and more rubble after the recent demolition of the vacant, 80-unit apartment building (pictured) on East Capitol Street, SE, between 17th and 18th Streets. The 42,629-s.f. site is near RFK Stadium just across from Eastern Senior High School, which itself has gotten a bit of a makeover lately. The demolition makes way for Kennedy Place, a 141-unit condo building developed by The Merion Group and designed by PGN Architects.

General contractor, Moseley Construction Group, is responsible for the demolition and construction. According to Johnny Moseley, President of Moseley Construction Group, the demolition is 50 percent complete. Moseley said he was "not sure" about the status of the second phase, actual construction.

The project, originally planned as 131 units by then-owner Comstock East Capitol LLC, received a zoning extension in 2009. The approved zoning changes and plan modifications give the developers until December of 2010 to file a building permit, and December of 2011 to begin construction.

In December 2007 Comstock received approval for a consolidated PUD allowing construction of a 133-unit building. In that same month, Merion acquired the property for $6.2 million from Comstock, which paid $9 million in 2006. Merion Chairman Bill Bensten was formerly a senior executive at Comstock.

Washington, DC real estate development news


TimK on Jun 24, 2010, 12:24:00 PM said...

I live a block away. Looking forward to some new neighbors. It's a long shot, but any chance of ground floor retail?

Anonymous said...

Question - is this condos or rental? I assume condos and quite expensive ones at that (with a few put aside for lower income).

Anonymous said...

Why does there always have to be set asides for lower income? If you can't afford a certain area, you shouldn't live in a certain area!

Shaun on Jun 24, 2010, 1:36:00 PM said...

The building is currently set to be condos, but as we all know, that's subject to change.

There will definitely be affordable housing because of new Inclusionary Zoning Rules, which kicked in almost a year ago. Written partially to reduce high concentrations of affordable housing in one building or area, the IZ rules require that new buildings (or groups of homes) with 10 or more units provide 8 to 10% of new units as affordable for "moderate-income households" - applicants making up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Buyers at 80% AMI often include public employees like police, fire and teachers.

Tom A. on Jun 24, 2010, 1:53:00 PM said...

anonymous- I consider myself "moderate income, but was determined to be too poor to try to buy at the new EYA development on the hill.

A single person needed to make between 85k and 105k to be eligible for their "workforce housing" program. Of course they wanted me to buy one at the "regular" price of 600k+!

Instead, I moved to Baltimore, where I'm "rich!"

Anonymous said...

The previous PUD had an AMI that excluded teachers, policemen and firemen. The condos topped out at 750,000 per unit and the parking was not included (additional 50K). Also, most of the units were planned as one bedrooms. That left a concern that once people decided to have families they would move. The fear was that the property would become a revolving door of sales or sublets with no hope of building a stable community there.

Unknown on Jun 25, 2010, 8:57:00 AM said...

Anonymous...interesting comments. I think part of the dilemma for urban development or in this case redevelopment is how do you produce a project that is profitable enough to encourage investors to help fund the cost and yet keep the resale per unit down enough to make it a place that people call home. Instead of the revolving door of sales and sublets as you illustrated?

The reality is the cost of realizing this and many projects with meaningful ideas are hard to do in a way that better serves the community long term. What developer, city planner, civic leader doesn't want to see viable projects for working people? I'm afraid w/o IZR's the reality is the needs of a viable place for true working citizens to live and contribute to neighborhoods and communities will be loss in the necessity to produce the greatest ROI.

How do we say to our civil employees, working professionals, and the many people who play a vital role to us all, you do not make the min $85K salary, sorry you can't afford to buy here go elsewhere? Aren't these the very kinds of neighbors and residents a city and community wants to have? In the current process few prosper while many are left on the sidelines. Just my thoughts.

Tom A. on Jun 25, 2010, 9:57:00 AM said...

Rico- great questions. Developers who build condos in DC that have an average cost of cost of say-
600k build very similar developments in other cities with a less expensive housing stock and sell those condos for an average 350k! I doubt building costs in DC are *that* much more than building costs in Baltimore or Richmond! As a business, they are more concerned about how rich they can get. They aren't really concerned about "communities." That's why we have ANCs, city governments, zoning laws and the like. Look at Houston if you weant to experience life with no zoning.

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