Update on 14th and Belmont/Chapin St, NW (Old Nehemiah Strip Mall) Demo and Construction

The project is finally rising! We last checked in back in Jan. ’11 and learned from the UDR group:

“2400 14th Street, NW will be developed with a nine-story high-rise building of concrete and steel construction on 0.92 acres and will consist of 255 residential homes, ground floor retail, two-level underground parking structure, and associated amenities. The community will offer a variety of floor plans with custom home features including premium grade trim, molding, flooring and countertops as well as private patios (select units) with views of the District. Residents will also be well served by the property’s community amenities including a rooftop terrace with pool and outdoor kitchen, business center with computer stations, media room, fitness center, gourmet demonstration kitchen, private serenity courtyard, and controlled access to the building and residential parking. A portion of the residential homes and retail space will be offered at affordable rents.”

Oct. ’11

Jan. ’11

June ’08

43 Comment

  • 300 new condo’s? Holy cow.

    What “portion” will be offered for affordable rental? The 4 studios directly over the garbage/next to the entrance?

    What is the definition of “affordable”? $1400 a month for the studio?

    How did they get permission to build 9 stories – that is above the height restriction if they go standard 10 feet per story. How much did they pay to get the restriction lifted… and to whom did they pay it?

  • WTF is a “private serenity courtyard?”

  • Ironic how (along with the Reeves building) this was an integral part of the engine of revitalization for this neighborhood which was so successful that itself was consumed.

    • True, it was a big step from “nothing” to “something”. But it was an eyesore and had outlived its useful life.

    • And it only took 20 years for it to “revitalize” the hood. Strip malls – DC’s answer to the problem when the angry residents burn down the retail areas of town, then wonder for 20 years why they have no retail.

    • is it ironic? seems to me that it is the expected nature of things.

    • Now if only they would rebuild the Reeves Center and make it less brutalistic and more inviting

  • This construction wakes me up EVERY MORNING (INCLUDING SATURDAYS) at 7am. It is the worst and all it is going to do is jack my rent up. Awesome. Can’t wait to see what affordable means, and how many units will be offered for rent.

  • Between this develpment, the Condo’s in front of the upcoming YMCA, upcoming Condo’s on 15th and V and the “Utopia project” on 14 and U…won’t there be too much housing? Am I being Naive?

  • Its not above the height limit, it was approved by the zoning commission after a public process. Number of affordable units should be between 8 and 10% of the total. they have to be mixed in through out the building (so no, not all above the garbage) and have to have the same mix proportional to rest of the building (so a mix of studios, one and two bedrooms if thats what the rest of the building is). they do not have to have the same finishes though. Usually based on people making 60-80% of area median income (which is around 85k I think, includes the WHOLE area like mclean and fairfax which drives it up).
    No housing glut, yet. These are rentals and DC has the tightest rental market in the Country right now. I think its around 3% vacancy. It might actually drive prices DOWN to build more or make ownership more realistic over renting. These could all be good things. People want to live and thats a great thing!

    • tonyr

      I want to live, that’s for sure.

    • It IS above the height limit. 160 feet limit. At 10 feet per story, that is 8 stories. This is 9.

      As to the 8-10% – if that is the case, then 20 apartments in total. If there are requirements, they you are describing a PUD. Lotsa places say they will do something in a PUD… and it never gets done – especially in Jim Graham’s ward 1 (where is that homeless shelter that was replaced by Antonin’s condo’s in CH.. oh yeah.. they never built it). So… we’ll see what gets put up.

      If the rent is above 1800 for a 1 bedroom, which it toally will be, then this is condo living for people who 3 years ago would have, but now cannot buy.

      You have to make 78K a year to remain at 30% of income for cost of living to be able to afford 2K a month in rent. These will do nothing to alter the lack of affordable housing in the district, and will in no way DECREASE rental costs. Good try though.

      • You’re right, this project won’t add affordable housing, but it will add HOUSING, period. Isn’t that a good thing?

        And it’s a brand-new building with a pool, so yeah, it’s gonna be expensive. Good thing there are other, less posh, apartments in the city, and the more buildings like these that are built, the less you and I have highly paid lawyers and lobbyist competing with us for the other places.

        • This has not proved to be the case. The richer folks may move into the richer places, but that doesn’t LOWER rental rates.

          There has been ALOT of housing added to DC in the past 10 years – ALL of it is luxury apartments renting at $2K for a 1 bedroom. Not a single one at a lower rate. That is not increasing housing stock for all residents, just the richest of the lot.

          Luxury apartments are not affordable to everyone in this town. And if the luxury villas do not rent at the high rate, they sit empty. Rents are not lowered, and the loss of the affordable housing is NOT made up.

          Trickle down economics does not work. Trickle down apartments don’t work either.

          • yup. the more they build the more expensive it gets.

          • Of course rents have still gone up in DC over the past 10 years. That’s because the number of people who want to live in DC, and the salaries of those people, have gone up a lot in the past 10 years, and at a higher rate that’s higher than the number of housing units added. But rents would have gone up EVEN MORE if no new housing were added to the city.

            In reality this particular building by itself will have no discernible effect on the amount you’re paying in rent for an apartment in the neighborhood, but in the aggregate SUPPLY does have an effect on price.

          • In reality, none of the new apartment buildings in DC have moderated the rental rates in DC, as they are only luxury buildings.

            Supply has had no effect on price. All of the new supply is for one market only… and no new medium priced units have been built – as no one has seen fit to create developers incentives to do so. As the supply is priced only for those newly arrived high salaried individuals, the market saturation has continued while prices have skyrocketed.

            Aggregate is only good for planners. People can’t be aggregated.

          • It’s true that all of the new buildings are luxury, but that doesn’t matter. The luxury market and the middle-grade, and the low-end markets are not completely separate and distinct – changes in one will effect the others.

      • I’m terrible at math, so I’m sure I must be missing something obvious… (1 story = 10 feet, but 9 stories > 160 feet? I woulda sworn that 10×9 = 90, but again, I’m math dumb). Anyway, there are plenty of 12-13 story buildings downtown. I’ve worked in two of them. Are height restrictions different in CH?

        • You are correct, my maths were bad. And I do appreciate the sarcasm. Me likey.

          Anyway, can’t wait to see all the affordable housing that opens in CH when these luxury skyboxes are completed.

          • If you’re so committed to affordable housing why don’t you get off your @ss and start a development company to build some?

            Oh, right, the market demand for that kind of property doesn’t allow for profitable projects, particularly in close-in neighborhoods.

            The Nehemiah center had ZERO housing units because it was an ugly strip mall. This new project will at least have 20-25 units. That’s a net gain, all at no up-front cost to DC taxpayers.

  • The building over the Shaw metro has also started rising as well.

  • there’s a strip mall on h st NE that deserves the same treatment

  • I think the people whinning about rent and affordable housing are just jealous of those who can afford these luxury apartments.

    Look on the bright side: it won’t all be affordable housing – with the same affordable housing residents that attract tons of crime to your neighborhood!

  • Ugh.. only two floors of underground parking. I live on Chapin and it’s already bad trying to find a spot.

    With that said, I still think they should have considered putting a Trader Joe’s in this development.

  • I’m in full support of this project as long as Jerry Nehemiah has nothing to do with it. That strip mall was a mess and a magnet for crime in its declining years.

  • What exactly does ‘affordable rent’ mean? Will the rest of the units be unaffordable?

  • Where is the Occupy 14th St movement?

  • yes, all the new constuction is “luxury” simply based on the cost of land to build something new. The truth is there is actually a LOT of affordable housing in dc. the issue from those whining all the time about that is that its not located in the cool hipster neighborhood of their choice, walkable to metro and a circulator line with bars and restaurants on each corner. Ever consider looking east of the river? I am guessing not cause all those poor black people aren’t safe for you right? Jesus, how entitled folks are in this city! You know who is making a killing in real estate now? the folks who did brave those scary neighborhoods because thats the only place they could afford (which I know is a totally foreign concept to most people…wow, buy ONLY what you can afford). I know cause I am one of those people who did buy what I could afford in a place years before it was cool.

  • Ok, a couple of points for clarification.

    1. The building was approved for 225 units, not 255 units. I assume it is a typo. They are limited to a residential area of 223,946 square feet. They can tinker with the number of units +/- 25 units as long as they don’t exceed the residential area. That said, 15,000 (or 6.7%) will be dedicated to affordable housing (defined as households who don’t make 80% of the median income, and The proportion of affordable housing units will reflect that of the market rate units and will be distributed throughout the building, except for the top two floors. The size of these units will not be less than 95% of the size of the average size of the comparable market unit within the PUD.)

    2. The building is allowed to have a maximum height of 90′. Correct me if I am wrong, but that is based on the lowest point of the building, which is 14th & Belmont. So while it will have 9 stories, the 2nd floor is at ground level at 14th & Chapin due to the pitch of the land it sits on.

    3. To get the increase in height, which is comperable to the View 14 building at 14th & Florida, the developer was donating money to the Boys Club at 14th & Chapin and a non-profit that helps homeless people with job training, totaling $25,000.

    4. While it will have 2 floors of underground parking, that constitutes 158 parking spaces and in addition will have 18 spaces above ground, presumably off the alley.

  • Regarding affordable housing at this location -the old site did not have affordable housing before, correct? And the new luxery complex with a pool and roofdeck is setting aside 8-10% for affordable housing, correct, meaning there is more affordable housing than before? And in general, more supply means lower prices, right?

    I understand that we need to care about the poor -but complaining about set-asides in a high-rent apartment like this seems, well, not very productive. When I had little money I lived far out on a bus route, as living near metro was too expensive. I guess times have changed and expectations are higher today.

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