Update on New Condos Coming to former Ontario Theatre in Adams Morgan

PR Ontario Condominium Project Rendering[1]
Rendering courtesy of Peterson Companies

Back in Feb. we noted demo had started at the old Ontario Theatre on the corner of 17th and Columbia Rd, NW. A lot of readers have written in asking if the project has stalled. Yesterday I was told by their PR team:

“Vertical construction is set to begin in the fall, with expected completion in spring 2015.”

They also provided the rendering above which is slightly different than the one we looked at in January. Their full press release says:

The project will include 80 residential homes and 9,000 SF of retail. This is the first residential development for the Peterson Companies in the District of Columbia. “We believe in the economic vitality of the District of Columbia and are excited about investing our resources to create a beautifully designed residential and retail community in the Adams Morgan neighborhood,” said Stuart Prince, Senior Vice President – Residential at Peterson Companies.

The $30 million mixed-use project will commence vertical construction in the fall of 2013 with completion scheduled for spring 2015. Condominium homes will be available in studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans, and will include gourmet kitchens, private balconies, hardwood floors, underground parking, and walk-in closets. Residents will enjoy access to a common rooftop terrace with stunning views of downtown Washington and the National Mall.

The building is being designed by The Eisen Group of Washington, DC, and draws inspiration from Adams Morgan’s rich architectural history of art deco residential blocks, while distinguishing itself with contemporary features that speak to newer, industrial-styled buildings. The proposed design will also incorporate certain art deco elements from the old Ontario Theatre, including a corner canopy, poster cases, and the “coming attractions” marquee signs.

McWilliams Ballard will manage residential sales with homes available for purchase in early 2014. Peterson Companies will handle the retail leasing and management.

29 Comment

  • Two YEARS from start to finish?? I get that we’re not Dubai, with thousands of underpaid Malaysian immigrants at our beck and call, but sheesh. I cannot fathom how it’s worthwhile for the developers to drag it out this long. It has to be possible to streamline, no?

    • if it was possible to streamline i’m sure they would streamline since they lose money every day it isn’t sold. you can probably thank permitting bureacracy for the delays – whenever something seems inefficient and to make no business sense, you can probably thank the government.

      • Jump to conclusions much? Many developers see the looming glut of multi-family units delivering in the near-term. Therefore, they are timing their projects to not directly compete with thousands of other units delivering. My company’s new multi-family project could have started construction months ago, but we are purposely waiting until the timing is right.

        • While your construction dumpster eliminates parking and the security fence around the site eats up half the sidewalk? Charming.

          • I see you know our project well. The site is currently vacant land with nothing happening but utility relocation, but thanks for the insight.

        • If you’re waiting for continued construction of new residential units to slow down before you start building, get out of the residential construction industry in DC. The wave is not slowing down any time soon.

          • Actually, it will slow down and it is highly dependent on the location. You don’t want your building to deliver when three other buildings are delivering at the same time nearby.

  • austindc

    Residential homes are so much nicer than commercial homes.

  • I’m sure these will be really affordable

  • yeah it’s a little strange that they half demo’d the theater and…. now it’s going to sit half demo’d for the next 6 months until they start construction. Rendering looks nice though and 9000 sq feet of modern retail could could really enliven that stretch of Columbia Rd which has nice wide sidewalks

    • They probably wanted to eliminate any resurgent cries of “historic preservation” that might slow down an already drawn-out schedule. So they got the demo permit and ripped down the theatre, leaving the lot vacant until the rest of the planning/permitting gets done.

    • Or, it could be why they used the phrase ‘vertical construction’, which people seem to find so amusing. It’s likely they will be doing a lot of work in the coming months prior to the start of vertical constuction – minor things, like creating the foundations, digging out the space where the parking will be, sorting out the utilities – all while working around the portion of the theater building that was not demolished, in response to preservation issues.

  • Are they putting parking beneath the building?

  • Many condos are financed with pre-purchase – or at least loans to build are contingent on X number of units being pre-sold. Maybe both apply to some extent here which may explain the time frame.

  • What’s with all the fake people walking around?

  • I would have preferred a renovated theatre. Also not looking forward to the mini-DC USA that will likely occupy that 9,000 SF of retail

  • As ugly as the vacant theater! I’ll bet those balconies will get a lot of use as bike storage.

  • I think I preferred the decrepit chopped-up theater building. This looks like Disneyword. Or National Harbor.

    Oh wait. It’s a Peterson project. Duh . . .

  • figby

    Condo canyons spread to Columbia Road. Blergh.

Comments are closed.