Row House from early 1870s at 1823 S St, NW Being Converted Into Condos


I just noticed that that the tall yellow row house at 1823 S St, NW is being converted into condos. This one has been house of the day a few times. Kinda hard to tell from the photo above but it has a cool double bay window that spans two floors.

Some history from the Historic Preservation Board:

“1823 S Street, NW is a three story Italianate frame rowhouse that likely dates from the early 1870s, just prior to the building code prohibition of frame construction in 1877. The façade features a two story frame projecting bay, bracketed wood cornice, and two over two windows.

The property, together with a two story frame house to the east, is set back approximately 5’ from the building restriction line and the adjoining late 19th century rowhouses and early 20th century apartment houses. The rear elevation has been substantially altered from its original condition; it is covered in a thick layer of stucco and has a fenestration pattern and windows that are not original and appear to date from the second half of the 20th century.

The house is unusual, both for the Dupont Circle Historic District and city wide, as frame houses in Washington are more typically two stories rather than three. It is possible that the house was originally constructed as a twin of the two story frame house next door with the third floor added at a later date.”


Close up of the rendering after the jump.


29 Comment

  • Oh boy. Here it comes…

  • Ugly as sin. Another complete rowhouse bites the dust. Greedy developers.

  • I’ll miss the fun paint colors.

  • No thanks!

  • It sold for $650k in May. Must have been in really rough shape before hand.

    Replacing rundown single family house with four units is great. We can argue about aesthetics all we want but if we’re serious about adding people to the core and keeping prices down (or, rather, from escalating wildly) this is exactly what the city needs.

    • +1

      Seriously people, condo conversions are great, unless you want either 1) a city incredibly rich people or 2) a uninhabited neighborhood. Moreover, this one doesn’t appear to change the facade much at all, other than paint color, which can always be redone.

    • “Keeping prices down”? Most rowhouses converted into condos seem to result in very pricey condos indeed.
      If you’re arguing that this is a good thing because of increased density, fine, but I don’t think you can argue that converting rowhouses into condos keeps prices down.

      • Uh, yeah you can. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a 600 square foot condo in Dupont is going to go for less than a 2400 square foot house in Dupont. And, to boot, will add to the supply of 1 bedroom condos in Dupont. Greater supply + same demand = lower prices.

        • A 600-square-foot condo in Dupont with all of the bells and whistles that people expect from a brand-new renovation like this helps push up the prices of other 1-bedroom condos. And while a fully renovated 600-square-foot condo obviously goes for less than a fully renovated 2400-square-foot house, I see that the price range for these renovated condos extends beyond the purchase price for the (evidently in need of much work) house itself.
          The inventory of condos for sale isn’t big enough for new ones coming onto the market to create a glut. Greater supply plus same demand could possibly equal less intense bidding wars, smaller escalation-clause amounts, etc., but the increase in supply would have to be huge to keep prices even on a plateau, let alone make them fall.

          • So what’s your suggestion? Keep supply limited?

          • I’m not opining on whether it’s a good or a bad thing to convert rowhouses into condos. What I’m saying is that it seems unlikely that these new condos will bring down prices.

          • i’m guessing you never took an economics class

          • You’re going on the premise that the existing supply is sufficient to meet demand. It isn’t.

          • “You’re going on the premise that the existing supply is sufficient to meet demand. It isn’t.”

            First of all, this comment makes no sense from an economics perspective. Supply and demand always meet, it’s always just a question of the outputs: price and quantity. Therefore, while I might agree with you that demand is very high, if you want to bring prices down the curve, the solution isn’t to make supply MORE stagnant, it’s to increase supply.

          • Markets almost always are distorted in some way and things like supply and demand work better in large aggregate cases than in very local cases. The simplistic version of market econ here and elsewhere on blogs would have Adam Smith rolling in his grave. My guess is that this will do nothing to reduce the going price for a 1 bedroom in Dupont.

      • New condos aren’t going to be that cheap, but the longer this goes on, the more not brand new, super high end condos will be available. That’s how this gets things cheaper. What’s a luxury building now won’t be a luxury building in 20 years, it’ll be cheaper than the 2033 condo builds.

        • Fair enough… but does that really count as bringing down prices?

          • Yes, because this conceivably makes four condos built or renovated 10 years ago cheaper, which makes four condos from 20 years ago cheaper, and so on.

          • I don’t think it will make them cheaper in any absolute sense, only in comparison to this one.
            If the “going rate” for a 10-year-old one-bedroom condo of X square footage in Y neighborhood is, say, $450K, the introduction of a brand-spanking-new condo isn’t going to push that condo’s price down. The developers will just price the new one higher — say, $470K.

  • I can’t remember if this is the one that back when I was in grad school was a group house (that’s 10-12 years ago). If it was, then it was in rough shape then…

  • They are significantly changing the facade of this place, as they are adding a whole extra level and extending the facades upwards. Weird.

  • here’s the website, with interior renderings and floor plans:

  • Yikes! A “master bedroom” that is 9×12 feet!

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