Former Adams Morgan Exxon to Become ‘The Adamo’ Condos Opening Spring 2015


The Adams Morgan Exxon closed June 30th at at Calvert and Adams Mills Rd, NW. Thanks to a reader for sending word about the new name, signage and rendering for The Adamo:

“1827 Adams Mill Road
Delivery Spring 2015”

Stay tuned for word about the first floor retail space when it gets leased.

Rendering via Perseus Realty

50 Comment

  • Creative name…

  • andy

    I will wait to buy my unit in its future companion building at the future former site of the Car Crash Corner McDonalds — “La Morganza.”

  • Curious how the retail portion works out in AdMo and DC developments in general. People have been pointing to the additional residential density from this project and the Ontario Theater project as helping the AdMo retail scene. But, both projects are actually adding more retail space to the neighborhood. In all likelihood, 35 units won’t create enough new demand to support ground floor retail in this project. Therefore, the new retail may actually exacerbate, not help solve the AdMo retail issue.

    Seems like a similar issue is happening on 14th and H Street where residential development is restricted to the main streets leaving the rowhouse side streets untouched. Each new project is creating retail supply faster than residential development is creating additional retail demand. To really improve the retail corridors in the city, we need to get serious about redeveloping the residential side streets at higher density to create demand for the neighborhood retail zones.

    NYC and Paris have tons of great commercial corridors because they have tons of dense residential side streets packed with 5-7 story walk up apartments.

    • I concur with your observations on retail demand. But your apparent solution – to “redevelop” century-old rowhomes on side streets -would wreck the architectural fabric of DC, and ultimately make the city a less interesting place to live. Ultimately, if demand can’t support the new retail space, some of it should be used for ground-floor residential units instead.

    • There is still a lot of demand for retail in the neighborhood. Just look at the census data – most census tracts within a 1 mile radius of 18th and Ontario have a population density of 30,000-50,000 per square mile — roughly the same density of Williamsburg Brooklyn. What’s more, housing vacancy in these census tracts is very low. Among the 10,000 housing units within 0.25 mile radius of 18th and Ontario, fewer than 10% are vacant. Add to that the neighborhood’s demographics – generally higher than average education and income levels .

    • What if 18th street in Adams Morgan were redeveloped and to include 4-6 floors or residential above the businesses? Granted because so many are bars – there would likely not be a huge demand for a condo above a place like Grand Central. This proves why concentrating nightlife in one area is a terrible idea and that the best way to combat is not through ANCs but encouraging (through zoning, tax abatement, incentives..) redevelopment along retail cores to include significant housing unit.

      • Yeah, all of those 1-story buildings on the north side of Columbia Rd are screaming out for 4-6 stories of residential redevelopment. It’s not on 18th so you avoid the bars, plus with Old City closing, everything there is either a chain or vacent, so it’s not like we would be displacing local retail.

        The only potential losers would be the people living on the backsides of these buildings on Lanier street. But, welcome to the world of city living.

  • Wow, that doesn’t look like . . . . every new building being built in every city in America. Snore.

    • What exactly did you want?

    • That’s true but most buildings in Adams morgan do not look like that. I mean, Admo has its share of very interesting pre-war buildings and row homes but also a ton of really ugly buildings. At the very least, I’m happy it’s not paying architectural homage to the former gas station it’s replacing.

    • I am so so with you, Anonymous. And Rick, what do I want? I’d like, for once, in my home town, a building that looks like it was designed by an architect and not a developer. For sure, there are worse buildings out there that this one they’re planning. But it’s just…soul-less. Grace-less. These buildings are going to be around a long time. How about a little beauty and vitality along with the functionality? And understand: I don’t necessarily mean a classicist throwback, although those buildings are lovely. Modern can be warm too. Again, you need an architect who cares about the vibe of an entire neighborhood and works with it. I am seeing my city eaten up by buildings designed by out-of-state developers, that barely nod to what’s around them and it makes me sad. Columbia Heights is now throwing up downhill onto lower 14th street… Once more damn building that promises to appeal to your “luxury lifestyle” and I just might go postal.

      • jim_ed

        You are aware that almost all of the residential development in DC is done by local developers, right? Douglas, Western, MRP, JBG, Monument, Donatelli, etc. are all locally based.

      • There are indeed developers build at a higher-level (think Abdo), but those properties come with hefty price tags. As much as I agree with your general point of wanting a higher level of thought/design/cohesion, it just doesn’t often pan out financial for those fronting the development money.

        • Hi Jim. If that’s the case, I’m schooled, but I’ll need to dig a bit more. I got that information about outside developers from an article I can’t find right now (of course!), but basically it said that with the bubble bursting all over the country, a lot of developers came to “park” their money in the relatively safe DC market. Not that outside financing is by definition bad, but there was a connection made between that and the kind of development that has been happening. And given the lack of design creativity I’ve been seeing, I found that interpretation believable. If I find the article, I’ll post it.
          Regardless of who’s doing the developing, it doesn’t change my feeling about the quality of what is being built for the most part. To be clear: while sometimes there are aspects of gritty under-developed DC that I very definitely miss (State of the Union, Big Hunt when there was still wall-to-wall astro-turf in the bathrooms, Kilimanjaro’s, anybody??? 🙂 ), I also don’t want to over-romanticize or be falsely nostalgic about high murder rates, crack epidemics and other elements of that grittiness during which real people suffered terribly… I’ve been living in DC for at least five years every decade since the 70s, and some of what I’ve seen happen lately is lovely and amazing. But at the very least, it would be nice if people building things would vary their designs from boxy glass and steel with random pergolas. I love my hometown. If grow it must, then I want it to grow well, and grow in a way that is true to its spirit. (Exit Pam off soapbox, stage left).
          P.S. Some interesting articles about all this: , and .

          • (not Jim) – Pam, you’re right that there’s also A LOT of outside money coming into the city, but most of it isn’t going to concern itself with such small-scale projects as the Adamo (what a horrible name). These are the likes who are fronting A LOT of cash to build larger-scale projects like City Center.

  • Happy this is getting built. Super lazy with the name, though.

  • Remember the Adamo!

  • There’s no basement in the Adamo!

    But for reals, I can’t help but think that the building boom bubble is gonna burst soon. Anyone have any stats on occupancy rates in these luxury buildings finished in the last 3 or 4 years?

    • I have one statistic: RBIntel reports days on market for sales in December (the slowest month of the year) = 36. I also watched 1700 Euclid, which still has the Bennett stoop-sitters across the street. I think the majority of their units pre-sold during construction, and all sold shortly thereafter.

      DC population is increasing rapidly, and the people moving in tend to be young but affluent – the perfect customers for decent condos.

      I have lived in Adams Morgan for 14 years, and it slowly, but surely gets better. We have some very nice restaurants now — not just bars where suburban kids come in and drink cheap beer till they puke on their shoes.

      One problem with the density and retail is that many of the large apartment buildings with high density are owned by Jubilee, which has low income resident. I am not criticizing Jubilee. I think they do a great job in providing quality affordable housing and helping their resident blend into the community. The new condo construction — 1700 Euclid, The Adamo, and the Ontario Theater building are bringing in more affluent residents to balance that. And– when it opens — the Line Hotel will add significantly to the casual shopping street traffic.

      • Actually, I think you kinda are criticizing bringing low income residents into the neighborhood.
        And it’s really more like keeping some (small) number of low income residents in the neighborhood as opposed to bringing new ones in.

        • I actually think there should be a balance, and Jubilee already has a lot of properties here. I would not like to see them totally take over the neighborhood, though. Research has shown that low income people do better when they live in a mix of races and socio-economic levels.

          Jubilee does a great job. Their renovations are top-notch. They have an active jobs program, They have programs for teens and other social services. You never see the kind of misbehavior around their properties that you see around public housing.

          People with lower incomes need someplace to live. I am glad that Jubilee is helping people live in nice surroundings that contribute to their sense of self-worth.

          • I don’t see much danger of Jubilee “taking over” the neighborhood given that they only own seven or eight buildings, with a total of 284 units. The last property they bought was in 1986 and their last fundraising campaign was for renovating their existing properties, not buying any new ones.
            So, no need to worry about any influx of the non-wealthy into Adams Morgan.

        • Also, Anonymous at 11:00 am — it is not a small number of units and residents that Jubilee has in the neighborhood. You may not have noticed them because they are very nice, very well restored and maintained buildings. Check out their web site. You may even want to donate to them. I would, but I only financially support planned parenthood, because I have spent my life’s work in women’t health

  • Spring 2015 seems ambitious. I’ll be interested to know if this will actually get done in just one year… although I guess the developer could argue that spring 2015 goes until June 2015.

  • that building does not fit in with any of the surrounding architecture. What a shame on such a prominont location.

    • I agree completely; it’s so disappointing. Shame on whichever city worker approved those plans.

      • Yes, shame on people for approving plans that are well within the law! SHAME SHAME SHAME

        • Is “well within the law” the only criteria by which you judge these things? Cause I’d prefer a building with little personality to this boring-but-legal dreck.

    • First, it’s by right so no such approvals necessary. Second, while I don’t think this is an architectural gem, contrasting styles can add interesting layers to the neighborhood aethsthetic. The proposed nearby hotel for example was initially going to be very modern (before the NIMBYs got involved) because the HPRB wanted it to contrast with the classical look of the church.

  • How long until the SunTrust parcel gets redeveloped? That’s a ton of prime space for a bank and a brick park.

    • Yes — and the Sun Trust building is butt-ugly. They should have broken the architects’ pencils.

    • Most of the large space in front of the SunTrust is public space. There used to be a turn lane there that was incorporated into the existing sidewalk/island.

      • Actually that’s not true. SunTrust owns the bulk of the plaza in front of it. Most of the space in front of BB&T on the other hand, is public space.

        • Oops, I was getting the two confused — I was thinking of the BB&T on the northeast corner and had totally forgotten about the existence of the SunTrust on the corner diagonally opposite.

    • Yes

      Bring the old Knickerbocker Theatre back!!

    • Yes, SunTrust should look into transferring this property to an in-house REIT or selling it off to a developer. So underutilized and depressing.

  • Sure wish the owner of the Exxon on 14th and Parkwood in Columbia Heights would sell. That place is a disaster.

  • Is that guy in the rendering wearing a red wings shirt and hat?

  • as a young yuppie, i look forward to struggling to raise my future family in a 2 bedroom condo since that’s all DC is ever going to build.

  • This morning I saw the environmental cleanup crew setting up. It made me wonder if they are capable of taking out all of the fuel residues that surely linger in the soil and bedrock there.

    • Yea, they’ll be able to. My ex’s granddad owned a garage and gas station in NYC and it is now luxury condo’s. Took awhile to clean it up, but that is what the environmental crew is for.

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