“Urban Nirvana” will house 37 micro-units on Church Street in Logan Circle


“Dear PoPville,

I live on Church Street between 14th and 15th NW. I walk by these two apartments everyday and am so curious about what’s going on. It’s clear that no one lives there. The front doors are always open, there’s trash inside, and the buildings are falling apart. It’s as if the owners refused to sell out to the developers who completely redid the entire block back starting back in 2002. Anyone out there know what’s up with these dilapidated buildings on what is otherwise a pristine street? Again this is on Church Street between 14th and 15th (these buildings are closer to 15th).”

This is a new project from Brookrose development:

“Brook Rose Development is building one of DC’s first micro-unit projects on the 1400 block of Church Street, the ideal locale for the car-less urban dweller

This “Urban Nirvana” will house 37 micro-units ranging from 265 to 490 square feet. The glassy 8-story building will incorporate three historic town homes and feature expansive windows, multipurpose furnishings, and a communal roof deck.

Residents should have no trouble adapting to these luxurious, yet compact, suites. The best feature, however, is simply the location. Church Street is arguably one of the most desirable streets for the DC urbanite, just steps away from everything – Whole Foods, Starbucks, Vida Fitness, Flow Yoga and some of our city’s best restaurants & bars.”

13001_Zoning_Set_140131-2 pages 17 - 19 copy
Rendering via Brookrose development

49 Comment

  • For $1200 per month!

    • maxwell smart

      I think you reversed the 1 and the 2 – more like $2100 a month.

    • $1,200 a month is not that bad really…i pay 1,125 (2,250 combined) for a 2 bed room 750 sf apt in southern columbia heights thats get almost no light. For a brand new place with sun, i would consider moving there…especially since my roomate is leaving for grad school next year..

      • maxwell smart

        No way these will rent for anything less than $1800, prob. closer to $2000. Considering run-down 300 sq. ft. studios in Dupont rent for $1600, you can bet these will be several hundred more a month. It is after all “one of the most desirable streets” and that doesn’t come cheap.

    • Yeah you wish. From what I hear these are starting around $2,000. Which is, of course, utterly insane for 400 square feet of living space for you and each of your nearly 30 neighbors cramped into what used to be two rowhomes. This is becoming the classic rip-off scheme of developers in DC – pay us a premium rent for the privilege of living in a shoebox, willingy deny yourself the parking rights provided to all other DC taxpayers, and consider yourself lucky that you can walk to Whole Foods to buy your overpriced groceries.

      • ooh scratch that – units starting at 265 square feet? i served time in a cell in san quentin that was bigger. and it included three squares a day. seriously – that’s 16 feet by 16 feet square. the fire department would cite you for a violation if you had more than two people come over.

  • I’m kind of irked when developers make a big deal out of units encouraging “car-free living” – the advantages of not having a car are pretty obvious, and it would be pretty silly to live w/ a car in that area. Are they just covering their asses for not offering parking?

    • Yeah, it’s not like they are directly resposible for the surrounding area being walkable with lots of ammenities.

    • They have to make it clear that there’s no parking. I am sure there are plenty of people for whom that is a deal-breaker, so text is a way to put it out there upfront, so those folks can stop reading.

  • One person’s micro-suite is another person’s dorm room.

  • These are the units that will be disallowed RPPs – so not only are they saying it’s great car-free living, people here LITERALLY will not be allowed to get a permit for street parking. If it works, I think it’s a great plan.

    • I know they are touting the car free living, but I wonder if they plan to explain that residents can’t have a RPP? I can imagine that some who live there might want/need a car and would be mighty ticked if they didn’t know the restriction going in.

      • They’ve said that it will be a part of the lease, and will be made very clear to residents. The owners also say they will do annual checks with the DMV, and if any residents have obtained permits they will be evicted. Here’s hoping it actually works out.

        • surprise! that’s illegal. you can’t evict an owner, and the law about residential parking permits doesn’t permit people opting out. you are getting PWNED by the developer if you believe their hype about no parking being allowed for these folks.

    • How is this a “great plan”? You, as a tax-paying District resident, are just as much entitled to use the street as anyone else. But now we’re going to put property developers in charge of decided who can and can’t use the street? Who’s reaping the benefit? The developer of course. Who – in this particular case – just barely squeaked through the approval for this project. Can you imagine if they had to build parking for the 30 – yes 30 – units crammed into roughly half a city block? Start seeing these scams for what they are. Just another way to wring another nickely out of an overblow housing market.

  • “Urban Nirvana.” Translation: a walk-in closet with a bed, where the overworked law firm associate can pass out after working till 11:00 and grabbing a bite and several drinks at “some of our city’s best restaurants & bars.” Rinse, repeat.

    • A law firm associate in this city can afford way more than a walk-in closet but nice try…

      • law school debt…..

      • The issue is not being able to afford something more but not needing more. But nice try…

      • As a law firm associate in this city, I can safely say you’d be surprised. I pay more in law school loans than rent.

        • maxwell smart

          The sheer fact that you can afford to pay more in law school loans then rent on a monthly basis clearly means you are doing extremely well and can afford to pay more for something if you wanted. I’ve known many people in DC who went to Georgetown law school, paid off their loans in less than 3 years, all while taking vacations, buying new cars, renovation their condos, etc. I on the other hand haven’t taken a vacation in 2 years, am driving a 2001, renting a basement apartment and paying the minimum amount on a 25 year repayment plan. Womp womp.

  • I lived in a 450sf studio for two years – what separates that from a “micro unit”?

  • Ain’t no shame in the dorm room game.

  • Honestly, after walking through the Ikea showroom in College Park, I had a really different sense of effective use of small space. While I’m nothing even close to a minimalist, there was some huge appeal to the way they had them laid out.

    • I thought the same thing when I read this post. If anything, these would be great investment units I think, not only to rent long-term but also short-term (AirBnB or the like). If they are (hopefully) <$200k I would be interested.

      • Betcha there will be rules against that.

      • From what people were saying above in the RPP discussion, it sounds like these will be rentals, not condos.

      • Relatedly, I think a Logan Circle rowhouse would be a great investment for me.. If anyone wants to sell me one for <$600k I would be interested.

    • Emmaleigh504

      I”m not anywhere close to being a minimalist and I happily live in a small space with a crap ton of stuff.

  • We used to own a condo on this block way back before it was the street it has become. I’m SO glad we sold, since this street simply can’t handle that amount of density. The amount of development here in the last 5 years has been insane. Parking was hard 5 years ago. I can’t imagine it now (we had a garage space, but out of town friends… forget about it).

    • That’s why this place is for car-less people. It makes sense for the very reasons you describe; it’s a way to provide for development and population increase without crushing the neighborhood with more cars.

    • That ship has sailed. Logan Circle is already the densest neighborhood in the city, and is never going to have enough street parking for all (or even most) residents. If you live and Logan and want to own a car, you’re probably going to need to buy or rent a parking space.

    • are you kidding? this street is amongst the most desirable in the city. people who can afford to live on this block of church street can simply Uber everywhere for less than the cost of a car.

    • Urban development does not need to guarantee parking for for an occasional out-of-town guest

  • micro units? sounds so very NYC…. 265sq ft??? That’s a closet

  • The GGW types think this sort of thing is wonderful, a lot of people not so much. Will be interesting to see if there is an actual market for these. I’d rather rather a house or otherwise have access to open space, other than walking to the circle.

    • What a nice situation. The people who think these are wonderful can rent them. The people who don’t think they are so wonderful don’t have to rent them. Sounds like everybody wins.

  • I have claustrophobia just from reading about these units.

  • I don’t get it. Are people being forced to live in these units at gunpoint or something? If some people want to pay whatever the market rate ends up being to live car-free in a small unit in a great location, then who exactly loses? Who is harmed here?

  • Honestly, I recall seeing a story recently on this development…maybe on GGW or Urban Turf. I think the developers need some sort of zoning relief to have that many units without parking on such a small lot. I think the case was working its way through the zoning appeal process, but maybe it has been approved?

    Also, many new developments without parking are writing “no RPP” clauses into their leases or sales agreements. There are some that question the legality of this and wonder if the policy could be challenged my a resident in the future. Again, I think GGW discussed the issues.

  • Think again Anon – they’re 2600 per month.

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