Park Place at Petworth Metro Sells for $62 million – Retail Finally to be Filled! I’m hearing a Bank, small restaurant, and other retail are on the way

Park Place apartments at New Hampshire and Georgia Ave, NW

The wait for retail/restaurants at Park Place has been exhausting for those that live nearby (no disrespect to Sala Thai, Subway and Cricket). That wait, knock wood – knock wood, is almost over. Globest reported:

“TA Realty is acquiring the apartment building at 850 Quincy St NW for approximately $62 million or $385,093 per unit.”

I’m told the building will stay rental and for retail we can expect a bank, small restaurant and other retail coming soon. Here’s where I think the bank will be located:

Georgia and Quincy Ave, NW

Full press release after the jump.

From Moran & Company:

“National real estate investor, Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, has sold Park Place at Petworth Metro, a 161-unit luxury mixed-use apartment community in northwest Washington, DC to TA Associates. Randal Howard, Mid-Atlantic Regional Partner of Moran & Company, represented the seller in the transaction. The sale closed on October 6th, 2014 for $62 million ($385,093 per unit).

Completed in 2010, Park Place at Petworth Metro is a true Transit Oriented Development (TOD) designed with the discerning Millennial renter in mind. Located in the Petworth submarket at the intersection of Quincy Street and Georgia Avenue, the property is situated directly above the Petworth Metro Station on the Green and Yellow lines and includes a ground floor level dedicated to retail. The property is also located just one block away from a newly constructed, highly appointed 55,000 square foot Safeway supermarket.

The Petworth submarket, like many urban infill locations within the greater DC area, is experiencing unprecedented renter demand driven primarily by the influx of Millennials seeking residence in the urban core. In fact, DC ranks first nationally in overall volume of the Millennial demographic with 16% of the region’s population between the ages of 25 and 34. This cohort is seeking rental living options that are well-amenitized, within close proximity to job centers, and provide walkable access to nearby retailers and restaurants. Testament to the growing popularity of Petworth is the fact that it was named the number one U.S. market for home flipping in 2013 with an average gain of $312,400 from a home flip. During that same time period, average gain for a home flip in the greater DC metro was $104,100.

According to Randal Howard, “Park Place at Petworth Metro is well-located in a submarket that is undergoing a meaningful transformation, and garnering attention from both renters and institutional multifamily investors alike. Today, residents of Park Place not only have access to walkable amenities in the submarket, but also benefit from convenient access to nearby job centers and neighborhoods including the well-established U Street corridor.” In regards to institutional investor attention in the DC Metro area, Howard explains that, “The purchase of Park Place by an institutional investor such as TA Associates is the second major transaction in the Petworth submarket in just three months. In July, Principal Financial acquired The Swift, a brand new 218-unit building located one block north of Park Place for $75 million ($344,037 per unit). Both transactions confirm that investors remain extremely bullish on the Washington, DC apartment market due to its strength and vitality as evidenced by record levels of absorption topping 13,000 units. TA Associates is well-positioned to realize both short and long-term benefits from this acquisition and will surely uncover additional value by optimizing the mix of ground-floor retail options at the property.”

57 Comment

  • “Completed in 2010, Park Place at Petworth Metro is a true Transit Oriented Development (TOD) designed with the discerning Millennial renter in mind.”


    • samanda_bynes

      yeah, last year I was living on the corner of New Hampshire and Otis – about four blocks form there – and it just oozed the sort of annoying snobby/millennial/gentrifying attitude that all of those high rise buildings in the Petworth/CHeights area exude. A real bummer. But, I’m excited for new places to be around the area – that’s awfully nice.

    • I’ve lived right by here for several years. The corner of Georgia & Quincy has changed since then: The crazy alcoholics and crackheads have been replaced by loud, fresh-outta-college white people. The owners of that flop/crack-house at 9th and Quincy left/got evicted/sold around the time that more people started really moving into Park Place.

      Rant: The Park Place residents are probably louder than the shady alcoholics that that house brought to the corner.

      Revel: No more needles in the bushes and on the sidewalk!

      • Rant: you’re wrong. The weekend parties in the 9th street alley still trump Park Place annoyances by a longshot in terms of loudness and shadiness.

  • Anyone know how much the tenants sold their TOPA rights for?

  • It’s about damn time.

  • i just called my wife and told her we’re changing banks 🙂

  • can we get a gym, please? Vida are you listening???

    • I’m a VIDA member and I would love it if they came up our way. However, with the new tax that VIDA led the fight against, they have stated pretty clearly they will be expanding in other jurisdictions and not in DC.

    • or something more affordable

    • anonymouse_dianne

      There is a state-of-the-art workout center in the building which IIrc non-renters may join. There was interest in a smaller restaurant by Gillian clark that fell through – I’d think any number of DC chefs would like that space. IIRC when you signed your lease you signed away any TOPA rights. It’s really a lovely building with a wonderful roof with bbq pits and a bar. Would be a great place to live if managed better.

      • DC law doesn’t allow leases to waive TOPA rights. From the DC Code:
        “§ 42–3404.07. Waiver of rights.
        An owner shall not request, and a tenant may not grant, a waiver of the right to receive an offer of sale under this subchapter. An owner shall not require waiver of any other right under this subchapter except in exchange for consideration which the tenant, in the tenant’s sole discretion, finds acceptable.”

      • News to me – I’d gladly join a workout center there as I live around the corner. Can any building resident verify this? (or give me their building access card… 😉

  • Small restaurant? sounds like a shitty fast food chain.

    • IIf they have lined up a tenant for a “small restaurant”, I would imagine it would go in one of the empty retail bays between Subway and Cricket. I can’t imagine that the giant corner space with the large glass windows and room for outside seating would be space for a “small restaurant”. Can’t wait to find out what goes in there. Seems like we’ll know sooner rather than later… fingers crossed.

    • That’s the spirit!

    • I’d be beyond excited if said chain was a Chipotle, Qdoba, Moe’s, Chick Fil A, Nandos, Chopt, Sweetgreen, Shophouse, Popeyes or Jersey MIke’s. If if was a Shake Shack, a Taco Cabana, or a Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, I’d totally jizz in my pants.

      • austindc

        Sounds like there’s demand for a dry cleaner too then.

      • How long until new development condos/ apartments don’t even have kitchens? I’ve never heard of almost half of those places. I wonder if some folks, no matter how “foodie” they claim to be, don’t know how to prepare food for themselves.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          the way the smoke alarms are set in this building you can barely boil water without setting them off – they are practically in the kitchen!

          • I’m blaming user error. We lived there 3 years and set off the alarm only 2 or 3 times. Our original next door neighbor cooked every day – baking, broiling, stovetop – and never set off the alarm. Her replacement almost never cooked, but managed to set off the alarm EVERY time she did.

      • I would really like a Nandos, but man, a Shake Shack? Even the idea is overwhelming! I would love it (and get kind of fat).

  • The most interesting retail space in the building is the one at the corner of NH and GA (big square footage, lots of windows). It’d be kind of a shame if that was the bank – hopefully it’ll be something else and one of the smaller units (as PoP has speculated above).

  • FINALLY! So excited at the prospect of that retail actually getting filled.

  • Unlike you and me, they don’t pay property taxes. Luxury-subsidized housing. Thanks, Adrian Fenty!

    • Yeah, however…there’s now a building there that has anchored the surrounding area – instead of a DMV testing center. Really, honestly…thanks, Adrian Fenty!

      • Mayor Williams’ economic development team put the Park Place development on the map. Then Councilmember Fenty was supportive and rightly gave Williams credit at the groundbreaking in August, 2006 with Councilmembers Fenty and Graham in attendance.

    • don’t know the history of the building or if you’re referring to the building owners or the tenants not paying property taxes, but I’ll note that there will be about $1.5million in transfer and recordation taxes due to DC as a result of this sale.

      • The city gave Donatelli, the developer of this place, a property tax abatement for this and highland park in CH. At the time it was reported to be 100% for 10 years, and then the the abatement would be reduced by 10% per year for the next 10 years. However, I just looked it up, and the law on the books says its 50% for the first 10 years, and then a 5% increase for the next 10 years. It’s DC code 47-4629 if you’re intereste. For some reason I can’t copy and paste text into this comment field using my iPad.

        • And Donatelli also got the disposition discount from the District upfront. Guess who was Fenty’s campaign chair.

  • I’m hoping for the long-promised coffee shop…

    • I’d love it if we got another coffee shop in the neighborhood. I love Qualia but the past few times I’ve been it’s just been so insanely busy. I think the demand is there to support multiple coffee places.

    • Oh, they quit promising that about two years after the building opened. The coffee shop was going to be a venture with the people from Tynan, and they were lured away by a better deal at City Vista. Once that deal fell through the complete failure to rent any of the retail space took over. We always joked we’d open a place in that corner retail space and name it after the mysterious wheelbarrow that periodically moved around with no other indication of activity.

  • The thing you signed away wasn’t TOPA rights, it was your right to complain if the building went condo. Since it was originally planned to be a luxury condo building before the market collapsed, there was still what I think they referred to as a “condominium regime” on the books for it. The way I understood it, they had the right to convert the building BACK into a condominium and residents were agreeing that they couldn’t protest that move. In the event of any such conversion you’d continue to be a rental tenant until you moved out for other reasons or sought to buy your own unit (and the stuff about the potential for conversion referred to a partial conversion as a result of that). By signing, you agreed that you understood all that.

    So I think, but can’t prove (IANAL and our old contract is filed … somewhere) that if the new owners wanted to take the building condo they’d still be bound by those existing conversion agreements. TOPA only applies in the event of a conversion, though, so if they’re keeping it a rental it doesn’t matter who owns it. Well, except for the whole empty retail thing. That, presumably, is the fault of distant, disinterested owners who just couldn’t be bothered to rent to anybody.

    • this sounds right. The lease was over 20 pages long so I don’t r

    • No, TOPA applies to all sales, not just conversions.

      • Not to be That Guy, but TOPA actually doesn’t seem to apply for at least one, if not two reasons, defined in the relevant code. Per the opportunity to purchase seems to kick in when the sale is substantial to the tenant, either because the use of the building is going to change (e.g. be demolished or go condo) or if the building accounts for most of the business of either the old or new owners (in other words, it looks very much like the law was carefully worded to allow large corporations to buy and sell apartment buildings to each other as long as the plan is that they’ll remain apartment buildings, but ad-hoc businesses and family-owned buildings come in for more scrutiny). But even if those rules weren’t worded that way, explicitly grants an exception in paragraph 4, which I will now quote in its entirety:

        “Once converted or established as a condominium or cooperative in a newly constructed building, the owner need not comply anew with the requirements of this chapter even if the condominium units or cooperative units have been occupied by tenants partially or exclusively, provided that each tenant has been given written notice, prior to occupying the unit, of the fact that the unit being rented is part of a condominium or cooperative or each tenant who was not given notice waives the right in writing before or after occupancy or vacating the unit.”

        So, that seems to short circuit the whole TOPA notice process, since this building does have an established condominium regime. If they wanted to convert it, the new or old owners could just start converting it subject to the restrictions already laid out in the contract and whatever CJUF agreed to with the city when it converted the condo to a rental in the first place, without being subject to the standard TOPA rules.

        • Oh, I don’t think you’re being That Guy. It’s an interesting discussion, and I’m glad you’re citing the code. I think you’re misreading it though. It’s clear to me that TOPA kicks in even if it is a large corporation buying and selling apartment buildings to each other, with the plan for it to remain apartment buildings. These portions in particular make it clear:
          (b) For the purposes of subchapters IV and V of this chapter, the terms “sell” or “sale” include, but are not limited to, the execution of any agreement pursuant to which the owner of the housing accommodation agrees to some, but not all, of the following:
          (1) Relinquishes possession of the property;
          (3) Assigns all rights and interests in all contracts that relate to the property;
          And, in fact, there are lots of example of exactly that happening. When Canyon-Johnson sold the Onyx to Equity Residential for $82.5 million the residents got a TOPA notice, and when JPI sold their three buildings down there there for $94M, $165M, and $95M the same thing happened. All of those are big sales that remained apartments.
          As far as your second point goes, you may be correct. It’s beyond my limited understanding of the law, but the PR makes an awful lot of references to the apartment and rental markets, which makes me think that’s not what they’re doing.

  • yes finally! i don’t understand why a small restaurant equals in the mind of some readers as shitty. Maple for example on 11th street (Col Heights) is a small restaurant and i really love their food and wines. Hopefully something like that comes to one of the empty spaces.

  • This will likely disappoint some people, but I walked buy and saw tape on the windows that said Dunkin Donuts. Shake Shack that is not.

  • FINALLY!!!!
    Lets hope its some quality businesses (no offense, Cricket/Subway, but…). I would like to see some casual restaurants with that serves families. Something like Busboys & Poets would be amazing. As always, the area needs an ice cream shoppe as well for all of the families. And I’d second the gym idea as well – however, something that is upscale and clean.

    • I love the idea of an ice cream shop – though admittedly, its real usefulness is kinda limited. I still think someone should just do a joint bagel shop/ice cream shop (you’re hitting two different customers at different times of day).

      While I’d be thrilled with a gym, I don’t think any of the spaces in there is big enough to support anything decent. Maaaaybe the spot at NH Ave & GA (across from CVS), but there wouldn’t be a whole lot of room for cardio stuff, which takes up a lot of real estate.

  • What about the somewhat new apt bldg at Lamont and Georgia? It looks like their ground floor retail is suddenly getting fully occupied.

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