Washington, DC

Yikes, I’m a little late on this one. But thanks to Marco for alerting me to the news. DC Mud reported last Wed.Metro Properties Inc. has just announced that the Allegro Condominiums, their 297 unit project at 3460 14th street in Columbia Heights, has joined the tide of condo conversions and is now destined to become an apartment building.”

So it begs the question: Do you think the condos being built over the Petworth metro will remain condos or go rental too? I think even if there is a conversion to rental it will be good for the neighborhood as there will still be lots of folks moving in to patronize the existing and soon to be establishments. How do you guys interpret the news for Columbia Heights, Petworth and the general trend?

And of course Happy President’s Day!

Comments (8)

  1. It’s strange because the Allegro condos are still being posted on craigslist as for sale. This is what I hope happens in the area: the glut of rentals forces the prices down and more people can afford to live in the area. The market hopefully will correct itself in this way to make up for the lack of action on the part of our government to protect low income housing in this city. Then maybe we can hope for a truly diverse neigborhood, with housing prices steady, rentals reasonable and less tension between those being “forced out” by economics and those who have chosen to move in to the neighborhood.

  2. I spoke with “Larry” from Donatelli last week and he said that Park Place is still slated to be a condominium, but to be honest he made it sound as though they were open to the idea of rental property. He said, “it’s the same thing, just different forms of ownership”. Right. Anyway, I called because I wanted to know what retail leases were in place and it’s only Mocha Hut for now. Also, they don’t plan to open until the first quarter 2009 and he said that leasing is generally premature and that they don’t usually secure leases until the facade is up. That part makes sense at least.

  3. IMHO I hope the condos over Petworth Metro remain condos to provide more stable residency and hence more of an opportunity to build community in the long term. Having said that, good quality rentals are not a bad thing either. Perhaps by first quarter 2009 some of the condo backlog has been sold and a new reasonably (?) priced condo has takers.

    Pity about Allegro. It would have been a nice condo anchor for the upper part of 14th St. But it will be a great thing no matter what to provide more foot traffic to the blocks around there and hopefully as a knock on effect will speed up renovation of some of the few remaining boarded up houses on the other side of the street etc.

  4. Hmmph. I don’t have any numbers on this, but it would seem to me that the more expensive rentals are probably more open to transient groups: either the really rich that have a contract job for a short amount of time, those that are looking to buy but need a place to set up shop for a little while keeping the standard of living they are accustomed to. I know that if I had $1200/month to throw around on rent, I’d be looking for a house. It seems that my neighbors, that are all paying less than a $1000 a month have been here for years, and years. Or perhaps, we aren’t the kind of community you are hoping to build.

  5. First, it does not “beg the question.” It raises the question. OK, pet peeve aside…

    I expect at least some of the planned condo development will go rental, and I am not thrilled about that. So much of this was foisted on the neighborhood with the statement, “But more owners in the neighborhood means more people who care about the neighborhood!’

    While I do believe that many renters care about where they live and will improve the general neighborhood , I also know that as they don’t own their space, the landlord is responsible for upkeep, not the residents. Apartment buildings deteriorate over time in a way that owner occupied property does not.

  6. Christopher, I meant/said condos build that long term residency more than (any price point) rentals.

  7. There are plenty of people in Petworth and Columbia Heights who have been renters for 20 years+ and have been stabilizing forces in both. I don’t think renting automatically means that you’re not engaged, and our market is actually somewhat insulated from the really flat trends in other areas, because of the Feds . . . so I don’t think rental automatically equals bad. There are also lots of condo owners who are buying with the sole intention of moving on in five years or even less.

    I am excited about new retail on Georgia Avenue, and I think that new people will equal new demand, and new thoughts about “neighborhood-serving” retail.

  8. Renters are dirty, diseased, uneducated, and foul their own nests. They should be driven from our neighborhood along with the poor.


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