Judging New Buildings – The Iridium

by Prince Of Petworth February 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm 14 Comments


The Iridium is located at 1306 Pennsylvania Ave, SE. A friend tells me that it is pretty new building. I’m digging the big balconies. What do you think of the style? This building also leads to another question. If you bought into a new building with the promise of retail on the first floor, would you pissed if a CricKet (as is the case here) or a tax preparer or something like that went in? Or are you far more concerned with the condo itself and whatever retail comes in would just be gravy?

  • KR

    Pretty soon, the entire periodic table will be represented in the form of D.C. Condos.

    Looks good, except for the Cricket eyesore.

  • Rukasu

    What you don’t see in the pic and what PoP doesn’t mention, is the enormous low-income project literally across the street from this condo complex. This building is in probably the sketchiest area of Penn Ave strip between Eastern Mkt Station and Potomac Ave Station. The Chinese restaurant on the corner of the condo (pretty sure its the red brick building to the left in the picture) has a plexiglass divide between the cook/cashier and customers. The Sunoco station across the way was the site of a carjacking last month. While these are minor things in the grand scheme of things, the Cricket would be the least of my complaints.

    But I think I recall hearing that Fenty is tearing down the project soon (that’ll do wonders for his tanking approval ratings), so I guess this condo would be “an investment”

  • Victoria

    The cool kids just call it “77”

  • Anonymous


    this area is not sketchy at all. There have been car jackings all over the hill (mostly in PSA 103 on the NE side) and while the single incident at the Sunoco station is alarming, the MPD has stated at community meetings that the suspects and those apprehended have largely come from Ward 7, using Benning Rd. as an escape route.

    Potomac Gardens is overblown as a major problem by some people who don’t know the area that well. The plexiglass there and in other locations around the Hill is nothing new either.

    • Rukasu

      I’m not saying the plexiglass is new, I think the carjacking cases are overblown, hell I live in the neighborhood, what I’m saying is, I’d prefer a Cricket on the ground floor more than I’d prefer a dumpy Chinese restaurant next door whose fume hood wafts up to my balcony giving me MSG hunger pangs 24/7 and a project across the street.

    • i bought gas at that sunoco the night of the snowpocalypse back in december. the store was locked up, and i had to pay through the window. i wanted to go inside and get a drink, and the cashier said, “look around this neighborhood—you think i’m going to open this door?”

      he seemed genuinely afraid.

      i disagree, but i wanted to put that out there. it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in that area—but it’s DC, that could apply anywhere.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly — it’s nothing out of the norm in any number of places around DC.

        I’ve been in that station too and on my last visit during broad daylight the clerk made an unsolicited comment about the safety of the area. Not to stereotype, but it was not a fearless convenience store clerk like Apu. There have also been a few con artists habitually hustling customers there for cash, so I get the reservations even if I don’t share the concern.

        The DC crime maps show modest crime numbers. Mostly theft from auto and not a lot of violent crime.

        PG is no Kentucky Courts and not a high traffic slingin’ location. There’s more of that to the east in the alleys off East Cap and around 15th St., though much less than there used to be. I wouldn’t consider those areas unsafe either.

  • NewShawNeighbor

    I almost bought in this building. The view and roof deck are AMAZING. And if you check the DC crime map, 13th and U, NW has more crime than 15th and Penn SE. ultimately though, it was just too far out of our social and business circles. But it’s a great space.

  • Chris in Eckington

    Personally I like the building, but there was some controversy when it was built; some neighbors thought it was “too dense”. I’m all for increased density, especially along this stetch of Pennsylvania Ave where there are some vacant lots.

  • Heather

    Iridium? That sounds dangerous. Like, need-a-lead-vest kind of dangerous.

    And yes I’d be annoyed if a cell phone store moved in, but them’s the breaks.

  • Whutchootalkinboutwillis?

    Dunno what happened at the Sunoco that left such a scar on the area however I lived directly across from the back side of Potomac Gardens for 7 years (moved to B’dale in ’05). Yes, P Gardens was a nightmare in the ’80s and early `90s. From the time I lived there its reputation was a mere glimmer of its former rep. and significantly more bark than bite. In fact, the high rise portion facing PA avenue is a seniors complex. There were approximately 3 shooting incidences during my days where an intended target was found by his adversaries (and, no, that doesn’t make it any better, but compared to Columbia Heights, Petworth….). My biggest gripe about my block was the complete incomprehension of the purpose or use for trash cans. I had to get out my broom and get over it…

    As for the Iridium…this is an HRY Design project and it is awesome inside. Great rooftop deck w/ Capitol views, too! About 10 high end units (very well done, I might add), parking, 1.5 blocks to Potomac Ave. Metro/5 blocks to Eastern Mkt/Metro/bigtime Barracks Row restaurants/bars. 1 block from Harris Teeter. Block further gets you Trusty’s. Mangiallaro’s (sp?) is across the street. 2 blocks from Frager’s Hardware, which is next door to a Vietnamese restaurant and across the street from CVS. #30 bus line (literally out the front door) hits the House side of the Capitol, the Nat’l. Mall, downtown, Georgetown and Friendship Hghts. (Never change buses!). Headed to Annapolis/Baltimore or VA? 2 min. access to I-295 and to 395 (DCA, anyone?). Reasonable walk/bike/taxi or even Metro to ball park and its soon to be (someday) Disney environs. All in all many POP reads would love to have a fraction of these assets within walking distance.

    Dang…I think I might miss my old `hood….

    • Vietnamese restaurant is gone. It’s soon to be re-opened as (yet another) salvadoran/mexican joint owned by the guy who own’s La Plaza, further west on Penn. Sad, b/c we have more than enough of the latter in the neighborhood, and I miss my pho.

  • Anonymous

    Well put. There was a flame war a few years back where someone suggested a ‘take back the night’ march through PG. I thought 1) they’re going to wake up the old folk who still have hearing; and 2) they’re going to rightfully get egged for egregious dickery.

    When PG was sketchy, the entire neighborhood around it was too. The now historic landmark Old Naval Hospital was a known shooting gallery for addicts until the mid 90s, so I wouldn’t expect the neighborhood housing project in Murder Capital, USA to be some kind of beacon. A lot has changed.

  • pop-up owner

    I’ll say it… I hate the damn Crickets. The Carjacking incident I believe is a rumor here on the nets. There was a purse snatching at the exxon on the other end of the block during the time frame referenced.

    Woman left her car doors unlocked and large purse on passenger side. Guy opened the door took the purse and took off.

    As far as the build of this building, I spoke with the contractors numerous times. They were good guys putting together a good project. The only concerns I heard officially voiced were the house next door and the concern with the easement to get into the underground parking.


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