Update on New Condos Coming to former Ontario Theatre in Adams Morgan – Prices Starting from the High $200s

by Prince Of Petworth February 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm 31 Comments

1700 Columbia Rd, NW looking east

Back in October 2013 we noted the old Ontario Theatre was completely demolished.  You can have a look at the rendering for future condos here. You can read an awesome history about the Ontario Theatre from Streets of Washington here. And check out a photo from 1994 here.


And their website is now live:

“Introducing Ontario 17, a new community located in one of the District’s most dynamic neighborhoods: Adams Morgan.

Ontario 17 features 80 luxury condominiums and 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail space along Columbia Road. Just minutes from the Woodley Park -Zoo/Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights Metro Stations.”

17th and Columbia Rd, NW looking west on Columbia

  • Alan

    I wonder if they have any takers on the retail side? We have a pretty great deal in terms of a variety of neighborhood retail in the area already. I honestly can’t think of a thing I’d want other than maybe some more upscale apparel (relative to the current options of Target, Marshalls, etc as well as some great thrift shops). Maybe a good consignment furtniture place?

    • brookland_rez

      How about a Starbucks? Or maybe an Urban Outfitters. Those places are probably more in line with where the neighborhood is going.

      • teej

        There’s already a Starbucks at 18th & Columbia. Crumbs and Coffee is practically across the street too. Around the corner on 18th is Idle Time Books (Alan 2).

    • Alan 2

      You hit the nail on the head. Clothing retailers would make a mint in that location.

      I wish a bookstore would be successful in this environment, but I doubt it.

      Vinyl is making a mini-comeback, maybe one of the smaller vinyl shops on 18th needs a bigger space?

      • Anonymous

        you think? there is so little day time foot traffic there (even less than on 18th St) and clothing retailers tend to be around other clothing retailers…and there is virtually nothing around there. Not sure what will work there, but maybe this building will help revitalize the block.

        • Still On The Fence

          Is it a circular issue? Meaning, would there be more daytime foot traffic if there were more cool places to go during the day? I don’t remember a lot of people strolling around 14th and Irving Street in the 90s, but there’s plenty of foot traffic at the DC USA now. Build it and they will come?

    • Chris

      We could definitely use some better grocery options. I would kill to have a butcher, fishmonger, cheese shop, upscale bodega, anything where you could get some quality stuff. A good wine store or another independent coffee shop would be fun to have too.

  • carlosthedwarf

    Is it just me, or does high $200s seem unusually low for a brand-new studio in a location like this? Is there some kind of income restriction on some of the units?

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing that “high 200s” actually means 300k +++. I’m guessing that they will have one or two basement-level studios at that rate and prices will quickly progress upwards from there. Also, I don’t think that they are obligated to stick to that price – lots of things can change between now and completion (think “unexpected costs”, etc.)

      • kken

        The construction quality will probably be really poor as well. Little to no sound insulation between units, etc.

  • Alan 2

    In my dreams though, they’d open a….movie theater! Historic synchronicity (no grammar pun intended).

    • Anonymous

      I think I’m too dumb to understand this comment :(

      • artemis

        That space used to be a movie theater.

  • Anonymous

    I’m looking at the new website — can someone help me count how many white people are in the renderings? Trying to decide whether it is enough to trigger my outrage.

    • Anonymous

      what a lovely thing to say.

    • Anonymous

      Cheel… it’s almost Wednesday. You’ll be fine.

    • kook47797

      Ha! Funny. I always notice this too. Usually, there’s at least one funky stylish sister in the mix and one non-threatening brother with close-cropped hair, a polo shirt, smiling… and then a smattering of racially ambiguous figures, which I guess covers Asians, Latinos and anyone else. I’m only outraged when the property is located in an area where you KNOW white people are not moving– like say Camp Springs, Largo or Fort Totten. Makes you wonder if these things are market-tested, and for some twisted reason, whites in the renderings actually have a greater appear to black prospective buyers or renters– or are we just dealing with lazy marketing folks, like the ones who did the Giant flyer with white girl saying “Welcome Howard Students”?

      • Anonymous

        they always have non threatening white people too. you never see skinheads, bikers, rednecks, guido’s, punks, metalheads, deadheads, or obese guys.

      • Anonymous

        my guess is that generally speaking whites respond more negatively to blacks in ads than blacks respond to whites in ads.

        sad, but i don’t think my guess is far off.

      • Anonymous

        There are numerous studies regarding perceptions of race and class. The outcomes are, unfortunately, often highly predictable.

    • Wobble

      If you look closely – you will be able to see 2 Serbians, 1 Native American, 1 Cameroonian, 2 Mozambicans, 1 Italian American, 1 Norwegian, and 2 Aleuts.

      Oh – there is also a really tall Dutch woman.

      • Costanza

        I’ve always wanted to have sex with a really tall woman.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for the analysis. I have decided to keep the outrage in check…for now. Need to get back to studying that Lumen building rendering to see how outraged I should get about that.

  • Mary

    1. I’ll believe it when I see it. All these developers have done in the last 6 months (maybe more? much more?) is raze the place. It just sits.
    2. That corner could really use some retail anchors. 17th St. is actually three blocks away from 18th St. (Ontario and Champlain are in between). There are so many people moving into the Reed-Cooke neighborhood (new condos at 18th & Euclid, new rentals over HT, tons of new rentals going up next to HT, and this place), I think a good coffee shop, a restaurant w/ a decent bar, and a hardware store a la Logan could do gangbusters there.

    • 17thStreet

      A hardware store would be great! And I can’t wait until the hard pounding stops. My windows (and brain) shook all day.

    • Anonymous

      It does not “just sit.” I walked by today and there is much activity going on — something you can also see from the first picture that accompanies this post!

  • Rich

    Numerous hardware stores have closed in the Adams Morgan area–a few developments are a drop in the bucket–the heyday of renovation in that area was in the 80s and 90s. when there were 2 or more hardware stores going. A book store failed on 18th when book stores were still a thing and 18th had more retail. Urban Outfitters goes where there’s pedestrian traffic all day long, like M Street. No major clothing retailer wants to be away from a major shopping area–DCUSA has moved the center of gravity for that sort of thing elsewhere. Chains like GAP have failed in high traffic areas like Connecticut &M. Established clothing chains are closing stores rather than opening them and the migration of clothing sales to the web will accelerate this. It took forever for the Blockbuster space to fill (and a clinic took it over), so getting a marque retailer is going to be a struggle esp. if the rents are at a level that can only support national retail.

    Be glad DC’s real estate market allows more overpriced cookie cutter condos to go up.

    • dno

      Ace just opened up across the bridge in Woodley. Not quite in Adams Morgan but close enough for those willing to walk 10 minutes.

      • Anon

        That is a 20-minute walk from Harris Teeter.

  • textdoc

    The 1700 block of Columbia Road NW seems to have lagged behind other blocks in Adams Morgan — I’m hoping this development (and the hotel incorporating the Christian Science church building) will spur some revitalization.

  • Anonymous

    I like how they kept the overhang and supporting pole from the old theater – it really adds character!


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