From the Forum – How long does construction typically last?

by Prince Of Petworth January 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm 13 Comments


How long does construction typically last?

“I’m considering buying a condo in a building at 18th & Q, but I know that the St. Thomas Church half a block away is planning to build a ~6 story building on their property in the near-ish future. What I’m wondering is, how long does construction typically take for a mid-size building like the one planned? (You can google something like ‘st thomas parish dc redevelopment’ to see the renderings.) And during what hours are builders allowed to operate loud machinery in DC?

Thank you as always for your collective wisdom!”

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  • The King Ad-Hoc

    Not sure in this case. But it took almost two years for the Adamo and Ontario 17 projects, IIRC.

  • Anon

    The developers should’ve submitted timing estimates to the ANC; that should be publicly available.

  • jim_ed

    For a stick building like that? Probably a little over a year. Hours are legally allowed 7am-7pm. That said, if they get started at 7am, they’re probably quitting around 3pm at least before they get water tight.

    • Anonymous

      Hours are 7-7 M-F and 8-7 on Saturday and not on Sunday or Holidays (though as Jim says a lot of unobtrusive inside work goes on at all hours after the building is water tight).

  • Anonymouse

    The development is still a while away from breaking any ground, and given the requirements of the site and some wiggle room for existing site conditions I would probably say 2.5-3.5 years from now (including the time between now and breaking ground).

    • DCJoe

      Anonymouse’s estimate sounds about right. 1-2 years to get to groundbreaking, and probably 1.5 years of construction, give or take a few months. This is assuming they will be doing a good deal of excavation for underground parking, which adds 3-4 months to the schedule vs. no significant excavation.

  • Anon

    Not sure. But for what it’s worth, I live at 18th and P, and the construction on the big building on 18th and P/Mass has been going on for over 2 years and doesn’t seem like it will be done anytime soon. And they certainly did not stick to the legal work hours, despite my calls to report them. The work has calmed down a bit, but the impact on the road/sidewalk has been more than annoying.
    Good to know about the church construction, I didn’t know about that. Thank the lord I am moving.

    • sproc

      Not to mention the disaster it’s made the intersection of 18th and Mass Ave. Driving northbound on 18th is a nightmare–so many idiots going straight from the marked left turn lane, which was always the case, but now all those cars have to crunch into one lane north of Mass Ave.

    • Old and Dead

      1785 Mass is a special case, very complicated and slower than new construction. From the construction firm’s site:

      “The renovation of this five-story historic property will involve excavation, underpinning and construction of a new level below the existing basement. A new central core structure will be constructed up through the building and the existing steel frame will be reinforced to accommodate a new penthouse level. New mechanical and electrical systems will be installed in the existing historic spaces. The façade will undergo complete restoration of the highly detailed limestone work.”

  • Rich

    I live near a reasonably well constructed building going up near Logan. The ground breaking was held up for 6-8 months because of permit issues. They’re starting to sell units now–almost a year after construction started and probably 6 months before anyone can move in. So…for a building with a lot of concrete–18 mos, but the start date should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Ted

    Dan – I’ll give you props for the St. Thomas Episcopal pic. Apropos. That one’s only taken, what, 46 years to get through red tape?

  • The OP Anon

    Honestly, living in central DC – especially Dupont, Adams Morgan, U Street, or 14th – means you will be dealing with years of construction. And once this building finishes, another will start. We are currently surrounded by 3 massive construction projects in various stages of development and I expect another one to start across the street as the commercial businesses are all sitting empty.
    This is the big downside to living in such a dense, convenient location. Just be aware that between conversions, pop-ups, renovations and new construction, the building process will probably never end in your neighborhood.

    • Philippe Lecheval

      Yeah, you’re gonna want to live somewhere like the Palisades or Chevy Chase if you want to avoid construction. It’s a constant in most of the inner parts of the District.


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