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Helicopter Factory is a 28,000 SF residential development near Howard University

by Prince Of Petworth January 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm 22 Comments

via google maps

From a press release:

“Lead Developer Brick Lane and partner, Brook Rose Development confirmed today the start of construction for the historic Helicopter Factory located on 770-774 Girard Street, NW, Washington, DC. Helicopter Factory is a 28,000 SF residential development comprised of a 7,600 SF built-to-suit warehouse (divisible to 5,100 SF and 2,500 SF) and 13 industrial-style luxury condominiums. Helicopter Factory is currently accepting appointments for the Warehouse Units. To schedule an appointment, contact Michael Hines of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, the exclusive listing agent for the Helicopter Factory.

This early 20th century factory was once owned by the eminent inventor Emile Berliner (1851- 1929) and his son-in-law, Joseph Sanders, who are best known for inventing the phonograph record, an early sound recording device and pioneering an early version of the helicopter at his Gyro Motor Company warehouse on Girard Street. The principal façade is in the Fairmont- Girard alleyway. In between 1907 and 1926, Berliner dedicated himself to improving the technologies of vertical flight through the development of a light-weight rotary engine.

“We believe this is one of the most unique buildings currently under renovation in the city and a one of kind opportunity to design a dream living space within the walls of a historic landmark,” says Jeff Gross, Principal of Brick Lane.

“It’s so rare to have an industrial structure like this in our city, particularly since Washington was built around government offices,” says Brook Rose, “I fell in love with it and knew the design potential was extraordinary.”

The two-pronged project totaling approximately 28,000 SF is comprised of: (1) the Warehouse Units (penthouse(s)), two historic homes of 5,100 SF and 2,500 SF or a single 7,600 SF mansion built in the historic, landmarked Helicopter Factory, and (2) the Lofts, 13 industrial-style, luxury condominiums. Rarely available in Washington, DC, the development team is offering the opportunity for the buyer to purchase this unique 7,600 SF raw warehouse space as a shell or the option to custom design the space. There will be a large rooftop deck(s) with penthouse entertainment space and monument views and the opportunity for the buyer of either the entire warehouse or the larger 5,100 SF unit to park several cars in a beautifully landscaped, European- inspired, private walled courtyard. The second portion of the project is comprised of the 13 “lofts” and will be industrial inspired while maintaining as much of the original elements of the project as possible.”

  • JS

    The renderings of the mansion are pretty crazy. Any bets on listing prices for it? Given where the pricing for Morton St. Mews is, I’d say north of 2 million.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Yeah, but the Morton Street Mews are priced too high. They have been sitting on the market for awhile now. Even the 2 condos in that bowling alley rowhome conversion are pending!

      • petworther

        I think they’re overpriced too, but to be fair the Morton Mews places were just finished before the holidays. They have not been “sitting on the market for awhile”.

        • I keep getting Redfin emails that they’re raising the prices on the row houses! I think each available one went from $1.1M to $1.2M.

          • textdoc

            That’s crazy!

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          They listed them before they were done! This was has been on Redfin for 49 days…

          98 days for this one https://www.redfin.com/city/12839/DC/Washington-DC/filter#!min_price=600000&max_price=1500000&lat=38.93126920881408&long=-77.02505565200046&zoomLevel=17&region_id=12839&region_type=6&market=dc

          And yeah the price INCREASES have been bizarre. Meanwhile, the more expensive condo conversion down the street was pending after 10 days and the other one after about a month.

          • Formerly ParkViewRes
          • Anonymous

            I think @FormerlyParkViewRes is having sellers remorse on the investment they left too early ;)

          • Maybe….

            Wondering how many people have actually gone to see Morton Street Mews? Looking online we were skeptical too, but after seeing the interior, we were blown away. Some of the nicest new construction I’ve seen in a very long time anywhere, much less in DC. It’s not a cheap, quick flip. It’s really nicely done. They’ve already sold some. If we did not already have a house we love near Petworth metro we would seriously consider buying there. I suspect, they will get every penny they are asking for…..

          • Formerly ParkViewRes

            Anonymous–UMM I rent my home so if these go for asking I will be very happy for when we sell in a few years! I just don’t think they’re worth the asking price. I watched them go up and they did a WONDERFUL job building and it was amazing how fast they went up. I hope I am wrong!

          • textdoc

            Anonymous 10:46, ParkViewRes hasn’t sold her house. She’s just renting it out while living elsewhere.
            And when anonymous comments (or comments from unfamiliar usernames) show up a day after the original post, I have to wonder if there’s some street-teaming going on.

      • Anonymous

        “Sitting on the market for awhile now”?? Almost all of them have SOLD signs in the windows and they aren’t even finished yet. Including one of the $1.1M townhouses. Obviously not priced too high for the market.

        • eva

          Yeah I noticed last night that most of the windows have sold signs. Priced too high for my taste and I can’t imagine living on Sherman Ave, but I guess someone else wants to.

    • render

      can u link the renderings?

  • textdoc

    Sounds positive.
    Is this an empty lot, or is it the ivory-colored building in the background? Or both??

    • jcm

      The buildings in the background are the warehouses, which will be made into condos. The parking lot in the front will be replaced with six new rowhouses. Sounds really good.

  • madmonk28

    I’m just bummed that I only now found out that there had been a gyrocopter factory in DC.

    • Philippe Lecheval

      The name of the building is a bit misleading. They never actually built helicopters there. Just an early type of radial aircraft engine.
      And it’s kind of disappointing that every single square inch of interesting old structures in this town has to be turned into expensive condos. It would be great if something like this could actually be used for some sort of small-scale manufacturing, or art studios. It’s been proven that people with money, of whom there are tons in DC, are willing to pay a premium for things that are put together in the US, and it would provide much-needed jobs.

      • LittleBluePenguin


      • Realist

        Well, the building was sitting vacant for years and the property was available to be acquired by someone looking to develop it into art studios or something else. It wasn’t.

  • Gimme

    Welp, after seeing the renderings I’m pretty sure I’d do anything to get one of those spaces. Incredible potential. And what a deal, only $4 million for this site?


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