Sunday, December 5, 2010

14th Street Facelift Continues: Commencement of 14th and W Project Imminent

2004-2008 saw a resurgence in development along 14th Street, particularly north of U Street. And while the 2008 financial collapse saw indefinite holds placed on several key developments (including the redevelopment of the since-demolished Nehemiah Center), there are signs that the development freeze is beginning to thaw.

Last week, it was announced that Perseus Realty, which since 2008 had planned to develop a project--the so-called '14W"--at the intersection of 14th and W streets had sold the project for $7.5 million to Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), and that the project should commence within the month. Perseus will stay on as developer for the project.

To recap, the 14W will include 231 housing units, a 44,000 sf YMCA and 12,000 sf of retail. 18 of the housing units will be offered as affordable units for individuals and families making up to 60% of the area's AMI. (Note: This equates to roughly $62,000/yr. I remain unconvinced that these so-called affordable units function as they should, as though said units are indeed less expensive than their full-priced cousins, they're rarely what one could consider to be inexpensive. The recommended maximum monthly amount that should be spent on housing expenses is roughly 30% of gross income, or around $1,550/month. It's challenging, but not impossible, to cover all of your housing expenses, even with an "affordable unit," on that. But that's another discussion for another time.)

Assuming the project begins as quickly as they are hoping it does, expect a delivery sometime in mid-late 2012.

The 14W is but one of several projects set to come online along 14th Street. A few blocks south, JBG continues to await demolition permits in order to commence its mixed-use project at 14th and S. And last month, developer Douglas Jemal announced plans to construct a 30 unit apartment building with groundfloor retail at the decrepit and vacant former home of Latino Auto Sales at 14th and Florida (along the same block as the 14W project). Under the most optimistic (read: unlikely) of scenarios, Jemal hopes to break ground on that project by next summer.

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