In today’s expendable society, it’s so common to see things thrown away or demolished in favor of something that is built from scratch and brand new. In Washington, DC real estate however, developers see an old, rundown or even just ugly building and are able to imagine great possibilities. It is with this vision that many of buildings around the city have been completely transformed from schools, offices and even factories, into beautifully designed luxury condos.
Here are a few of the most recent projects that have given some of Washington, DC’s older buildings and sites a breath of fresh air.
Revival in Alexandria
Alexandria residents were recently pleased to see a massive renovation that brought new life to one of the most infamous buildings in town. After being dubbed an “urban jail” or a “beached cruise ship,” the former Sheet Metal Workers Union National Pension Fund building located on the shores of the Potomac, was due for a makeover.
Luckily, Bethesda-based developer EYA was willing and able to take on the project. EYA worked tirelessly to transform the mostly vacant office building’s awkwardly terraced structure into a luxury condo development, now known as The Oronoco Waterfront Residences.
Turning an eyesore into a luxury residence was no small task, however. The abrasive aluminum exterior was replaced with red brick while windows were made from floor to ceiling to allow for expansive views of the Potomac from inside the building’s 60 units. The building was also outfitted with a number of amenities to attract residents, including a dog washing room, outdoor pool, fitness center and a children’s playroom.
Locals kept a keen eye on the building throughout the process. When residences were opened up for purchase in August 2014, nearly all of the units sold out in a matter of months.
A site with an interesting past
Home owners always seem to be looking for a place where they can “sleep like the dead,” and a new development in DC’s 14th Street corridor looks to have taken that consideration quite literally. The site of the Austin Royster Funeral Home has been converted into a luxury condo building, Lionshead Condominium, that has thus far received quite a favorable response. The building’s nine units each include three bedrooms and two bathrooms and is the first in the city to pass the District’s Green Area Ratio Inspection.
The site’s future came into question around April 2014 when Austin Royster, a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1957, moved to updated digs on Kennedy Street. Always on the lookout for buildings in great locations, S2 Development LLC swooped in, picking up the property at a foreclosure auction and getting to work almost immediately on restoring the building.
Although many may think twice about living on the site of a former funeral home, the development has generated a considerable amount of neighborhood buzz.
"There already are people that are writing contracts even before it comes to the market," said S2 Principal and Co-Founder Philip Simon to the Washington Business Journal.
If you are interested in finding a condo in the Washington, DC area, please don’t hesitate to give me call. I’d love to help you find a great home that fits your lifestyle and budget.