2006-12-28, 11:58

A condominium building above a homeless service center

By: Jonathan Groner
Million-dollar condominium apartments above a church that feeds several hundred homeless people each day? At least one D.C. developer thinks a hot downtown address -- 10th and G Streets, a block from a Metro transit station and walking distance to hundreds of professional work places -- makes this a good sell for urbanites. It's an unusual mixed-use situation, to say the least. The developer has agreed to spend $17 million, no small sum, to build a new sanctuary for the church. It could be a solution for everyone: the church gets a new facility to replace its antiquated one, the homeless continue to receive meals, "urban hipsters" have another fancy downtown location, and the developer makes money. But is the area already overbuilt? Can anyone sell condos these days in downtown D.C.? Here is how the Washington Post story from Dec. 27, 2006, begins:

Urban hipsters have shown a knack for dropping up to $1 million for condos in the heart of the District.

But will they spend that much to live over a church that feeds the homeless?

PN Hoffman, purveyor of high-style living, is betting they will.

The development company envisions 140 condominiums at 10th and G streets NW, where one of Washington's oldest churches has existed since abolitionists founded it at the end of the Civil War.

Only First Congregational Church of Christ isn't going anywhere.

As part of the deal, the developer will build a new sanctuary for the church, with eight floors of apartments above, along with balconies, a swimming pool and a fitness center.

When the new building opens, the church will occupy the first two floors and continue serving breakfast and dinner daily to several hundred homeless people. They will come and go through an entrance around the corner from the one used by the condo owners.

One-bedroom apartments would sell for between $400,000 and $500,000, while two bedrooms with a den would go for about $1 million, said David DeSantis, PN Hoffman's vice president of sales and marketing.

The full story is at


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

back to top