2007-01-17, 11:52

Upscale D.C. condo building becomes a rental as market softens

By: Jonathan Groner
Multi-Housing News reported on Jan. 16, 2007, that View 14, a planned upscale D.C. condominium building just off the hot U Street corridor, is going to be a rental building rather than a condominium.

According to the building's Web site, its developers -- D.C.-based Level 2 Development and Centrum Properties of Chicago -- were planning to sell the mixed-use building's 180 units for prices ranging from the upper $200,000s to a cool $2 million. But Multi-Housing News reports that when the sales office opened, the builders didn't get the expected crush of prospective buyers.

The D.C. condo market is slowing, even for fashionable buildings in fashionable city neighborhoods. The location, at 14th Street and Florida Avenue, N.W., is a couple of blocks north of U Street but still walkable to many downtown offices and still near a Green Line Metro station.

View 14 is expected to break ground in May 2007. It will have plenty of "green" features, including Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency central heating and cooling systems, and a green roof to reduce runoff and heat load.

Developers of mixed-use buildings, in the D.C. area and probably elsewhere, need to recognize that the condominium sales market is not what it was a couple of years ago.

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