SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published February 27, 2004
Low mortgage interest rates, an unpredictable rental market and the rising values of condominiums have combined to encourage Washington-area renters and apartment building owners to convert apartment buildings to condominiums. Although not all tenants want their rentals to become condominiums, for the many who share a desire to own property, a conversion can be positive development.
In the District, apartment owners are required by law to give
tenants or a tenant organization the opportunity to purchase the property
before selling to a third party. Tenacity Group, assists owners and tenants through each step
of the process of converting apartment buildings to condominiums. Tenacity
Group includes a title company, a brokerage arm for sales, and a
private-investment division, and the company expects to convert more than
750 units in the Washington area from rentals to condominiums in a wide
variety of neighborhoods and prices.
One recent Tenacity Group project, known as the Cathedral Court Condominiums, includes 172 units in six former apartment buildings at 3010-3100 Wisconsin Avenue NW. The tenants at Cathedral Court purchased the buildings for a total of $16.25 million in summer 2002, which was estimated by Tenacity Group at the time to be the most expensive tenant purchase in city history.
The six original buildings, built in the 1930s, have magnificent views of the National Cathedral from the front units. As part of the conversion project, new plumbing and electric systems were installed along with new Vytek windows. Residents at Cathedral Court can walk to neighborhood shops and restaurants and live within minutes by car or bus from Georgetown and downtown Washington. In pleasant walking weather, some people may even want to walk through the Cleveland Park neighborhood to the National Zoo, or down Wisconsin Avenue to upper Georgetown. The Cathedral Court buildings have their own dog park and are pet-friendly. The conversion process is being completed in phases, and two homes are currently on the market in Cathedral Court, with about 10 to 14 additional units expected to be available in early March. The units range from 400-square-foot efficiencies to 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom homes. Base prices for the homes range from $169,500 to $329,500.
Individually, each home that has been converted features a cherry, maple or white kitchen with granite countertops, a slate floor and stainless-steel appliances. The baths have dramatic granite floors and countertops, and the homes include hardwood floors and high ceilings with decorative moldings and chair rail moldings in keeping with the original building design. Some homes include a balcony.
An example of one unit in Cathedral Court Condominiums, No. 410 at 3010 Wisconsin Ave. NW, includes a foyer with two closets leading into an open living room with access to a private balcony. The living room opens onto the eat-in kitchen. The large corner master bedroom includes windows on two sides, a walk-in closet and a large luxury bath. The second bedroom also has windows on two sides, a wall of closets and access to a second full bath.
For more information on Cathedral Court Condominiums, call Tenacity Condo Sales Group at Long and Foster Real Estate at 202/588-0858.