Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another Condominium Goes Rental

Donatelli Development already has seven retailers signed up for their retail spaces on the ground level. Unfortunately, thats about all of the success their recent development has had. Their newest building, Highland Park building in Columbia Heights at 14th & Irving, "features 229 luxury residential units, [222] underground parking spaces, a beautifully landscaped rooftop with panoramic city views," and was being represented for sales by Domus Realty.

Sadly, this project is the first of Donatelli's that has had to undergo the change back into rentals as they need to generate income to subsidize their loans. Their past projects, the Ellington on U St NW and Kenyon Square just across from Highland Park.

The retailers include:
Potbelly Sandwich Works
Five Guys Burgers
Fries and Pete's Apizza
CommonWealth, a British Pub
Zinnia, a Caribbean restaurant
Signal Financial Federal Credit Unio
Boundless Yoga


Anonymous said...

How is Kenyon Square doing?

Jesse Kaye said...

To my understanding, not very well. I dont have stats so I dont want to offer a figure but I should be able to get more info by the afternoon.

As a side note, I have passed by there at night around 8 many times, and have seen all of the units dark but one or two. Hopefully its not a sign.

Jesse Kaye said...

One source I read notes that the building is nearly 75% sold 116 units settled out of the total of 153 units however its the only source I could find that substantiated a number. While they may very well be correct, what I have seen paints a different picture.

KP said...


Washington DC, 15 November 2007. Donatelli Development and Gragg
and Associates announced today they will convert their Highland Park
building, nearing completion at the southwest corner of 14th and
Irving streets in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Northwest
Washington, from condominium to rental.

In addition, the company announced it has reached agreements with
six retailers, including five restaurants, to take space in the
retail portion of the development.

Highland Park is a mixed-use development with 229 residential units,
20,000 square feet of retail, and three levels of underground
parking. It is located directly atop the western entrance to the
Columbia Heights metro, and across the street from Donatelli
Development's other building in the neighborhood, the Kenyon Square
condominium, which opened earlier this summer.

Retail: A Rapidly Developing Restaurant Culture in Columbia Heights

Donatelli Development has reached agreements for six retail spaces
at Highland Park, including five restaurants and Signal Financial
Federal Credit Union. Discussions are under way with other
businesses, including a sushi restaurant, for the two other retail
spaces in the development.

The five confirmed restaurants, joining two full-service sit-down
restaurants, a Starbuck's coffee store and a fine wine and beer
retailer across the street at Kenyon Square, comprise an emerging
restaurant row in Columbia Heights, with a wonderful variety of
cuisines and atmospheres. They include:

Hank's Oyster Bar founder Jamie Leeds plans a fine-dining restaurant
with an eclectic but accessible and affordable menu. Hank's was
nominated for "Best New Restaurant" in 2006 and "Best Neighborhood
Restaurant" in 2007 by The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, started in 1986 just a few miles away
in Arlington, since expanded into a franchise operation covering 16
states and the District of Columbia. Nothing but great burgers and
fries; voted Washingtonian magazine's "#1 Burger" seven years in a

Pete's Apizza, bringing New Haven-style "apizza" to Washington, in
addition to fresh pastas, panini, soups, antipasto, salads and
gelato, as well as a selection of domestic and Italian wines and
beers. Fast casual service model, contemporary Tuscan-inspired

Potbelly Sandwich Works, offering sandwiches made to order, salads,
soups, smoothies and various sweets; a popular casual dining
destination with over 150 stores in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Zinnia, a locally owned sit-down restaurant serving an exotic menu
of Caribbean foods and drinks, tapas-style, in a comfortable lounge
environment. Open from breakfast time through late evening
cocktails; dine-in, take-out or delivery.

In selecting the restaurants for Highland Park, Donatelli has been
striking a delicate balance between full-service and fast casual,
understanding the neighborhood's rapidly changing needs, with a
denser residential character still taking shape and the highly
anticipated opening of the DC-USA complex across the street. The
challenge is to mix up dining destinations that appeal to both
neighborhood residents coming home from a long day of work, and
visitors who might want to have a quick meal while they're shopping
at DC-USA (which will have the city's first Target, as well as Best
Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshalls, Staples and more).

Also important for Donatelli in the selection process is an emphasis
on providing opportunities to local business owners. Chris
Donatelli, president of Donatelli Development, stated, "While we are
proud to be bringing two very well-known national food service names
to the development, we are prouder still to be making the vast
majority of our retail opportunities available to local business
owners, many of whom will be opening their first store after long
careers working for other people." Six out of the eight retailers
at Kenyon Square are locally owned (including two locally owned
franchises), as are five of the six retailers at the Ellington.

Going Rental: Bringing Balance to the Columbia Heights Residential

Donatelli Development decided this week to convert the residential
portion of Highland Park, with 229 one- and two-bedroom units (some
with lofts and dens), from a condominium project to a luxury rental

"In light of recent shifts in the condominium market, we decided
that we would be in a better position to serve the Columbia Heights
market with a luxury rental building," stated company president
Chris Donatelli, "since the balance of residential offerings in the
neighborhood had been trending so heavily toward condominiums."

Through the conversion, unit mix and finishes will remain unchanged
from what was planned: the homes will feature stained concrete
floors, granite counters and high-end urban finishes. The building
is uniquely positioned in the rental market, with an unusually
large, full-service hotel-style lobby, two-level fitness center, and
stunning views from the upper levels and the roof terrace.

"With two large buildings in the neighborhood, we're in a position
to understand what's happening in the market on an extremely local
level," Donatelli continued. "We felt that, during the area's
recent growth spurt, residential offerings had become out of
balance. By pulling a large chunk of units from the condo market,
we make a whole new class of product available to the Columbia
Heights rental market."

Donatelli has established a solid reputation for quality and luxury
in its rental offerings with the Ellington Apartments at 13th and U
streets. The Ellington, developed in 2004, has set a new standard
for rental luxury in the competitive U Street market, and has been
at near 100% occupancy since it opened.

Meanwhile, Donatelli Development's recently completed condominium
building across the street, Kenyon Square, is 70% sold, and sales
continue with immediate delivery available.