Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Survey Added

This weekend we added a new survey to the right of the blog. We have our own opinions about what the purchasing audience was interested in receiving with their condo but wanted to experiment with some new ideas. Please take the opportunity to help by offering us your opinion about what options you would prefer upon purchasing a condo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Grandview Estates Now Selling

This week Grandview Estates came on the market in Southeast DC. The community, perched high on a hill and overlooking the entire skyline of DC, is filled with European design and an awkwardly refreshing exterior. The development consists of 23 row-homes, each of which contain two bi-level condos stacked on top of one another. The homes, pictured above, have been finished unlike any other homes in Southeast DC. They boast a contemporary exterior much like that of 1024 W St NW, an ultra modern end-unit row home designed by Division 1 Architects which is currently listed by Debi Fox of for nearly $1.4 million. While I hate to compare the build and design quality of the two, you must admit the striking resemblance between the facades.

Grandview Estates is selling for between $315k and $355k depending on your unit choice being upper or lower. All units feature three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. These prices, while extremely competitive, are marginally higher than what I would expect the units to sell for in the current market and while the finishes look superb, we will be listing similarly sized single-floor three bedroom and two bath units for the mid $200's in the vicinity.

We'll see how the sales go....

DC Not Considered a Declining Community

With the national housing market falling with little end in site, I have to say that I am a DC based Realtor. With licenses in DC, MD and VA and with most of my business coming no further out than one county from DC I consider myself fortunate. An article this week regarding the S&P index showed the actual decline of the DC market relatively low compared with the rest of the US. While the actual stats for DC were not mentioned, many believe that within the boundaries of DC itself, prices in early '08 will stabilize and will plateau into '09. Whats more is that even cities adjacent to DC should do rather well. Montgomery County has recently stabilized, Prince Georges has the National Harbor project as well as the strong possibility of the new DC United Stadium & MacFarlane's relocation. Arlington's condo market may not fare as well as single family homes but prices may be considered somewhat isolated among a sea of other markets nationwide that have collapsed.

In addition, MacFarlane purchased 2/3rd of JBG's real estate portfolio in recent months in addition to pledging to develop $10 billion worth of development, Douglas Jemal has 4 projects that should break ground in the first half of 2008. Now, taken the fact that while each of us individually may have our own two-cents, these two men have army's of employees who can conduct the research for them to help increase their wealth, far more than anyone I know can provide. If they are willing to bet their hundreds of millions of dollars on our real estate market, there is likely a very strong basis for their decision.

As an aside, I read a book called All Real Estate is Local by David Lereah. It couldn't paint a more accurate description of the local market, based solely on LOCAL factors on price and economy.

Do you disagree??

Considering Landbanking? Lot Adjacent to DMPED's RFP for Sale

In case you didnt get that, DC's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development issued a solicitation for offers via a Request For Proposal for two sites in Deanwood, NE DC. The subject properties are 4427 Hayes St NE and 4808-4826 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE. (Coincidentally I have a 6000 sq ft lot on the market on the 5000 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs for $190K). The RFP solicits for the redevelopment of the lots for "replacement housing for the residents of the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings neighborhoods." Lincoln Heights is located between Nannie Helen Burroughs and East Capitol and to the west of Division Ave NE and Richardson Dwellings is located at 260 54th St NE, of which the properties are adjacent to one another.

The RFP intends to create opportunities for local residents, create mixed-income neighborhoods, protect and expand affordable housing, decrease crime, engage residents, leverage public resources, and integrate human capital component.

The Landbanking...

This past week a completely separate lot came on the market for $250,000 on the 4800 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE, adjacent to the properties up for the RFP. The lot size is over 10,000 and its zoned R2 but has been permitted for car sales. If anyone is considering investing, this may be the lot for you.

Contact me for more information.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Douglas Jemal: Going and Going and Going....

"...becoming Richmond's very own Trump," quoted yesterday from a posting in regarding Douglas Jemal's recent purchases in Richmond, VA. This past week it seems as though the famed Jemal won the highest bid for, increasing his property ownership in Richmond, VA to 26 units. That may not seem like a lot so I thought I would run a tax record search for all properties owned by the local MEGA-MILLIONAIRE. According to the public records, his commercial ownership totals over 1.25 million square feet PLUS an estimated 1.9 million square feet more (the size of the buildings was not listed on the public record but the property description, zoning code and lot size are listed). Upon further research, it seems as though one of this assets may be the Chamber of Commerce building, the United Way building, as well as a 3.3 acre industrial site that seems to have been a bakery that burned down in 2002 (pending confirmation).

It looks like his reign is shall continue on...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poplar Point Development Summary's

Archstone Smith / Madison Marquette

Development Program

Office: 1,954,000 Sq Ft
Residential: 2,401,000
--Units: 2,088
Hotel: 255,000 Sq Ft
--Rooms: 425
Retail: 994,000 Sq Ft

Program Highlights
Large-format, big-box retail anchors
Entertainment pier extending into the river
Frederick Douglass memorial amphitheater along river
74 acres of parklands including ponds, wetlands, and open spaces
Community learning center
Youth sports center
Botanical Gardens
Option for MLS soccer stadium/DC UNITED

Clark Realty Capital

Development Program

Office: 1,529,300 Sq Ft
Residential: 3,823,250 Sq Ft
--Units: 3,237
Hotel: 224,000 Sq Ft
--Rooms: 280
Retail: 405,000 Sq Ft
Museum: 250,000 Sq Ft
School: 140,000

Program Highlights
International Environmental Center
National Museum of the Environment
60-acre central park 'The Preserve"
10-acre waterfront park
KIPP Charter School campus
Community Boathouse
Open air market (similar to Eastern Market), retail to include grocery and neighborhood-scale stores (with potential for large format)
Waterfront entertainment district
3-block wide 'Deck' over I-295 to connect site with Old Anacostia
Option for MLS soccer Stadium/DC UNITED

Forest City

Development Program

Hotel: 348,000
Retail: 415,600 Sq Ft
Music/Art Venue: 50,000 Sq Ft

Program Highlights
"Fingers" of water-oriented parks / wetlands extend into the development areas to connect development into the river and establish a park without edges or boundaries
Development focused on giving residents, shoppers, workers, and visitors access to park, river, wetlands amentities
Floating amphitheater, riverwalk, community pier, and waterfront terraces
Focus on street-level retail similar to Bethesda Row, Barracks Row, Logan Circle and other neighborhoods
Incorporation of big-box/medium-box retail in later phases

Mid-City Urban / General Growth Properties

Development Program

Office: 250,000 Sq Ft
Residential: 2,654,000 Sq Ft
--Units: 2,486
Hotel: 130,000 Sq Ft
--Rooms: 200
Retail: 467,000 Sq Ft
New UDC Campus: 450,000 Sq Ft
Community Center: 80,000 Sq Ft
Cultural/Memorial: 100,000 Sq Ft

Program Highlights
University of the District of Columbia Extension Campus
Combination of destination, big-box retail anchors and neighborhood shops
Sports and learning complex
Aerial tram across Anacostia River to Ballpark District
70 acres of parklands including riverfront park, central wetlands, highway wetlands, and monument/memorial sites
Waterfront promenade and marina

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

O St Market Continues to Public Hearing

Last night I had the honor of attending the Zoning Commission meeting last night at Judiciary Square to see just what was in store for the O st Market and the adjoining Giant Grocer Store. Apparently I wasnt the only one either. The room was surprisingly full, mostly of neighborhood residents and bloggers(?). Thats right, once returning home, the first three bloggers to spread the news were DaddyFiveOh, IMGoph, and OffSeventh.

In a 5-0 vote, the commission voted to allow Roadside Development LLC's proposal to have a public hearing. My understanding was that originally, Roadside proposed a 110 foot structure on the site where the current Giant sits which caused unease with several of the commissioners. However, after proposing a lower structure at 90 feet (?) last night, the commission didn't feel that the new height would be as disruptive to the neighborhood and allowed it to continue to a hearing.

Congrats to all of the area residents who have supported the project since day one.

OffSeventh says the hearing will come in February so I'll keep you updated with the status.

For more about the project click HERE. video
(skip to the 18th minute to review just the Roadside case)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Update: Harris Teeter at 3rd & M NE

The Bloomingdale (for now) blog added an update regarding the Harris Teeter at 3rd & M Sts NE, upon which I wrote a post. According to IMGoph's update, cited directly from the comments section of his blog, Alan Kimber, ANC Commissioner, 6C05, posted a response to one of his own posts stating "...My *understanding* is that Harris Teeter has made some level of commitment to locate at 1st & M Street NE. It is not clear how firm the commitment is, and my understanding is that a lease has not yet been signed (these things take a while). I do know for a fact that they pulled out of the (non-binding) "commitment" they had to locate at 3rd & H Street NE."

Either way, whether it is Harris Teeter or Ellwood Thompsons that may be replacing the lease as Harris Teeter backed out, the neighborhood is in dire need for a full-service grocer other than what is available at H and 6th (?) NE.

As an aside, I have been speaking with the owner of Ellwood Thompsons, Rick Hood, about their expansion into DC. They are working with a local retail broker and are in great hands. As of our last conversation they were looking at three possible areas, Columbia Heights & DC USA, the location at 3rd & M NE, near Douglas Jemals Uline Skate Arena and possibly upper NW DC.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ward 8 On the Rise, Giant Grocery Opens its Doors on Alabama Ave SE

For the first time in 9 years, Ward 8 has a major grocery retailer available to its residents. This arrival, spurred by the availability of a retail location on government land, marks what could be the continuation of the growth and prosperity of Southeast DC. The Giant Supermarket was eagerly welcomed by local residents and local developers, as the improvement will offer nothing but continued opportunity for investment and retailers across the river in Southeast. The previous grocery store, Safeway, closed its doors in 1998.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Curtis Chevrolet Closes to Make Room for New Development

This past Friday, Curtis Chevrolet, located at the intersection of Missouri Ave NW and Georgia Ave NW closed its doors to make room for an upcoming development.

According to the Washington Business Journal:
"Dudley Dworken, owner of the dealership, said details were still being worked out but that he would be a partner in the development." Foulger-Pratt has signed on to fill the position as development partner. The development is expected to house residential units above with street level retail along the scrutinzed Georgia Ave corridor. In upcoming years, Georgia Ave, a part of DC's "Great Streets" initiative, will be completely repaved, replanted and redesigned to create a more warm welcome into our city.

Foulger-Pratt is locally known for their roles at the Metropole, Madrigal Lofts, and 1010 Mass as Glen Construction filed bankruptcy earlier this year. Read more here.

According to the tax record, the lot is zoned c2a and is a quite sizable 145,000 square feet, thats over three acres. This might be a bit presumptuous but I have the feeling we'll be seeing a PUD application sometime in the VERY near future.

Only time will tell.

Demand Up, Supply Stable

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the DC area added nearly 42,000 jobs to its labor force this past October which makes this month, the 64th consecutive month of increases.

Now, with the housing market here stabilizing and the population drastically increasing, I wouldn't be too sure that home prices will continue their current path. If you watch my post from yesterday, there are specific national housing price segments that I believe will have a bit of trouble for some time. Nationally, stay under $417k and you should be ok. Fortunately, the local market has faired comparatively well despite the sub-prime mess amongst much of the nation but here those $500k+ continue to surprise me.

What women want...

Recently, during several of the condo conversion projects we have been representing, I have taken note that most of the purchasers happen to be women. Why, you ask? Well, after going through an article this morning, there is much more logic behind the mentality of the female mind (not that I cant disagree). Surprisingly, Elizabeth Weintraub, the home purchasing and selling expert for, has been able to eloquently summarize where our local market is and what to focus on if you are considering selling your home to target the majority of the market (THIS MEANS YOU DEVELOPERS).

Based on the stats on the site,
* More than one in five home buyers is a single woman.
* Twice as many unmarried women are buying homes than single men.
* Single women make up more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994.

Trends for Single Women Home Buyers

* 3 out of 4 women spend less than $200,000.
* Prefer 2 bedrooms or more.
* Less likely to choose new construction.
* Buy in city over suburban areas.
* Will compromise size & cost to get other amenities.
* Will not compromise on location or quality of neighborhood.
* Prefer condominiums with well run homeowner associations over single family homes.
* Smaller spaces are acceptable.
* Desire security and / or gated access.
* Like to engage in social interaction with neighbors.
* Want close proximity to stores, shopping and fitness centers

Want more?

According to the 2006 Census, Washington, DC has the higest female to male population in the entire country, ranked 51 out of 51. The current ratio is 88 males to every 100 females. Take these statistics into account, target the sale of your home, condo or development towards the tastes of females (I have yet to meet a woman who dislikes a jacuzzi tub) and chances are you home will sell faster.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fed Predicted to Lower Rates .5%, NOTHING WILL CHANGE

Interested in the future of Poplar Point? Presentations displayed December 12th.

This coming week, on Wednesday, December 12th, the four remaining Poplar Point development proposals will be presented at Birney Elementary School in at 2501 MLK Jr Ave in SE.

According to the DMPED website,

What: The four short-listed teams of developers that responded to the District’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to develop Poplar Point will present their proposed vision for the site to the community. The District is seeking a development partner to transform the approximately 130-acre site along the Anacostia River in Ward 8 into a world-class waterfront neighborhood.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
Chairman Vincent C. Gray, D-At Large (Invited)
Councilmember Marion Barry, D-Ward 8 (Invited)
Councilmember Kwame R. Brown, D-At-Large
Councilmember Yvette Alexander, D-Ward 7 (Invited)
Deputy Mayor Neil O. Albert

Development Teams
Archstone-Smith/Madison Marquette
Clark Realty Capital
Forest City Washington
General Growth Partners, Mid-City Urban, Doracon

When: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Where: Birney Elementary School
Multipurpose Room
2501 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Ward 8

****If you dont plan to attend but would still like more information, I will be recording the event and will be posting it on here the day after the meeting for everyone to watch****

Thanks to for the notification.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jesse's back and he is better than ever!!!!

So, after a long awaited new posting I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and I am back, this time for good. Since this past vacation meetings and presentations have been so hectic its been absolutely ridiculous to keep up. Between 6-7 more development projects we should be signing on to the presentations that have been occurring, I havent been able to even consider dedicating the time to continue posting. To all of you avid readers, my sincerest apologies, however I can promise the best is yet to come.