The owner of Tryst is opening at new restaurant at the bottom of 1020 Monroe
After three years of renting in Gallery Place/Chinatown and Southwest DC, Amanda Sahl was ready to buy. Her apartment in Southwest, where she works at the Department of Energy, made commuting to her job easy, but she missed the nightlife of Chinatown. In April 2010, she bought a one-bedroom condo in the Harvard Loft building in Columbia Heights.
“In Chinatown, I had to plan ahead when I needed to go to the grocery store,” Sahl says. Now she has four within a few blocks—not to mention a Metro station, four bus stops, and a Capital Bikeshare rack.
Columbia Heights has undergone a renaissance since Metro’s arrival in 1999. In 2008, a retail complex opened; it has DC’s only Target store as well as other big-box retailers such as Best Buy and Marshalls. A growing number of locally owned bars and restaurants are also sprouting up.
Beyond the area around the Metro, the neighborhood has a residential feel. “There aren’t many places so close to downtown that have so many big Victorian rowhouses,” says David Gorman, co-owner of Lock 7 Development, a DC real-estate firm. Gorman notes that a lot of developers have been converting the neighborhood’s historic housing into small condo buildings.
Another draw of Columbia Heights and nearby Mount Pleasant: price. Long & Foster agent Matt McHugh says you can get more for your money here than in nearby neighborhoods such as Logan Circle, U Street, and Dupont Circle. Prices for rowhouses in Columbia Heights range widely—from about $300,000 for a fixer-upper to $1.4 million for a completely restored five-bedroom. Bargain-minded buyers often look east of Sherman Avenue, where rowhouses run from the low-$300,000s to the mid-$500,000s. Closer to the Metro, most are $700,000 to the mid-$900,000s. Expect to pay slightly more in Mount Pleasant, popular with families for its leafy streets and proximity to Rock Creek Park. Rowhouses there range from the mid-$700,000s to more than $1 million.
Condos—most of which can be found in Columbia Heights—typically start in the mid-$300,000s for a one-bedroom and the low $500,000s for a two-bedroom. Here are four condo buildings with new units for sale:
2910 Georgia Ave
The roof deck at 2910 Georgia Ave (202-695-7580) offers views of the Washington Monument and Washington National Cathedral. The four-story, 22-unit building has eight units left, all with nine-foot ceilings. Remaining one-bedrooms start at $219,900, two-bedrooms at $349,900. Parking is available for $25,000.
The neo-Gothic building that houses the Embassy Condominium (1613 Harvard St., NW) was built in the 1920s. Amenities include a fitness center, a media lounge, and a restored grand lobby. Fewer than 10 of the 76 units remain, all of them two-bedrooms from $432,900 to $469,900; some have park views and private balconies.
Completed in 2009, the 12-unit Harvard Loft (1466 Harvard St., NW; 202-596-1466) has three condos left, including two 2,000-square-foot penthouses with views of the monuments and Catholic University. The $835,000 units—which include two parking spaces—have two bedrooms, two balconies, and a den. There’s also a 700-square-foot one-bedroom with a balcony for $399,000; outdoor parking for that unit is $55,000. All three condos have 20-foot-ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and oak floors.
On a corner of the 11th Street corridor, 1020 Monroe (1020 Monroe St., NW; 202-580-6015), which was completed in September, has 28 units. Amenities include a roof deck and a ground-floor restaurant scheduled to open in January; it’s from Constantine Stavropoulos, owner of Tryst and the Diner, both in nearby Adams Morgan. One-bedrooms are $299,900 to $369,900, two-bedrooms $399,000 to $469,000.