Real Estate

Remember that $70,000 Patch of Grass in Adams Morgan? Now It’s a $1,450,000 Rowhouse

The 1,500-square-foot home just hit the market.

All photos courtesy of OPaL DC.

DC real-estate watchers might recall when a 450-square-foot triangle of land at the intersection of Florida Avenue, NW and V Street, NW in Adams Morgan was listed for $70,000 back in 2018. It went under contract for nearly twice the asking price, so someone obviously wanted it pretty badly. But online commenters wondered what could possibly be built on such a tiny, oddly shaped lot—one that neighbors had mostly used as a rest stop for their dogs.

The buyer, it turns out, was developer Sean Ruppert, whose company OPaL DC has built and renovated a number of unique properties around the District. The purchase price, he explains, got inflated to $135,000 because it wound up including the cost of back taxes and fines that had accumulated on the parcel over the years. Ruppert’s vision for the long overlooked sliver of grass seems to have paid off: His company built a four-level, luxury rowhouse on it, which just hit the market for $1,450,000.

The 1,500-square-foot house occupies the entire lot, while the surprisingly large front garden is technically public space (which is actually common with DC rowhouses, and something the city allows). Inside, there are three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, a compact—but high-end—kitchen, a nook for working from home, and a spiral staircase. The roofdeck has a view that stretches from Rosslyn, to the Washington Monument, to the Capitol Dome.

Ruppert says it was never his intention to build a house literally shaped like a triangle. “That would’ve been way too contemporary,” he says. “That’s just not OPaL at all.” Instead, he pulled inspiration from the rest of the block, made up of Richardsonian-style rowhouses characterized by wide, arched front doors and heavy brickwork. Those same elements are evident in the new house—they’ve just been modernized.

Since the home went up for sale last Friday, Ruppert says several potential buyers have materialized. He anticipates more showings this weekend. Ruppert was once himself a resident of the neighborhood. And like the other neighbors, he recalls taking his dog to the little triangular patch for bathroom breaks. “You would never imagine you could build a house like this on that lot,” he says, laughing.

Take a look for yourself.


The roofdeck view.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.