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Modular Housing Project Breaks Ground In Petworth

Work underway on the modular housing project at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW

A construction crane this month lifted 44 modular boxes into place as part of an apartment project in Petworth. The emerging building method is often touted as more affordable and environmentally friendly than traditional construction.  

The development team of Community Three and Rooney Properties announced Monday it broke ground on the 17-unit project at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW, across the street from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station. 

The modular housing project, branded as Modo, used boxes that were manufactured in Pennsylvania and shipped to the site. The boxes arrived on-site 80% finished. 

CBC Construction and Simplex Homes built the modular boxes and the developer worked with Modular Mobilization Coalition to select the contractors. Eric Colbert & Associates designed the project, EagleBank provided the financing and Urban Pace will begin pre-leasing the apartments in March. 

A rendering of the 17-unit modular apartment project at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW

All 17 of the project's apartments are three-bedroom units. The apartments feature built-in shelving, desks and pre-installed televisions. The project's amenities include a roof deck with seating and grilling areas and a seating area in the lobby. The building will also have 3K SF of ground-floor retail space with space for over 100 outdoor patio seats. 

Industry experts have pointed to modular construction as a potential solution to the housing affordability crisis, as it is often a cheaper building method, and rising construction costs make the option seem less risky to some developers. Community Three President Grant Epstein said the development team was also attracted to the environmentally friendly aspects of modular construction.

“We were looking for more efficient and environmentally-friendly alternatives to typical construction types,” Epstein said in a release. “Modular construction can reduce construction time by almost one-third, while generating far less onsite construction waste."