Mixed-Use Conversion Of Historic Bakery Warehouse Nears Completion In Shaw
A 130-year-old building in Shaw that once served as the warehouse for a bakery has been transformed into condos, retail and office space.
The adaptive reuse project at 1827 Wiltberger St. NW, branded as The Adora, is in the final stages of construction, with the nine condos and 36K SF of commercial space nearly ready for occupancy.
Feldman Ruel Urban Property Advisors is representing the developer, Old City Development Group, in marketing the commercial space for sale. The developer is also working with Stream Realty to seek tenants for the commercial space.
Depending on the interest it receives, the developer may either sell the space to owner-occupiers or lease the space and then sell it to investors, Feldman Ruel Managing Principal Josh Feldman said.
The project's first two floors were preserved from the historic bakery, and the third, fourth and fifth floors were new additions. The developer also added new HVAC and mechanical systems, plus windows, floors and elevators. PGN Architects designed the project, and Bognet Construction served as the general contractor.
The commercial space is split into multiple condos across the first, second and third floors. The first floor is likely to be used as retail, while the upper floors are envisioned as office. The residential condos, being marketed by Urban Pace, are on the fourth and fifth floors.
Built in 1891, the building was home to the Holzbeierlein Bakery's baking and distribution facilities until it closed in 1953. It has since housed a variety of wholesale food distributors.
"What this project will do is activate that entire alley down Wiltberger, and turn it into a more established street," Feldman Ruel Managing Principal Ian Ruel said. "Especially if you have one, two or three retailers going into that strip, you have office condos, you're going to have a lot more activity down there."
The ground-floor retail space totals 9K SF with 13-foot ceiling heights, and it can be broken up into three separate storefronts. It could either be acquired by a landlord looking to lease it to restaurants, or a restaurateur could purchase the space to own and operate a business.
While the office and retail markets have both experienced weak demand over the last year, Ruel said the historic aspects of the building and the amenities of the Shaw neighborhood make the property well-positioned in today's market.
"The retail and office assets that will perform well in the future will be the ones that are well-located in growing, vibrant neighborhoods, and buildings and spaces that have character and a unique feel," Ruel wrote in a statement. "We think that 1827 Wiltberger St. NW checks all those boxes."
Feldman said he has seen an increase in activity from restaurateurs over the last three months after they adjusted to operating in a pandemic, and he thinks there is pent-up demand for restaurateurs to expand. He also said he has seen interest from ghost kitchen concepts.
"We're seeing an uptick from experienced restaurant operators that see that over the next three to four months there might be a downsizing of restaurant space in the city, and they're trying to take advantage of that," Feldman said. "Whether leasing space at attractive rental rates or buying condo retail units for their own use, we've seen an uptick from restaurant users."
The upper floors, featuring 27K SF of office space, could also be bought by a landlord or by an owner-operator. Ruel said he expects a lobbying shop, law firm or other professional services firm would be drawn to owning their own space.
Feldman said the team has more interest from tenants since the building became ready for tours. The team has also created a video tour of the project.
"When we first brought the asset out to market a few months ago, 1827 Wiltberger Street NW was under construction," Feldman wrote in a statement. "As a result, it was difficult for buyers and tenants to visualize and appreciate the finished product. Now that construction is nearing completion, we believe that we are in a position to more effectively market these truly unique commercial condominiums.”