Development Site Near Union Market Put Up For Sale After Years Of Delays
A property owner that has been planning a development in the booming Union Market neighborhood for nearly five years is now looking to sell.
The partnership of Zusin Development and Sivan Properties retained Feldman Ruel Urban Property Advisors to market the development site at 301 Florida Ave. NE, the brokers tell Bisnow. The site officially hit the market Wednesday.
The property has 8,700 SF of land area at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Third Street NE, four blocks from the Union Market building and two blocks from the NoMa Metro station.
The site is approved for 56 multifamily units with a focus on family-sized units. The approved plans call for 42 three-bedrooms, seven four-bedrooms and seven studios.
The owners acquired the site in February 2016 for $3.6M, property records show, and they brought the project before the Zoning Commission that same month. After the Zoning Commission approved the project in June 2016, anti-development group Union Market Neighbors brought the project to court, one of several appeals it filed in the neighborhood.
The D.C. Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal in November 2017, a full 16 months after it was filed. Following the dismissal, the development team told Bisnow it planned to break ground in Q1 2018, a plan that didn't come to fruition.
"What we’re selling here is a fully entitled site where ownership has gone through the PUD approval process and all the appeals, so now they have a fully entitled project with substantial value and they feel it makes sense to exit the project at this point," Feldman Ruel Managing Principal Ian Ruel told Bisnow.
Ruel is marketing the project along with Managing Principal Josh Feldman and Senior Investment Associate LaMarr Datcher. Feldman and Ruel, two former Marcus & Millichap brokers, launched the brokerage firm in March.
Zusin had previously partnered with Ditto Residential on the development. But in July, Ditto sold its 50% stake in the property to Zusin for $3.2M, property records show.
Ditto Residential CEO Martin Ditto said he decided to sell the stake because he is shifting the focus of his company away from urban development. While it is finishing up some projects in D.C., Ditto said he will soon focus his attention on more rural projects in Virginia's Shenandoah Mountain area.
"We exited because we’re focusing on new ruralism and working out in Virginia," Ditto said. "It’s centered in preservation and agriculture, how can you create self-sustaining communities that are closer in terms of their social fabric, and to do so in a rural environment even if that means more density on certain sites, but far more preservation of land."
The Florida Avenue property sits across the street from four developments that have moved forward over the last few years, and several more developments are proceeding in the surrounding blocks.
The Edison and the Highline at Union Market buildings, directly across Florida Avenue, delivered in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Across N Street, Foulger-Pratt's three-building Press House at Union District development broke ground in April 2019. Across Third Street, Trammell Crow's Armature Works project broke ground in October 2019.
Within a half-mile of the property, more than 10,000 multifamily units, 1M SF of office, 625K SF of retail and 1,000 hotel rooms are proposed or under construction, according to CoStar data Ruel cited. That half-mile radius includes the majority of the NoMa and Union Market neighborhoods.
“The Union Market district is experiencing an unprecedented level of development," Ruel said. "The site’s location across the street from the Union Market district, which is quickly becoming one of Washington, D.C.'s most coveted retail destinations, will be a strong catalyst for tenant demand and future rent growth. Because of that, we anticipate a strong level of activity on the opportunity."