The 7 DC Microunit Developments You Need to Know
While microunits are all the rage in the nation's most expensive cities, like DC, the actual number of microunits coming down the pipeline remains relatively low. Here are seven projects—one completed, the others on the way—that will squeeze Millennials into tight, albeit luxurious, spaces.
Neighborhood: Crystal City
Space breakdown: 5,800 SF retail, 25k SF office, 127k SF residential
Originally planned as a solely office-to-residential conversion in a vacant office building on South Clark Street, Vornado and WeWork got approval last month to include a two-floor, 25k SF WeWork office beneath the residential units. WeWork and Vornado each declined comment on the price and expected delivery date of this closely watched project, which won’t be long for the area anyway. WeWork has just a 20-year lease on the building, which is slated to be torn down and replaced by 2050.
2. The Harper
Developer: Level 2 Development
Neighborhood: 14th Street
Space breakdown: 6k SF retail, 77k SF residential
The Harper has been cited by the Washington Post and NPR as an example of the burgeoning trend of microunits in DC, and why not? It’s in one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods, and a studio with around 400 SF is going for $2,050/month. It’s almost entirely full, and has a private dining room, gourmet kitchen and fitness center to offer residents in exchange for the space they sacrifice.
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
Space breakdown: 36k SF residential, plus planned six-story addition
When SB-Urban paid $20M to buy the historic mansion near Dupont Circle—the building that briefly served as the White House during Calvin Coolidge’s administration—early last year, it caused a stir. Mike Balaban and Frank Saul III’s fledgling business is planning to add a six-story addition and convert the whole thing into furnished, luxury apartments at no more than 400 SF a pop. SB-Urban is just a few years old, but it’s already making waves in the DC microunit market.
Space breakdown: 12k SF retail, ~55k SF residential
Another SB-Urban conversion of an old, non-multifamily property into microunits. The Latham Hotel in Georgetown closed due to water damage in 2012, giving SB-Urban the chance to buy the 10-story building for $45M last year. Like Patterson, the Latham will have furnished, luxury apartments at 330 SF or less, with common space and carsharing/bikesharing available.
The Blagden Alley Project
Neighborhood: Blagden Alley
Space breakdown: 903 SF retail, ~43k SF residential
SB-Urban’s Mike Balaban told Bisnow yesterday he wasn’t ready to comment on the status of any of his three upcoming microunit properties. We can tell you these three conversions into luxury, exceedingly small units are among the more fascinating developments in the District. None of the units in this building, at the corner of M and 9th streets NW, are expected to be more than 350 SF. And none of the buildings are expected to come with any parking; instead residents could have Bikeshare and carsharing accounts included with rent.
1456-1460 Church St NW
Developer: Gregg Busch, Brook Rose
Neighborhood: Logan Circle
Space breakdown: 18k SF residential
This eight-story mini-tower is designed mostly with glass façades and is yet another example of a developer maximizing space on a small lot by going micro. The developers are expecting to deliver this building in late 2015, according to UrbanTurf, and won’t be providing parking to residents...sensing a theme?
Developer: PN Hoffman, Madison Marquette
Neighborhood: Southwest Waterfront
Space breakdown: 40k SF retail (including music hall), 500 total units
A large component of Phase 1 of the Wharf will be the microunit development in the two-tower residential building known, so far, as Parcel 2. Between 300 SF and 350 SF, these units will be furnished and sit atop the planned 6,000-seat music venue and swimming pool with glass bottom. With every amenity, every feature geared toward attracting Millennials, the units should be on line in 2017 and go for $2k/month and under.