Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Latest on Kendall Row (AKA Capitol Hill Oasis)

Capitol Hill Oasis
An early rendering of the Capitol Hill Oasis (from its now defunct website)

They've been in the works for years, but it looks like the four story townhomes at 921 12th Street are finally ready to show.  The price tag is $1.1 million each. That gets you five bedrooms, five full baths, and a finished basement with recreational space. You can take a virtual tour here, or check out the listing here.

Before this project was known as Kendall Row, it was called the Capitol Hill Oasis. While it has a long and storied past under that name, I mention it now because of the location. This is at 12th & H, so the old name inevitably led to the joke that the ongoing construction project (It's been what? Six, maybe seven years?) was neither an oasis, nor located on Capitol Hill. Note that the new ad says Kendall Row is in Stanton Park. Interesting, as I think most people consider Station Park to be south of H Street, and a bit further west than 12th Street.

You're looking at a little under 700 square feet per floor (3,450 total, including the basement). Every floor (except the basement) has a full bathroom. The floor with the kitchen, actually has two full bathrooms. Note that the kitchen shares its floor with a bedroom, but not with the dining room, or living room. It seems like that could get a bit awkward when entertaining guests. But the kitchen is large (15' x 10'), and it features a ton of cabinet space. 

The house, by the way, is only 15' wide from interior wall to interior wall, making it narrower than many houses around here. So is it overpriced at $1.1 million? The details and fixtures are don't really scream luxury. A few rooms in the house have wood floors, but most are carpeted (including the basement). One unusual feature is a private elevator. It might come in handy if you aren't into all those stairs. Head all the way up to the green roof, and enjoy some fabulous views of DC.

1228 Florida Ave (right around the corner) originally listed for close to a million, but ended up selling for $926,000 (seller subsidy of $27,780). At roughly 3,000 square feet, 1228 is about 450 square feet smaller than a Kendall Row townhome. But it's also about ten feet wider (25' versus 15'). It's got six bedrooms, and four and a half bathrooms to Kendall Row's five of each. 1228 also has a huge backyard, something you won't find at Kendall Row where the total lot size is a very modest 1,273 square feet versus 3,366 square feet at 1228. Kendall Row does at least offer off street parking.

I've been inside 1228, and it looks far more appealing to me than these photos of Kendall Row. Both have a more modern look inside, but where 1228 has personality and some high-end features, Kendall Row has carpeting, and fixtures/details that look cheap/blah. Part of that is likely due to the project's troubled past, which I hope to write about soon. For now, catch up on past coverage from the archives.

Please note that there were, at one point, plans to build additional townhomes. 
I'm told the condos in the alley are still coming, but I think the access plan may have changed. That adjacent property was Jimmy's Tire, but is now a vacant lot slated to become housing.

How a luxury housing project in Northeast D.C. turned into an expensive eyesore (WaPo 4/21/2012)
Whoops! More Buffoonery at Capitol Hill Oasis (10/21/2010)
Capitol Hill Oasis on the Auction Block (9/20/2010)
Inexplicably, Capitol Hill Oasis Starts Phase II (9/19/2010)
Phase II Underway at Capitol Hill Oasis (DCMUD 9/17/2010)

Prefab Row Homes in DC? Welcome to Capitol Hill Oasis (Urban Turf 12/22/2009)
Autoparts on Florida, and a Look at an Intersection (12/2/2009)
Investigators Determine Tire Shop Fire Was Accidental (1/28/2008)
Massive Fire Guts Jimmy's Tire (1/21/2008)
Collapse @Jimmy's Tire (12/30/2007)

Gearing Up @ 12th & Florida (9/20/2007)
Construction to Watch (6/21/2007)
New Townhome/Condo Project Breaks Ground in SoFlo (DCMUD 10/15/2006)
Condos in 900 Block of 12th Street (1/26/2006)
Negro League Legends Hall of Fame? (12/31/2004)
[The original plans for the site called for this museum to be constructed along side the Capitol Hill Oasis townhomes & condos. The museum held a groundbreaking at the 12th street site, but was ultimately built in Lanham, MD]

A ceremonial resolution from the DC Council recognizing the NLLHOF (10/5/2004, scroll down past Keely Thompson resolution)
Honoring baseball greats: New NE museum to showcase Negro League (The Common Denominator 8/23/2004)
Ground Breaking Negro League Legends Hall of Fame & Museum (press release 7/26/2004)
New Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame (NPR, The Tavis Smiley Show 1/13/2004)

Here's the earliest reference I can find to plans for a NLLHOF in NE DC.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Honestly I don't know how they think they're going to get $1.1 million for those. Yes, they are huge, but the finishes look extremely cheap. That carpet in the bedroom? Awful. Also it looks like they stuck an elevator from the 70s in the middle of the house. It's so strange.

Anonymous said...

I know not everyone like open floor plans, but this is the exact opposite. Everything is so broken up into little rooms. And the kitchen on a different level than the living room? That would be hella inconvenient to have to run upstairs to grab a beer when watching TV. The lower level might work as a rec room, but I would have to add plumbing to make a bar area. No way I'm going up 2 flights of stairs to get food if I'm shooting pool in the rec room.

Anonymous said...

The best use for this place is a group house. Each bedroom could probably fetch $1000 or more per month.

JJ said...

Whole Foods coming to H Street!

Anonymous said...

YAY to whole foods! Wait the elevator doesn't go to the roof? no thanks! bhahaaahaha

fatty said...

I figured they would put the price/ sq foot at neighborhood comps. That's a huge mistake, with the cheap finishes, lack of curb appeal and odd layout. They will go for about $750K is my guess, but I'm not an agent and have been wrong in RE prices before.

h st ll said...

None of the comps have private elevators or roof decks, though. I agree that its not for everyone (including me), but the consensus on twitter yesterday was that they will sell at those prices.

Good article Inked. interesting in the curbed link that the Jimmys tire land has sold. Be nice once that is built out also.

Excited about WF!

RPW said...

Yeesh. I know tax assessment value does not equal sale price but have you ever seen something assess for a full third under the sale price?

I can't imagine someone paying that price.

h st ll said...

Tax assessments will be reset at what they sell at once that happens, right?

Pete said...

Well, 5BR/5BA = no waiting for the bathroom. One way to achieve domestic bliss I suppose. I could see investors buying these as rentals with all those bathrooms.

Pragmatic said...

What if the elevator malfunctions? Do we get trapped in your own home?

RPW said...

@hstreetll My understanding is it's for the next year. So a house bought in 2013 will have the property assessment set to the sale price in 2014. EXCEPT there is a law that says property tax can't go up more than 10% a year. So if this sale price holds it will be four years before you're at that level.

LFM said...

The real crime here is that scary rendering with the corvette parked out front. Please burn that.

pat said...

Given how old the core structure is, the disaster that was the general contractor, and the fact the project was slapped together by the bank.

I think anyone who buys these is buying a buttload of trouble

Anonymous said...

I can't see them selling for more than 500k a piece. Unless they go to a property mgmt co for rental units or halfway house use or something equally savory.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of price, I cannot imagine anyone with any sense of their history wanting one. Any project that gets rushed on the cheap like this will have tons of issues. Hideous finishes and layouts, but that can be changed for the right sales price. I definitely won't be selling these to my clients unless the story behind them does not trouble them.

Anonymous said...

Really odd lay out, there is a master bedroom but it doesn't have a private bath. It shares that bath with the other bedroom on the floor. Each floor with bedrooms is exactly the same. This is a really bad design

14thPL said...

So the living room and dinning room isn't near the kitchen? They're also asking for a million dollars but have carpet in the bedrooms and the ultimate sin (in my opinion) an electric range. If I had a million I would find something else.

Anonymous said...

at least the barbed wire will come down! anything was better than the attica fence. but thhey are really, REALLY weird! I had to search for the kitchen in the layout specs! investors might buy these awful structures to offer as group houses to indulged students or transient staffers. I cant see anyone else being interested in purchasing these 'homes" especially for over a mil. and their history is sketchy...from the fire to the years of just sitting there molding. it seems a lot of $ regardless of the # of bdrms/bths each have.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this at all. Wouldn't it make more sense to have developed theses as, say, 20 condos? Might somebody still just buy up the block and do that?

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that the windows on the front facade are fixed, rather than operable? Makes it look like an office building (and a bad one, at that). Nobody with even a minor sense of design will waste their time considering purchase of one of these.

h st ll said...

Just saw on Zillow the Z estimate on these is 966k.

And they are 3750 sq ft. Of course I bet a lot of that is eaten up by the stairs (and to a lesser extent the elevator).

h st ll said...

And there is an open house today (Saturday), 2 to 4pm. Might have to look at it just for curiosity's sake! LOL

inked said...

Open house tomorrow too!

Anonymous said...

Okay... several issues here. Dining room first floor + kitchen 2nd??? No! Least used dining room ever.
Secondly what kind of architect releases drawings that look like that! Ugh... nasty!