Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mixed Use Project Planned for Rosslyn

Penzance, in partnership with Arlington County, plans to build a new office building, two residential towers and a fire station.  The plan is to merge 1555 Wilson Blvd., which Penzance currently owns, with what is now the site of the Rosslyn Highlands Park.  Replacing the park will be a 17 story office building, a 27 story residential building, a 24 story residential building and the new fire station (site plan is shown below).  Plans do include an 11,500 SF park to replace the one they're building on but the park space will be greatly diminished from the current 43,500 SF field and 18,500 SF public plaza.  That means the community is not thrilled.  Carolyn Haynes, Chair of Arlington's Park and Recreations Committee, said the proposal would "fail to meet the diverse recreation and open space needs of the Rosslyn community."

In addition to these new buildings, Arlington Public Schools is proposing a  new 6 story, $80 million secondary school at the corner of Wilson Blvd. and Quinn St. or possibly along 18th St. which would hold 775 students.  This would put the school immediately west of Rosslyn Highlands Park.  So maybe if the school gets enough support, the full project will be able to go through.  We'll keep you posted on any updates.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mortgage Rates on the Rise...Slightly

Freddie Mac reported yesterday that mortgage rates continued to rise this week (despite still being much lower than rates at this same time last year) with a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3.76%, up from 3.69% last week.  But again, this is a far cry from the 4.33% we saw this time last year.  15 year fixed rates barely rose to 3.05% from 2.99%.

Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, said “Mortgage rates rose for the second consecutive week as 10-year Treasury yields surged. Housing starts declined 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted pace of 1.065 million units and housing permits dipped 0.7 percent in January."

Monday, February 9, 2015

170 Units between U Street and Columbia Heights

Aria Development Group is pitching a 170 unit residential development at 1309 and 1315 Clifton Street NW.  The plans call for a complete raze of 1309 but part of 1315's existing structure will be incorporated into the new building.  The building will be made up of 22% studios, 66% one bedrooms and 12% two and three bedrooms with 10% of units being set aside for affordable housing.  In addition to the affordable housing units, current residents are being offered the chance to move back in at their current rent which will no doubt be a steal.

The location is unbeatable as it is within 6 blocks of both the Columbia Heights and U Street Metros, just steps from Cardozo High School.  But for the few people who will need to drive, there will be 36 parking spaces along with 80 secure bike spaces.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Difference a Year Makes: Mortgage Rates Fall to 3.59%

Freddie Mac reported yesterday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.59% - the lowest it has been since May 2013.  To put this figure in context, the average rate at this time last year was 4.32%.   How much savings does this equate to? Let's look at an example: 

Suppose you purchased a $400,000 property with 20% down last year.... your estimated monthly payment excluding property taxes and escrows would be approximately $1,570.  The same property with the same down payment in today's market would yield an estimated $1453 monthly payment excluding taxes and escrows.  That's right, over $100 a month in mortgage savings! 

According to Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist, Len Kiefer, "Mortgage rates fell this week following the release of weaker than expected pending home sales, which fell 3.7% in December. Moreover, the real GDP growth for the fourth quarter was 2.6% and the Institute for Supply Management reported slower growth in manufacturing last month, both missing market consensus forecasts." 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fifteen Story Residential Building in DC?

It appears as though 1331 Maryland Ave. SW may soon be in the category of one of the tallest buildings in DC once it's built.  The site, part of the Portals buildings around 12th St. and Maryland Ave. in Southwest, was once planned to join the other three Portals buildings as office but developer Republic Properties has presented a plan to make it a 15 story residential tower.  If you're not familiar with this area, it's right next to the Mandarin Oriental which is actually also a part of the Portals buildings.

The development is currently under review by the federal Commission of Fine Arts.  However, the lot is currently zoned C-3-C, which allows matter-of-right medium or high density office, retail or housing to a maximum lot occupancy of 100 percent, and to a height of 130 feet, which means that no Zoning Commission approval would be needed once it gets past the Commission of Fine Arts.

Just Listed! Spacious 1BR+DEN in the Heart of SW Waterfront


Proudly Offered By: Andrew Turczyn 

350 G St SW #511
Washington, DC 
1BR+Den / 1 Bath / Storage 

Beautiful condo in the vibrant and redeveloping SW Waterfront! 

This spacious 1BR+Den (easily a second bedroom) features: open floor plan, open kitchen with breakfast bar, ample closets throughout unit, spacious master bedroom with walk-in closet, W/D in unit. A private storage locker completes the package! 

Potomac Place Condominiums offers residents resort-style amenities including: 24 hr concierge services, fitness center, yoga studio, business center, club room, and outdoor pool with sundeck. Located two blocks from Metro, shopping, dining and Arena Stage!  Three blocks to new Wharf Development and seven blocks to Nationals Park!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Former Living Social Space to be Restaurant Pop-Ups

The fate of 918 F Street, the former site of thousands of Living Social events like cooking classes and wine tastings, has finally been decided.  It will play host to different restaurant concepts looking for investors to get off the ground.  EquityEats is backing the project and will provide the funding for restaurateurs to come in and set up a temporary restaurant in the hopes of getting an investor to sign onto their project.  

EquityEats is a newly launched restaurant investment platform meant to match restaurateurs with investment partners.  They got the idea for this pop-up space because they were hearing from investors that they didn't want to sink money into a project without knowing the chef and their food.  This gives them a perfect opportunity to do just that.

They plan to keep the bar that Living Social put in to also include opportunities for new bar concepts.  In addition, they will have space for up to five restaurants.  While they have not yet announced the first round, they are currently working with a bakery, lobster and burger spot, farm to table restaurant and a seafood restaurant so you may expect to see them move in.

While the deal is not finalized yet, it definitely looks like it could happen very soon.  We'll keep you posted!