UIP Opens 100-Unit Renovated Apartment Community in Former WAMU HQ
Urban Investment Partners (UIP) of Washington DC has unveiled Frequency Apartments, the result of a $14 million year-long 40,000 sf gut renovation of and 12,000 sf addition to a northwest Washington, DC office building that was the longtime home of National Public Radio affiliate WAMU.
UIP to Convert Two Howard Residence Halls to Apartments
HOWARD UNIVERSITY, UIP, AND NDC PARTNER
TO REDEVELOP CAMPUS PROPERTIES FOR $50 MILLION
Washington, DC – September 1, 2017 – Howard University is partnering with Urban Investment Partners (UIP) and Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC) to redevelop two former dormitories into residential apartments. The UIP/NDC partnership closed on the Carver Hall transaction on August 18th and subsequently finalized closing on Slowe Hall on September 1st. The partnership will renovate and convert the two structures into 162 modern rental apartments.
Howard University’s Real Estate Development and Capital Asset Management team issued a Request for Proposals in early 2017 and selected UIP/NDC after a highly competitive process that attracted several local and regional developers. The University will maintain fee simple ownership of the property through an innovative, long-term capitalized ground lease structure and will participate in the upside generated by the project over the term. The full project cost, including a capitalized ground lease payment and redevelopment, is $50 million. Negotiated terms include significant minority participation, ranging from equity partners to trade contractors. The agreement also provides scholarships and internship opportunities for Howard University students.
Located in the LeDroit Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, George Washington Carver Hall (211 Elm Street, NW) and Lucy Diggs Slowe Hall (1919 3rd Street, NW) were built in 1942 to accommodate War Department workers. For more than 60 years, the buildings have served as student dormitories for the University. Both are currently unoccupied.
Howard University’s real estate strategy, spearheaded by President Wayne A. I. Frederick, includes a systematic evaluation of its large portfolio of real estate assets, and identification of monetization opportunities accordingly. The two dormitories were slated for closure in the 2012 Campus Master Plan, which outlines the University’s intent to bring students closer to campus to cultivate a more unified educational experience in new and renovated residence halls. With support from the local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and civic associations, the University received approval from the DC Zoning Commission to remove Carver and Slowe Halls from its campus plan boundary earlier this year.
The UIP/NDC partnership has proactively advanced the pre-development phase during transaction negotiations to design the projects and complete initial construction plans. Interior demolition will begin immediately, and construction will begin in early 2018. Each building will offer a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a fitness center, resident lounge, and generous outdoor amenity spaces. Carver Hall will include 15 loft apartments with dramatic 16-foot ceilings, sleeping lofts, and interior feature stairs. Howard University will provide up to 50 parking spaces for new residents at one of its nearby parking facilities.
Bonstra Haresign is the architect for both projects, UIP General Contracting is the general contractor, and UIP Property Management will manage the communities once they are complete.
Both renovated buildings will retain their current names honoring icons in African American history. Additionally, Howard University will install plaques to commemorate the buildings’ namesakes, their legacy, and continued linkage to the University. Named Dean of Women at Howard University in 1922, Slowe was the first African American woman to hold such a post at any American university. Born into slavery in the 1860s, Carver rose to fame for his many inventions and contributions to the advancement of botany and agriculture.
“The strategy to diversify and improve University revenue streams is being furthered by innovative transactions such as these,” said Dr. Frederick. “They will deliver capital to fund other campus modernization initiatives such as a new undergraduate Library, renovated program space for the School of Nursing and Allied Health, and the necessary pre-planning work for a new building for the School of Communications.”
“This transaction reinforces UIP’s track record of working successfully with institutions in need of repositioning non-core real estate, and we are delighted to be working with Howard University as well as our partner, Neighborhood Development Corporation,” said Steve Schwat, Founding Principal at UIP. “This project gives us the opportunity to create unique apartments in a neighborhood that has few existing multifamily buildings.”
Added NDC’s Adrian Washington: “As a true Washingtonian, born and raised, this project realizes another achievement of revitalizing the city in which I grew up. I have a special connection to and respect for Howard University, and this unique project brings to fruition both a professional and a personal goal of continued inspiration. So many young men and women have come through these halls and now, with this revitalization, they will continue to inspire generations to come. We are very honored to have this opportunity to be working alongside both Howard University and UIP to bring this development to life.”
LeDroit Park is a quiet residential enclave just north of the booming Shaw neighborhood. Known for its iconic iron gate and James McGill-designed Victorian homes, it was developed in 1873 as an early gated suburb located outside the original DC city boundaries. Leading African American families began moving there in the 1890s. By the early 20th century, the neighborhood was home to Howard University scholars, literary figures such as Paul Laurence Dunbar, and civil rights leaders such as Mary Church Terrell and the Honorable Walter E. Washington.
Residents of the two new apartment communities will enjoy proximity not only to Howard University and the Shaw-Howard U Metro station, but also to such popular restaurants as Red Hen and Boundary Stone, the Howard Theatre, and the rapidly expanding selection of shopping and dining destinations in nearby Shaw and Bloomingdale.
The UIP family of companies owns and manages more than 2,500 apartments in Washington DC, and Maryland and has renovated, restored, and built more than 30 downtown apartment buildings and condominiums over the last ten years. UIP’s primary focus includes “heavy lift” renovations as well as working with tenants in Washington, DC, helping them exercise their TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) rights. UIP also is active in entitling land, infill development, and acquiring residential assets in the close-in Washington, DC suburbs. For more information, visit www.uipllc.com www.uippm.com and www.uipgc.com.
The Neighborhood Development Company (NDC) focuses on the revitalization of emerging urban neighborhoods. Since Adrian Washington founded it in 1999, NDC has kept its core focus on residential urban infill by carrying an almost equal mix of workforce and market rate projects. To date, the company has delivered over 700,000 square feet of real estate with over 932,000 square feet currently under development. The company continues to prioritize the community in their developments by identifying opportunities to create value for residents through partnerships with local retail and non-profit organizations. NDC takes pride in their long history of working with residents, government leaders, community groups, and local businesses to create places where people are excited to live, work, and play. For more information, visit www.neighborhooddevelopment.com
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that is comprised of
13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit www.howard.edu.
New Apartments and Restaurant Planned for Old Watergate Burglar Lookout
Washington, DC, August 11, 2016– Urban Investment Partners (UIP) of Washington, DChas acquired a ten-story building at 2601 Virginia Avenue, NW across from the Watergate mixed-use complex for $36 million. The seller was George Washington University (GWU), which had used the building as student housing for 17 years.
Hall on Virginia Avenueachieved notoriety while operating as a Howard Johnson hotel in 1972. Rooms 419 and 723 were used as lookouts forthe “Watergate burglars,” who broke into offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building. The ensuing Watergate scandal led to the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon. Room 723 was preserved as a museum until 2001, when the exhibit was moved to the GWU archives.
GWU demolished the property’s interior about a year ago,planning to create new student and faculty housing, but decided to sell the property instead. CBRE’s Bobby Meehling, Andy Wimsatt, and Peter Larkinrepresented GWU in the sale.
UIP plans to developabout 200rental apartments within the existing 97,300 SF core and shell, and build about 50 more units in a new 40,000 SF addition on the building’s east side. UIP also will create an 8,000 -10,000 SFrestaurant/coffee shop on the first floor, which will be a fully activated space for residents and neighbors.The building has underground parking for 200 vehicles, plus bike storage and care facilities with lockers.
Boathouse, as the new development will be called, will offer residents numerous contemporary amenities as well as easy access to GWU, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, the Potomac River/GT Waterfront, and Rock Creek Park. An expansive rooftop recreational area with river views will incorporatea deck, large swimming pool, fire pits, gourmet kitchen, and world-class (2,000 SF) fitness center. Other amenities will includeabike share program, library, multimedia theatre, and a 24-hourhonor-based convenience store.
“We are going to create something never seen before in this city, focusing on access to the park and the river, promoting a healthful lifestyle that includes fitness, exercise, and fresh food,” said UIP Principal Steve Schwat.“This is going to be an exciting place to live, equidistant from the Georgetown waterfront and the Foggy Bottom Metro stop, which is just a five-minute walk away.”
“This transaction is consistent with our strategy of acquiring underutilized structures in prime locations and restoring them to productive use as Class A multifamily buildings,” said UIP Vice President of Development Brook Katzen. “There are a number of unique elements that make this one of the most exciting projects I have worked on at UIP. We look forward to enhancing the Foggy Bottom community with a best-in-class project.”
Boathouse enjoys an irreplaceable location in the famous Foggy Bottom neighborhood in close proximity to Georgetown, GWU, the John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, and the recently renovated Watergate complex. Both Georgetown and Foggy Bottom are almost completely built out, with significant regulatory constraints preventing further development. With a walkscore of 86 and a bikescore of 94 (from www.walkscore.com), Boathouse will provide incomparable access to the area’s wealth of restaurants, shops, cultural destinations, and recreational venues.
Earlier this year, UIP purchased three commercial office buildings from American University, and is converting most of the newly acquired space into new apartment dwellings. “Converting both hotels and office buildings to multifamily use is not much different than converting older apartment buildings, as we have done all over the city,” remarked Schwat.
The UIP family of companies owns and manages more than 2,500 apartments in Washington, DC and Maryland and has renovated, restored and built more than 20 downtown apartment buildings and condominiums over the last ten years. UIP’s primary focus includes “heavy lift” renovations as well as working with tenants in Washington, DC,helping them exercise their TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) rights. UIP also is active in entitling land, infill development, and acquiring residential assets in the close-in Washington, DC suburbs. For more information, visit www.uipllc.com, www.uippm.comand www.uipgc.com.