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In September 2007, I wrote a story about 1706 T St. NW, an apartment building located in the wonderful region just north of Dupont Circle, south of Adams Morgan, and Southwest of the U Street corridor.
In short: An area with high rents and charming older buildings that most D.C. residents (myself included) would die to call home.
Back then, the building’s occupants paid a swell $650, on average, for rent. When their landlord decided to sell off the building, they galvanized and bought it—-Then, they lost it.
After a missed mortgage payment and some confusion over renovation payments, the bank foreclosed on the 23-unit structure. On Sept. 20, Steve Schwat of Urban Investment Partners, bought the property for $3.3 million in an auction.
Some residents still believed they could buy their units down the line. And Schwat met with them soon after the sale. At that point, things were already looking grim (this is from the original Sept. 2007 article):
“My guess is a good number of the people who were there…are not going to buy,” he says, adding that he thought the building’s representatives were “smug” and “not forthcoming with information.”
“I don’t know why they failed, but they failed,” he says. “Then we come in…with the intent of working with them. They gave us the attitude of anything but that.”
Fast forward to late March 2009, and 1706 T Street has become “The Shelby” with 24 apartment units, according to Schwat. The building underwent a complete gut job after the tenants moved out upon receiving payments to vacate the property. The units—-eight two-bedrooms and sixteen one-bedrooms—-are available for lease now. Here are before and after shots:
“There really weren’t that many people that were willing to or interested in buying one of these condominiums,” he says. “That created really a financing problem for us. We couldn’t very well move ahead with the condominium conversion if we didn’t have a significant amount of pre-sales.”
(The proposed price of units had already increased significantly from when the tenants first planned to convert the building to the auction period.)
Starting last July, the building underwent a $1.8 million renovation. “There was a steam radiator heat system that was badly leaking and had surpassed its useful life. There were a lot of bad plumbing issues. There were roofing issues. We tore out all the plumbing, tore out all the electric, installed new electricity into the units,” he says. Four of the units—-highlighted below—-are for below market rate:
New Unit Number
New Unit Type