The neighborhood known as Hill East near the Potomac Avenue Metro station in Southeast Washington is quickly becoming the site of numerous apartment and condominium developments designed to accommodate first-time home buyers who have been priced out of Capitol Hill.
“We own and have developed buildings in Barrack’s Row on Capitol Hill and in the H Street corridor, but I didn’t know much about Hill East until we started poking around and attending ANC [Advisory Neighborhood Commission] meetings,” said Eric May, principal of May Development, developers of the One-Five at 1500 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
“At our first information session for neighbors, early on in the process of developing One-Five, we were totally shocked to have 100 people show up who were excited about the possibility of buying in the neighborhood,” he said.
Seventy-five percent of the 41 condominiums at One-Five are already under contract. The available units are priced from $359,900 to $639,900, with garage parking available for an additional $35,000.
“The neighborhood is largely either small condo buildings with two to four units and row houses,” said May. “The row house prices have been rising quickly, to $600,000 and up for a fixer-upper and $1 million or more for one renovated homes. We felt like there was a missing link of affordability for people who want to live in the area and own something new, so most of our units are smaller and priced in the $300,000s and $400,000s.”
Seventy percent of the units are one-bedrooms, some with a den; 10 percent are studios and 20 percent are two-bedroom units designed to appeal to buyers downsizing.
“The corner of 15th and Pennsylvania was ripe for redevelopment,” said May. “There used to be a gas station there and later a pizza place that was vacant. We opted to develop a very modern building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows because it’s located on a prominent corner, and the neighbors we consulted liked the idea of a modern mid-rise there.”
Roof deck with a view: The remaining units include a mix of one- and two-bedroom condos.
Unit 107, a one-bedroom model unit on the first floor with 549 square feet, is priced at $394,900 with a monthly condo fee of $266.
The front door of this unit opens directly into the kitchen, which is open to the living and dining areas. The kitchen has ivory cabinets and a narrow apartment-size refrigerator, as well as in unit washer and dryer. The bedroom has the unit’s only closet, a double-door garment closet. Adjacent to the bedroom is a full bathroom with a combination tub and shower.
Unit 310, a one-bedroom model unit on the third floor with 703 square feet is under contract. This condo has a den that includes a sliding barn door, an alcove for a desk or dresser and a closet. A coat closet is next to the front door, along with a closet with mechanical equipment and a washer and dryer. The unit has an open kitchen, living and dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around a corner of the room. The bedroom has a double-door closet and an adjacent full bathroom with a combination tub and shower.
Unit 308, a two-bedroom model unit on the third floor with 896 square feet, is priced at $629,900 with a monthly condo fee of $430. This unit is entered directly into the kitchen and has a small coat closet and a mechanical closet next to the front door. The open living and dining area has floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around a corner of the room. On one side of the living area are a closet with a washer and dryer, a full bathroom with a combination tub and shower and a bedroom with a double-door closet.
Some units have a Juliet balcony. The five ground-level ones with a private terrace have been sold.
On the opposite side of the living area is the master bedroom, which has two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, a walk-in closet and a private full bathroom with a combination tub and shower.
Unit 404, a one-bedroom unit on the fourth floor with 541 square feet, is priced at $359,900 with a monthly condo fee of $259. This unit has a coat closet, a mechanical closet and a closet with a washer and dryer near the front door, along with a full bathroom with a shower. The unit has an angled kitchen that leads to the living and dining area, which has a floor-to-ceiling window. A sliding barn door opens into the bedroom, which has a double-door closet but no window.
The prime amenity of the building is a roof deck with a view of the Capitol and of the spires of Washington National Cathedral in the distance, two built-in gas grills and several areas for sitting and dining. The building also has an underground parking garage with bike storage. The pet-friendly building allows two pets per unit without any weight restrictions.
What’s nearby: Residents can walk to the Eastern Market and shops and restaurants along Pennsylvania Avenue and Barrack’s Row on Eighth Street SE. A Harris Teeter grocery store and a wine shop are one block from the condo. The Yards Park, Nationals Park and the Capitol Riverfront development are within biking distance.
Schools: Watkins and Peabody Elementary, Stuart-Hobson Middle and Eastern High.
Transit: One-Five is located one block from the Potomac Avenue Metro station for Blue, Orange and Silver line service. The neighborhood is also served by several bus lines.