Bookend builidngs on Mount Vernon Avenue promise better times ahead

by Brian Kane

Activity is ripe late winter and purchasers and renters are out looking for new space in the super hip Del Ray zip code 22301. Two bookend residential projects may be bellwethers of the positive market in Alexandria’s trendy zip code.

The projects – both designed by Alexandria architect Gaver Nichols – are located at the north and south end of Mount Vernon Avenue – and give positive face to the Avenue’s continually emerging streetscape.

1400 Mount Vernon Avenue, The Mosby, is a renovation of a c. 1910 house by Nichol’s office, is almost sold out – with three of the four units selling within several months of completion. The condominiums, appearing as a spacious single-family home from the corner of Mount Vernon and East Alexandria Avenues, contain two to three bedrooms, 2 or 2½ baths and garage parking below. The residences measure between 1500 and 2300 SF and sale prices for the first three ranged from $600,000 to $615,000. Nichols attributes the success of the project to the team that envisioned and constructed the property. “Local home-grown decision makers guided to its current configuration,” he explains, and said that the owner/developer Brian Thomas was a key figure to its success. “This was a local group of people who understood what the neighborhood needed and put together the right team to get it done,” Nichols explains. One of the investors will occupy the entire upper floor, which is the only one-level unit.

The Mosby is within a 10-minute walk to the Braddock Road Metro Station, as well as Del Ray’s range of neighborhood restaurants, shops, services and salons.

The Mosby appears from the street as a well-crafted single family home.

On the far northern reach of Mount Vernon Avenue at its 2700 block, the long-awaited Lofts at Del Ray Village, approved since 2006, is moving towards completion. The mixed use office and residential project is flexible in its configuration and allows future residents the option for a live-work setting with ground floor office and direct access to The Avenue. The ground floor office spaces each feature daylight basement space, so more square footage exists than what appears from the street. Architect Nichols, part owner and the project architect, explained that “the labor of love” has special architectural details, such as mortar color, and specially finished aluminum framed windows to give the patina of age and to blend in with the well-established neighborhood.

The Lofts will offer its residents the ability to live upstairs – with two balconies – and work downstairs.

Each of the four residential units are sized around 2,000 SF. The four project “bays” are fee simple units, but there is flexibility in how the space is leased by each unit owner. No pricing is yet known for the residential or office spaces, as the project is still under construction and are most likely to be rented. While the project faced delays over the past year due to financing, Nichols expects the units to be available for lease this year. Several units may be available for purchase – but that remains to be seen as the investor team weighs its particular space needs. Commercial use is not permitted in the lower level due to the small 16-bay parking lot behind the building.

The units in this gateway building feature top floor balconies on both the east and west sides, so there are great views over Del Ray. Wafting smells of fajitas grilling at Los Tios restaurant one block over will entice its residents to walk over for dinner and perhaps continue another four blocks for dessert at the Dairy Godmother. Lofts residents will likely need to join one of the two gyms within walking distance to burn off the calories living on this increasingly food-oriented avenue.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/bookend_residential_projects_on_del_rays_mount_vernon_avenue_promise/3063

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