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From $100K to $800K on 14th Street: Home at Frontiers Finds Its Price

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Frontiers Condominiums at 14th & S NW

Last October a row house in the 14th Street corridor hit the market for $1 million; one year later, it has found a buyer. The listed asking price is $800,000.

1350 S Street was a unit in Frontiers Condominiums, a development of seventies-style row houses that sold for $100,000 to $150,000 in 1998 and whose location 14 years later was among the hottest in the city. Located at the intersection of 14th and S (map), Frontiers was at the very epicenter of 14th Street’s breathtaking transformation. Naturally, it was a developer’s dream.

Two firms — Monument Realty and Lakritz Adler — made overtures to the 54 residents at the community to acquire the whole project; both attempts proved unsuccessful. The bylaws stipulated that a decision to sell had to be unanimous, and there were a few residents who were holding out even at reported offers of $1 million to buy their homes.

Well, at least one owner thought the $1 million figure sounded good, and 1350 S hit the market at $995,000 in October of last year. The price seemed unrealistic, and UrbanTurf responded skeptically at the time:

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1350 S St. NW, courtesy MRIS

Tenfold appreciation in just over a decade? It seems like all the conversation with developers has shaped residents’ perceptions of the value of their homes. However, it’s hard to say if each unit has the same value when it’s not being sold as part of a package deal. We’ll follow up if and when this home finds a buyer.

Flash forward a year, and the home is finally under contract. Taking a year to sell, in this market of extremely constricted supply and at one of the hottest locations in the city, indicates that the original price was indeed too aggressive.

In the seller’s defense, their million-dollar asking price amounted to $588 per square foot, which is actually low for that location. And, if they’d heard that a developer had offered a million for a unit, that figure had at least some basis in market demand.

Assuming the contract closes, 1350 S will become the “comp” that sets the market for units at Frontiers Condominiums (UrbanTurf couldn’t find any other units that sold in the last year). It will be interesting to see if other owners now decide to sell, cashing in on appreciation which isn’t as much as hoped by the seller of 1350 S but still represents a dramatic increase over 15 years. It will also be interesting to see what the final sale price actually ended up being.

Further reading:

* Correction: We originally indicated that the home has sold for $800,000. That is the current listing price; the final sale price will be revealed after settlement.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/from_100k_to_800k_on_14th_street_home_at_frontiers_finds_its_price/7766

8 Comments

  1. Neighbor said at 2:14 pm on Thursday October 31, 2013:

    Why are you assuming that the house sold at $799k?  It’s been listed at that price since November 2012.  I’d be stunned if it went for full asking.

  1. Frank Lloyd Wrong said at 2:23 pm on Thursday October 31, 2013:

    I always thought those were public housing…that’s what they look like.

  1. Will Smith said at 4:21 pm on Thursday October 31, 2013:

    @Neighbor,

    Point taken. We’ve corrected the article accordingly.

    Team UrbanTurf

  1. Anon said at 10:14 am on Friday November 1, 2013:

    I don’t know if it was this one, but I saw one for sale a couple years ago in the low to mid $800s. The pictures were similar to these that showed a really messy house. I passed but I am surprised that one of these took this long to sell.

  1. Neighbor2 said at 10:31 am on Friday November 1, 2013:

    Six identical units in this housing project have sold just this year all between $535k and $575k. This owner is under contract in the same range after sitting on the market for over a year at a nutty price—they finally got desperate.  This article is silly—the list price means nothing, and in the mean time a lot of these units have changed hands at the same prices they’ve been selling at for the past five years.  No one wants to live in a house that looks like a 70s ghetto project.

  1. Anonymous said at 11:14 am on Friday November 1, 2013:

    Agree with Neighbor2.  I appreciate UrbanTurf’s reporting (no one else is covering this stuff), but in this case, the property is under contract for around $600k.  So nothing has changed - the Frontiers residents should have sold to Monument or Lakrtiz Adler.  If they had, this seller would have already received $1,000,000 for their property, rather than keeping their house on the market for a year and only getting $600,000.

  1. hma said at 12:14 pm on Friday November 1, 2013:

    @Frank

    “The condominiums look like public housing units—and they are, built in 1977 by the National Capital Housing Authority. Residents were placed there by lottery—a lucky draw for those who had lived in more depressed neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. In the late 1990s, then-tenants were able to buy their units for between $100,000 and $150,000 each.’

  1. jj said at 8:37 pm on Sunday November 3, 2013:

    It’s a great location. The facades on these could be improved if the brick were painted various shades of beige/creams/greys, new front lighting, landscaping etc.  Let’s get those Curb Appeal folks in and turn what looks like public housing into a hip development.

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