Sheridan Station Forges New Market in Anacostia

by Shilpi Paul

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Sheridan Station

Many in DC hoped that Sheridan Station, the east-of-the-river redevelopment of former housing project Sheridan Terrace, would bring a new wave of energy to Ward 8. When the first phase opened a year ago, DC notables such as Mayor Vincent Gray, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton and Councilmember Marion Barry stopped by to proclaim their excitement over the W.C. Smith project, which brought hundreds of new apartments, condos and townhomes in a range of prices to the area close to the Anacostia Metro station.

However, in June, Housing Complex reported that the project had run into trouble. Because home values had dropped so much in the area over the last four years, there was a concern that appraisers, who generally use comparable sales to evaluate properties, would price Sheridan Station’s townhomes at such low prices that W.C. Smith would not be able to sell the homes for enough money to cover the cost of construction. At the time, W.C. Smith decided to reduce the number of planned for-sale units from 165 to 80, converting the remaining 85 into rentals.

Six months later, Sheridan Station seems to have established a new market in Anacostia: the for-sale units are now appraising. Eight townhomes have sold (and appraised) for between $279,900 to $325,000, after originally being listed at between $279,900 and $350,000. W.C. Smith’s Carol Chatham said that while the first two sold at a 10 percent discount, the remaining six got their asking prices.

The condos, which delivered three months after the townhomes, that have sold so far, have all appraised at their original sales prices. So far, 17 condos have sold for between $249,900 and $355,900, and several in the second phase are under contract at higher prices.

“The change in the appraisals stems from the fact that when Sheridan Station first started selling, there were no comps,” said Chatham. “We basically had to create the market with our sales. Once we were able to establish that baseline, we were able to start selling and closing on the for-sale units in the first phase.”

Essentially, instead of relying on comparable home sales from the larger area, appraisers are now able to use comps from within Sheridan Station to evaluate the new units. By selling the first few units successfully, the developers proved to appraisers that a new market exists in the neighborhood.

The sales have implications for the larger neighborhood. Real estate agent Darrin Davis told UrbanTurf that the fact that units at Sheridan Station are now appraising may be used to encourage other developers to move forward with projects in Ward 8.

“Cedar Hill [a stalled project at W and 13th Streets SE] had been postponed because of the appraisal situation. They were hoping that the market will come up eventually,” Davis told UrbanTurf. “Now that we have comparable sales, hopefully other developers will look to Sheridan Station and see that they can make a product that will make a profit.”

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See other articles related to: w.c. smith, sheridan station, dclofts, appraisals, anacostia

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/sheridan_station_forges_new_market_in_anacostia/6365

6 Comments

  1. H Street LL said at 5:06 pm on Wednesday December 5, 2012:

    Good news, thanks for the update.

    Anacostia is tragically underrated.

  1. Get facts right said at 5:16 pm on Wednesday December 5, 2012:

    WCS did not keep their promise to the community which was initially the delivery of 50-50 rental to market ownership.

    Residents of Hillsdale and ANC members argued to keep the ground vacant until the market came back that could support the home sales that were promised.

    WCS Smith and the city didn’t want to do that because they would have left big HUD money on the table. The PUD got approved this summer after a little back and forth… it is now at 80 - 20 rental to market ownership, I believe. With FHA going broke where are folks going to get loans… even Industrial Bank won’t originate those.

    There is a lot more to this story than this rose-tinted view. Sans substantial gov’t subsidies nobody wants to risk it.

    BTW—Here is the original story that birthed all the other stories on this.

    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/13981/ward-8-development-founders-may-lose-4-million-in-grants/

  1. PG2SE said at 6:49 pm on Wednesday December 5, 2012:

    They’re at 80/20 rental to ownership because the apartments are fully leased, while all the homes haven’t even been built yet. The fact that they are now getting appraisals that support sales they can profit from is a good thing. It will accelerate build out of the later phases so they can get to the 50/50 ratio that was promised.

    I think this is great news for a community that, as H St LL said, is tragically underrated. It looks like that’s beginning to change. Progress may be slow, but it’s still progress.

  1. Nikki said at 2:07 pm on Thursday December 6, 2012:

    While this article reveals ultimately good news in terms of overall development within Ward 8, it should be noted that comps have existed within the ward since 2008, and only .25 miles from Sheridan Station! The Grandview Estates complex on the top of Talbert Street is ideal for comps—the issues are that up to now, the overly-cautious banks refused to use these comps in a fair way. Regardless, the only way that the residents of Ward 8 (both those who have lived within the community for years, as well as those of us who are more recent members [since 2008…]) will see greater retail services moving to Anacostia is when the city pays attention to the lack of perceptive leadership for fair & progressive development within the ward. Continually locating social services on main streets will not an enticing investment opportunity make! I love Anacostia—I’d just like to see it become safer for all of those of us who reside there.

  1. Get facts right said at 6:27 pm on Thursday December 6, 2012:

    @PG2SE

    Wrong. They will never be at 50-50 or go back to 50-50. The 80-20 ratio was approved with the PUD by the Zoning Commission this summer.

    Nobody covered it or wrote it up but is fact.

    Get your facts rights.

  1. Calvin H. Gurley said at 11:44 pm on Thursday December 6, 2012:

    Get the facts right; thank you for your correct and factual comments. Oh, I did venture into the webpage site article that started it all.

    Wm. C. Smith investment into the ARCH (Arts & Culture Center) was a humanitarian investment that should be expanded to other areas of Ward 8, 7, 5, 4 and Ward 6.

    Locating new housing units in already high and stable economic areas of the city will historically bring the expected return on any business investment. However, in less high economic areas [in the city] the focus must not be ignored or played with that replicating new high-end priced housing in those areas will bring improvement. Mass. Avenue/NY Ave/5th Street areas are valued with the downtown entertainment and restaurant venues and the China Town richness. Similar to the Union Station/H street housing developments that neighbors the Capitol Hill’s old and high-end class existence brought about by Congressional members and staff living around and near the U.S. Capitol.  I was raised in Ward 6 and lived in Old City (now called Cap. Hill) located next to the old D.C. Jail and D.C. General Hospital.

    One must remember that housing is a business and new comers should maintain a buyer beware view when developers must put food on their table. When the Federal Government was responsible to improve the poor and dirty housing conditions in the city for its working class residents the response was public housing.  Now, big business/developers are stepping into this responsibility or opportunity to supply what they always build… market rate; sorry, profit rate housing.

    Will the high end price placed on housing economically improve or culturally change the area without first attempting to improve schools, provide jobs and affordable housing to the area residents? Listen, you’re not locating new high-end priced housing next to an already established Capitol Hill community or downtown area. I believe that the first investment with resources should be in the people, children and the residents to ensure that the expected investment return in building high end housing in the area and to also make certain that new homeowners’ (hard earned) investment in that area’s housing market is lasting and secured.

    Calvin H. Gurley
    Former President of the Fairlawn Civic Association [in Anacostia], Former Vice President of the Orange Hat Patrol-Anacostia Chapter and a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing.

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