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This Week’s Find: From Barbershop to Luxe Family Home on the Hill

by Lark Turner

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When builder Jai Gray bought a four-unit Capitol Hill building last May, she knew she would convert it back into a family home.

“It’s not always about how much money you can make,” Gray said in the finished living room of the house a year later. “It’s about: ‘How can a house become alive?’”

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The home prior to the renovation, via Google Maps.

Gray’s talking about 301 11th Street SE (map), the corner property on the Hill that she’s been renovating for the last year. It’s not your typical flip: Instead of maximizing her profit, Gray effectively downzoned the house, converting it from a four-unit multifamily home into a five-bedroom, 4.5-bath single-family home that’s transformed the corner of this block near Eastern Market.

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The living room with fireplace.

Her decision to turn the property into a single-family home makes the listing a rarity for the area: Most historic rowhouses in the neighborhood are much smaller than 301 11th Street, which spreads out over 3,900 square feet. Some of that space was hard-won: Gray had to dig out the basement by hand using buckets. What was once a four-foot cellar is now a basement with a full kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.

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The property, built in 1908, has a long history. Neighbors tell Gray the property was once a single-family home, then a barbershop. Over time it was converted into multiple units. Now the large windows recalling a storefront look out on a landscaped front and side yard. A combination patio-parking pad out back has room for two cars.

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Inside, Gray gutted the property, preserving its high ceilings and trying to match the historic character with crown moulding and tall, heavy wooden doors. The wide living room space includes a gas fireplace with a blower, an open-concept kitchen with Viking appliances and a sitting area with sliding doors out onto the back patio. The large master features snapshots of exposed brick subtly lit from below.

There’s luxury here to match the $2 million price tag, too; the two-way mirrored glass in the bathroom contains a TV that’s watchable from the double shower. Two of the upstairs bedrooms, including the master, have en suite baths; the other two share a common bathroom.

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Here are more photos and details on the listing:

  • Address: 301 11th Street SE 301 11th Street SE (map)
  • Price: $2 million
  • Bedrooms: Five
  • Bathrooms: 4.5
  • Square Footage: 3,900
  • Year Built: 1908, renovated 2015
  • Listing Agent: Tom Faison, RE/MAX Allegiance
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The basement living space.
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The basement kitchen.

See other articles related to: tom faison, this week's find, jai gray

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/this_weeks_find_from_barbershop_to_luxe_family_home_on_the_hill/9935

2 Comments

  1. unitblock said at 5:24 pm on Wednesday May 27, 2015:

    Nice project.  It must be lovely to have two kitchens in a single family home - except for the fact that it’s illegal in DC.

  1. JamesR said at 10:12 am on Thursday May 28, 2015:

    I would like to favorably compliment the builder Jai for not putting 3 or more condos in this corner building and not trying to squeeze every little inch out of the building for profit.  I remember seeing the basement being dug out. I am pleasantly surprised and astonished by the end result.  Great Job! 
    To convert this building back to a single family home, to do such high end workmanship, I want to say “thank you”. You are a rare breed Jai and we need more builders like you!
    Again, great job and nicely done!

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