Columbia Heights Church Will Become 26-Unit Residential Project

by Lark Turner

Columbia Heights Church Will Become 26-Unit Residential Project: Figure 1
The church as it stands today.

A church at 777 Morton Street NW (map) and an adjacent lot will be the site of a new three-building, 26-unit condo project scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, UrbanTurf has learned.

OPaL LLC closed on the property, formerly the site of the Iglesia Ni Christo church, at the end of December. They’re working with Virginia-based GPS Designs on the buildings.

One building with six brownstones will sit along Sherman Avenue, and the other building will sit on Morton Street. The church will be renovated into 10 two-level condos. Together the buildings will be called the Morton Street Mews, named for two alleyways the developer plans to create between the buildings (one for cars, one for walking).

Plans for the properties are below.

Columbia Heights Church Will Become 26-Unit Residential Project: Figure 2

Columbia Heights Church Will Become 26-Unit Residential Project: Figure 3

Forty percent of the former church, once the home of the Carolina Missionary Baptist Church, will be retained.

“We are keeping a good part of it, but then creating a really interesting roofline that is reminiscent of the existing church,” OPaL’s Sean Ruppert said.

Because the property is zoned by-right, land development will likely start as early as June. The company hopes to have the units, which will range from one-bedrooms plus dens to two-bedrooms plus dens, ready for delivery by the end of the year.

The Columbia Heights development is just the latest church-to-residential project planned in the city. In early January, we reported on plans to convert a Capitol Hill church into a 26-unit residential project. And last week, news came that an old church near 10th and V Street NW will become part of a six-story, 40-unit condo project.

See other articles related to: dclofts, columbia heights, church to condo conversions

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/church_conversion_new_condos_coming_to_columbia_heights_this_year/8075


  1. Seth said at 1:33 am on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    The "Mews" are always such a fun name. In Britain it used to mean horse stables that have been converted into housing. Looks like a beautiful addition to the Sherman avenue corridor.
  1. John said at 8:17 am on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    That corner Morton/Sherman is just ripe with new projects. This area is prime between two metros, 11th Street strip, and all the new development slated for the other end of the block on Morton (Murry's and next to the Post Office).
  1. Colin said at 1:06 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    Development won't start until June yet they still plan to be done by the end of 2014? Color me skeptical.
  1. Matt said at 4:07 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    What is slated for the Murry's space?
  1. John said at 5:16 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
  1. Church conversions said at 5:57 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    These church conversions are a fantastic way to re-purpose buildings in response to DC's demographic changes. There is also the former site of the Mt Pleasant Baptist Church on 16th which is slated to become a condo development - I think around 50 units. It was featured on UT a while back.
  1. Church conversions said at 5:59 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2014:
    Sorry, I got some of the details wrong - here is the UT article with the correct info on that Mt Pleasant church (70 units, and I got the name of the church wrong): http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/meridian_hill_baptist_church_may_be_a_70-unit_condo_building_with_no_parkin/7218
  1. Renee M. Finley said at 2:49 pm on Monday February 10, 2014:
    This is a great project for this property and location.
  1. Kathy said at 3:12 pm on Thursday February 13, 2014:
    It's a poor decision to demolish the work of W. Sidney Pittman, a noted African-American architect, especially when there are so few buildings from the turn of the century by black architects that have been preserved in DC. His works are a part of American history and should be respected. Did the developer or architect consider honoring Pittman's legacy? http://www.wdchumanities.org/dcdm/items/show/1499 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txecm/william_sydney_pittman.htm
  1. Michael said at 9:43 pm on Friday February 14, 2014:
    I've been a resident of Columbia Heights over the past two decades. As a proponent of the history of the city's built environment, this news disheartens me. The intangible significance the building possessed made it a cherished jewel in the community. I hope other examples of Pittman's work in the city do not go unrecognized.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »