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 http://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.

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