New Silver Spring Apartment Project to Break Ground Soon

by UrbanTurf Staff

DCmud is reporting that The Ellsworth, a new apartment development in Silver Spring, will likely break ground in late April or early May. The 241-unit project, that was originally planned as condos, will be located at 720 Ellsworth Drive (map) a few blocks north of the Silver Spring Metro station.

The project will offer amenities like a fitness center, pool and an outdoor fireplace for residents, and the large majority of apartments will be market-rate (the development will have just 19 low-income units). DCmud noted that the project will be designed by SK & I Architectural (the same firm that is designing a new 100-unit condo project in Southwest) and is shooting for LEED-Silver status. No timeline was provided for its completion.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_silver_spring_apartment_project_to_break_ground_soon/3131


  1. Silver Springer said at 10:25 pm on Wednesday March 9, 2011:

    Aren’t there too many apartments in Silver Spring already?  Why not some upscale condos??

  1. jag said at 10:32 pm on Wednesday March 9, 2011:

    Agreed. Condos in the immediate vicinity are nearly nonexistent. I’d assume its an issue of financing that the condo projects aren’t getting off the ground or are switching to apts. Extremely annoying.

  1. Mark @ MB said at 12:31 pm on Friday March 11, 2011:

    The problem with condos in SS is that the condo buildings that were built in 2004-2009 have severely lost value relative to other submarkets, mostly because they’ve been hit by foreclosures and short sales.

    For example, all 2010-2011 resales in the five newest buildings (Silverton, The Crescent, 8045 Newell St, The Aurora, and MICA-conversion) averaged $274 psf, a far cry from the $400+ psf they were selling for back in the day. 19 of 41 sales were foreclosures or short sales too.

    In order to justify a new condo building, prices are going to have to be $400 psf or higher, so that looks like it’s some time from now.

  1. jag said at 11:10 pm on Friday March 11, 2011:

    I’d agree that the $274sqft is held down by a few foreclosures/short sales around, but there definitely aren’t enough to give developers pause. I think there are 3 foreclosures in the entire zipcode, so it’s not a severe issue for anyone looking to develop/come online in a couple years. In general, I also don’t think a developer would need to get $400sqft - DTSS land is expensive, but I don’t think it’s that crazy yet. Ultimately, I think it has to be banks holding back the condo projects, not developers worried about the bottom line.

    Also, the $274sqft is held back by the cheap 2006 builds you mentioned. Newell and Crescent are done by the worst developer in MoCo and the rest (including Newell) are in West Silver Spring - completely detached from the shopping/dining core. When The Ellsworth comes online in a couple years in this location I think $400sqft isn’t far from what they could command.

  1. Mark @ MB said at 3:07 pm on Monday March 14, 2011:

    I’m not sure what your reference point for “only 3…in the entire ZIP code” because there were 19 foreclosures just those five buildings that I mentioned in 2010. I would hardly call that “a few.” Also, I just counted 6 short sales and 3 foreclosures active on the resale market right now in those buildings. Whether we want to admit it or not, that is a problem for values overall.

    I think you make good points about the quality of the buildings and location, but when that is all buyers have to compare to, they won’t be as objective. We know what we’re talking about, but if you offer a new building at a 45% premium to what’s on the market right now, people will notice and want a better deal.

    And I’m afraid $400 psf is close to the minimum in order to get anywhere near the required return. Land may not be that crazy expensive in SS, but any Metro location inside the Beltway is going to have a land cost and $350 psf on sales isn’t going to cut it.

  1. jag said at 3:15 pm on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    “Also, I just counted 6 short sales and 3 foreclosures active on the resale market right now in those buildings.”

    Right, 3 foreclosures. I was just making a point that while I agree that the foreclosures are pulling down the avg. (since there is so little turnover in general), I don’t think it’s indicative of a large, widespread issue that’ll affect the area in the longer term. Sure hope you’re wrong about the $400psf - I’m getting tired of all these new apartments going up and nothing for us prospective owners!

  1. Richard O said at 2:27 pm on Saturday September 29, 2012:

    A simple solution would be to benchmark off of what they are doing in Miami’s condo market which is have all the units presold in advance requiring 60 to 80 percent down. The funds are paid in set stages throughout construction. The Benefit of this is less funds are taken out in the form of a loan for the construction company and locals can own versus rent. The strategy I am proposing is the primary means of financing condos in many places such as Brazil.

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