Prefab Row Homes in DC? Welcome to Capitol Hill Oasis

by Tim Brown


A rather unique development has arrived in the seemingly ever-expanding Capitol Hill neighborhood. Capitol Hill Oasis, a new town home community located at 12th and K Street NE (much more the H Street Corridor than Capitol Hill, but we’ll let the name slide), represents one of the few prefabricated home developments in the District.

Prefab housing, also known as modular housing, is a rare construction technique in the DC area. They are housing units that are manufactured off site, shipped to the building site by trucks, and fastened together using cranes. The modular units are constructed in large, climate-controlled facilities, often in assembly line fashion to maximize production efficiency.

Although they have yet to see any significant market share compared to other construction methods, there are several advantages to modular construction. Because the modular units are pieced together in factories, the process can be streamlined, leading to cheaper construction costs. (The total construction process can take less than half the time of traditional methods.) Also, because the units are constructed indoors, the materials are not exposed to the elements, minimizing any weather related wear and tear.

When the units are finally completed, it is nearly impossible to differentiate modular homes from homes built with traditional construction methods. The exterior finishes are normally applied at the construction site, allowing for a seamless façade. The town homes at Capitol Hill Oasis use a brick façade, similar to several other new construction row homes in the D.C. area. Save for the obvious design and scale differences compared to the existing row homes on 12th Street, now that construction is complete there’s really no way to tell that they were built any differently. As for the interiors, the finishes are applied on site, again using the same standards as traditional construction.

Capitol Hill Oasis consists of eight four-level, five-bedroom town homes that measure out at almost 4,000 square feet. And don’t worry about trekking up to the fourth floor every night: each unit comes equipped with its own private elevator. Behind the original set of town homes, there will be a 16-unit condominium comprised of two, three, and four-bedroom units. Once that building is complete, two more pre-fab five-bedroom units will be put in.

Construction on the town homes began in 2007, and delivery is expected in the next two to three months. For more information, contact Jesse at HomeTryst.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/prefab_row_homes_in_dc_welcome_to_capitol_hill_oasis/1623


  1. Michael said at 11:55 am on Tuesday December 22, 2009:

    Elevators??  Is this normal?  Is this a difficult item to maintain and service?

  1. Bill said at 2:43 pm on Tuesday December 22, 2009:

    From the photo, this development has all the charm of a prison complex.

  1. Tom A. said at 4:26 pm on Tuesday December 22, 2009:

    are the still going to be asking over a million bucks for these ghetto homes?

  1. BFord said at 11:13 am on Wednesday December 23, 2009:

    Wow. So they are finally done. I thought that they had lost funding. In a minute this whole city will be considered Capitol Hill!

  1. Sherry said at 11:14 am on Wednesday December 23, 2009:

    Interesting article…. For some reason, knowing that these are pre-fab now I dont get quite AS upset when I drive past them and see how garishly ugly they are.

  1. Higgers said at 11:39 am on Wednesday December 23, 2009:

    Hey Tim - these buildings are neither “unique” nor have they “recently arrived.”  In fact, they’ve been an unfinished eye sore, neighborhood menace, and health hazard for a solid three years.  I’ve complained to the city on multiple occasions for standing water, late night construction, and impediments to parking/access.  Please come take pictures of the trash heap and rusted out truck behind the buildings and post that, instead of the advertisement.  Buyer beware.

  1. Lauren said at 11:52 am on Wednesday December 23, 2009:

    I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine there’s much of a market for 5-bedroom, 4,000 sq ft houses in most of DC, let alone off of H St. I’d think the developers would be much more successful with smaller units.

  1. spirit equality said at 10:09 pm on Wednesday December 23, 2009:

    Aside from renting these out to wealthy Galludet students who would then have an easy walk to campus, I can’t picture much value in purchasing one of these. Do you have any interior pictures or details on the interior, period?

    They aren’t very aesthetically pleasing from the outside, but as a homeowner I am primarily worried about the interior (what’s better, a garish exterior or a horrid interior?).

  1. Jill said at 9:21 am on Monday May 17, 2010:

    Did you see how these things were built?  The exteriors are the most ugly, tacky, poorly constructed things I’ve ever seen. 
    The brick columns in the front are *leaning* by at least 2 inches.  You can tell the idiots built the brick facade and then realized, OOPS we forgot to run the outside lights and outlets… so they tore bricks out, retrofitted everything, and then smeared a bunch of cement in the holes they had made. Don’t these people realize that folks who have $1 Million to spend have TASTE?  It’s a crime.  The tire place that was there before was less of an eyesore.  I hope the investors lose their shirt.

  1. makeba said at 11:54 pm on Tuesday February 22, 2011:

    This is the worst design Ive even seen. I told the owner this to her face! I designed better houses in the 7th grade (im an architect). The facades are hideous, the plans make no sense!, the materials dont match (color) and the end units, a premium!, have no side windows!!!! arghh!!! the living room is on the first floor. the kitchen, a bedroom, and 2 full baths take the 2nd floor! huh!!??
    idiot investor with no taste and non-responsible architects who didnt stop her!
    booooooooo! knock them down!!!

Comments are closed.

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 »

Upcoming Seminars ▾