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Sheridan Station Forges New Market in Anacostia

  • December 5, 2012

by Shilpi Paul

Sheridan Station Forges New Market in Anacostia: Figure 1
Sheridan Station

Many in DC hoped that Sheridan Station, the east-of-the-river redevelopment of former housing project Sheridan Terrace, would bring a new wave of energy to Ward 8. When the first phase opened a year ago, DC notables such as Mayor Vincent Gray, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton and Councilmember Marion Barry stopped by to proclaim their excitement over the W.C. Smith project, which brought hundreds of new apartments, condos and townhomes in a range of prices to the area close to the Anacostia Metro station.

However, in June, Housing Complex reported that the project had run into trouble. Because home values had dropped so much in the area over the last four years, there was a concern that appraisers, who generally use comparable sales to evaluate properties, would price Sheridan Station’s townhomes at such low prices that W.C. Smith would not be able to sell the homes for enough money to cover the cost of construction. At the time, W.C. Smith decided to reduce the number of planned for-sale units from 165 to 80, converting the remaining 85 into rentals.

Six months later, Sheridan Station seems to have established a new market in Anacostia: the for-sale units are now appraising. Eight townhomes have sold (and appraised) for between $279,900 to $325,000, after originally being listed at between $279,900 and $350,000. W.C. Smith’s Carol Chatham said that while the first two sold at a 10 percent discount, the remaining six got their asking prices.

The condos, which delivered three months after the townhomes, that have sold so far, have all appraised at their original sales prices. So far, 17 condos have sold for between $249,900 and $355,900, and several in the second phase are under contract at higher prices.

“The change in the appraisals stems from the fact that when Sheridan Station first started selling, there were no comps,” said Chatham. “We basically had to create the market with our sales. Once we were able to establish that baseline, we were able to start selling and closing on the for-sale units in the first phase.”

Essentially, instead of relying on comparable home sales from the larger area, appraisers are now able to use comps from within Sheridan Station to evaluate the new units. By selling the first few units successfully, the developers proved to appraisers that a new market exists in the neighborhood.

The sales have implications for the larger neighborhood. Real estate agent Darrin Davis told UrbanTurf that the fact that units at Sheridan Station are now appraising may be used to encourage other developers to move forward with projects in Ward 8.

“Cedar Hill [a stalled project at W and 13th Streets SE] had been postponed because of the appraisal situation. They were hoping that the market will come up eventually,” Davis told UrbanTurf. “Now that we have comparable sales, hopefully other developers will look to Sheridan Station and see that they can make a product that will make a profit.”

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/sheridan_station_forges_new_market_in_anacostia/6365

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