The Schafer: Mount Pleasant’s Mansion-to-Condo Conversion

by Shilpi Paul

The Schafer: Mount Pleasant's Mansion-to-Condo Conversion: Figure 1
3324 18th Street NW

Back in June, UrbanTurf reported that Community Three Development’s plan to turn a neglected Mount Pleasant mansion into condos was moving ahead. Yesterday, Grant Epstein, Community Three’s president, gave UrbanTurf some details about the restoration of what is now known as The Schafer.

Built in 1909 by Charles Schafer, President of the American Fire Insurance Company, the house, located on a 12,000 square-foot lot at 3324 18th Street NW (map) stayed in the Schafer family for 50 years before falling into serious disrepair. Some drama kept the house out of the hands of potential developers and renovators for a while, Housing Complex reported last year, before Epstein snatched it up.

The architect-turned-developer is serious about maintaining the crumbling mansion’s historic details and told UrbanTurf that they are basing many restoration decisions on an old photograph of the house. The dilapidated wrap-around porch has been renovated, but developers will recreate the columns and balustrade from the original design. The roof has been replaced, the windows repaired, and the grand staircase and eight fireplaces will be restored.

“Ideally, this house would remain a single-family home, but that’s not economically viable,” Epstein told UrbanTurf.

The Schafer: Mount Pleasant's Mansion-to-Condo Conversion: Figure 2
Rendering of a unit in The Schafer. By Thomas Punnen.

The mansion will be divided into 12 one- and two-bedroom units, with 11 in the main house and one in the adjoining carriage house. The condos will range from a 500 square-foot junior one-bedroom in the high $200,000’s to a 1,200 square-foot two-bedroom in the low $600,000’s. No two units will have the same floor plan, and a few will span two stories. “Every buyer has different tastes and lives differently, and we wanted to be sensitive to the existing building,” said Epstein. Five parking spaces will be available for sale, and 9 of the 12 units will have private outdoor space in the form of a balcony or garden.

The Schafer is reminiscent of an earlier development completed by Community Three, The Residences at St. Monica’s, in which the firm restored a historic building and offered several distinct layouts. St. Monica’s style may offer hints of what to expect inside The Schafer, with tall ceilings, lots of light and luxury fixtures.

If the permits comes through in time, Epstein hopes to start tours next summer and sales in the fall. Sales and marketing are being handled by Urban Pace.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_schafer_mount_pleasants_mansion_to_condo_conversion/4538


  1. MP Res said at 2:24 pm on Wednesday November 9, 2011:
    Thrilled to hear about the progress on this project! I live two blocks away and am happy to hear that it will be put to good use.
  1. Jennifer said at 9:17 pm on Friday November 11, 2011:
    I wish that had been the fate of the Tutorsky Mansion...instead we lost a great building to a foreign government.
  1. Alan said at 11:31 pm on Sunday January 29, 2012:
    It looks to me like Urban Turf is printing the press release of the developer of this project saying that "some drama kept the house out of the hands of potential developers and renovators for a while" before the current guy snatched it up. Why does Urban Turf think Grant Epstein is something other than a developer? This mansion is not being saved, its being cobbled up and turned into condos, and the yard and being dug up and paved over for a parking lot. They'll sell these as high-class apartments, and a few years from now they'll just be more miserly, crowded housing units.

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 »