What’s Next for the Real World Real Estate

by Will Smith

With the Real World cast and crew leaving town, the beautiful 10,800-square-foot mansion on the corner of 20th and S Streets in Dupont Circle where the reality show was based will probably sit empty for awhile. But owner/developer Douglas Development surely has some plan in mind for the property, which was most recently tax-assessed at $5.69 million, according to RealWorldHouses.com. The question is: What will that use be?

What's Next for the Real World Real Estate: Figure 1

When we put this question to UrbanTurf readers back in August, there were a variety of ideas, including a rich individual buying the house as a trophy or a developer chopping it up into luxury boutique condos.

The latter we think is possible; the former, not so much. While there may be a certain cachet among young people to owning the Real World house, we don’t know many twenty-somethings with six mil lying around. And we doubt the people who actually do have that kind of cash really care about the show.

Chopping it up into condos does seem like a possibility. After all, the building is already owned by a developer, and both the building’s elegance and the swanky neighborhood are a good fit for boutique buyers. On the other hand, it might be too costly to undo whatever MTV did inside to outfit the building for a big group of kids.

Our best guess is that the building will revert to its previous role as office space for a small but well-to-do firm, organization, or non-profit. It may not be the most exciting usage, but it probably makes the most economic sense for Douglas Development. We could imagine them getting a nice premium on the rent because of the building’s new fame, and all the renovations MTV did might actually suit an open office environment quite well.

We’ll be watching (the property, not the show).

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/whats_next_for_the_real_world_real_estate/1411


  1. Nick the Greek said at 2:14 pm on Thursday October 15, 2009:
    In past lives the building was a restaurant and a CD store. Retail is probably not going to happen in the future on this site, but a nice restaurant/club might work. Not sure how the neighbors would like noise at 3 AM when a club would empty out.
  1. Keith said at 3:54 pm on Thursday October 15, 2009:
    Whatever happens, I hope it's fate is better than the house used for Real World New Orleans. I lived around the block from that house and its owner left it a gutted wreck after the show ended, this in the Garden District with its beautiful mansions.

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