DC is such an exciting place to live, for many reasons. Of course, for those of us who live and breathe real estate, part of what makes DC such a wonderful place is the unique mix of preservation and reinvention that is so much a part of the DC cityscape.
Some cities create historic preservation guidelines that discourage creativity and innovation. Others are constantly plowing under their history and chasing the new. DC is the perfect mix of respect for the past and an eye for the future. Interestingly, the most sought-after developers in DC are those who understand this mix and create projects that pay homage to DC’s storied past while integrating the best and most innovative new techniques, materials, and styles.
What follows is an overview of just a few of the great local developers who are constantly reinventing our favorite city.
Historical Preservation: Douglas Development Corp.
With a portfolio that encompasses more than 10 million leasable square feet and 3 million square feet available for potential development, Douglas Development Corp definitely has an eye on the future. But they are best known for some of their exceptionally high profile projects over their 32 years of life, including the 90’s renovation of Chinatown and the renovation of the Shaw, Ivy City, and NoMa neighborhoods. This multi-award winning developer has projects throughout the mid-Atlantic and in New York, but their heart beats for DC where they got their start. Founder Douglas Jemal is a pioneer of DC development and now with his sons helms a company that keeps one eye on history and one eye on the bottom line with truly revolutionary results.
Want to live in an extraordinary historic DC mansion but only have the funds for a studio apartment? No problem. That is the unique value proposition of SB-Urban’s founder Saul Urban, who is betting big on repurposing some of the most exceptional real estate in the area. His most prominent project is the Patterson Mansion, which he purchased in 2013 and is developing as rental residences with a robust communal life and multiple shared spaces. The Stanford White-designed Dupont Circle landmark’s new residents will have the ability to live on a scale most people can only dream of in the completely turnkey, fully furnished luxury residences within. The all-inclusive concept encompasses all utilities, gourmet breakfasts, concierge services, and even a resident mixologist.
Modern: Ditto Residential
Creating contemporary spaces within traditional buildings is the specialty of Ditto Residential. Boutique developer Martin Ditto works with his team and select partners to create extraordinary residential spaces, both single family and multi-family, and is beginning to move into mixed-use developments as well. Always on the cutting-edge, Ditto comes from a design-first perspective. Their portfolio is varied and includes a number of incredible contemporary designs housed in or alongside uber-traditional facades. Coming soon? His much-anticipated renovation of Capitol Hill’s Buchanan School into 41 condos will be online this fall.
Landscape: Lee & Associates
We often think of development as a building or complex of buildings and the infrastructure that supports it. But with the increasing emphasis on urban greenspaces and environmentally sustainable landscape design, the new stars of the development field are landscape developers. Lee & Associates have worked on some of the biggest projects in DC, including the GSA and DoD, diplomatic and embassy property projects, parks and playgrounds, and sports complexes throughout the area. Their practice encompasses landscape architecture, urban design and development, and green infrastructure and sustainability solutions. Want a rooftop garden on your new building project or a butterfly garden buffer between two buildings in your complex? These are your people.
DC is a great place to live and these developers are proof that you can keep an eye on the future while still respecting the history we love. Considering a new build or renovation project? We know everyone in town and can help you find the right partners to make your real estate vision reality. Contact us today and let your Eng Garcia Grant Realtor help you move forward with the project you have in mind.