The Ellington apartment building, which contributed to a resurgence in the District’s U Street corridor, just changed hands.
Donatelli Development sold the 190-unit building for $100 million to TIAA-CREF, the retirement services giant catering to the nonprofit and academic sector. Chris Donatelli confirmed the sale this morning.
The Ellington represented a first for the District in a lot of ways. When Donatelli first proposed the eight-story building a block from Ben’s Chili Bowl a decade ago, there was nothing else near its size in the U Street corridor, and the plans sparked excitement as well as concerns about gentrification and affordability of housing.
When it opened in 2004 — about the same time as the first U Street Starbucks — the Ellington helped spark a wave of new housing, restaurants and amenities along the corridor, making it one of the hottest residential neighborhoods in Washington. It also demonstrated to other developers the prospects for Metro-accessible, mixed-use apartment buildings.
Years later, developers of those buildings are reaping the rewards. In June a 185-unit building nearby, View 14, sold for $104 million. Donatelli is also attempting to sell his nearly-completed project at 3801 Georgia Avenue NW.
Donatelli said the sale will allow his company to, “undertake additional urban revitalization projects in the district, including the ones we have planned and ones we’re contemplating.”