It takes a lot of imagination to envision a modern luxury condo when you’re looking at a traditional brick, four-unit building that’s been abandoned for more than a decade.
Andrew Rubin and Mimi Tygier, principals of The Rubin Group, had that vision and used it to transform 610 Newton Place NW in Petworth to a well-appointed 12-unit condominium with marble baths, mosaic tile backsplashes, hardwood floors, oversized windows and an outdoor space for every home.
“We ended up taking one of the worst properties on the street and improving the neighborhood for everyone without having to displace anyone, since the building had been abandoned,” Rubin says.
The Rubin Group restored the façade of the building and gutted the rest of the property. The developers added another level to the front section and took an adjacent empty lot that Tygier describes as “infested with rats and trash” and converted it to a three-level building.
“We had the luxury of working with 18,000 square feet in this building, and we decided to make the homes large enough to accommodate young families,” Tygier says. “Just a few years ago you could buy a small rowhouse for $400,000 in Petworth, but now they’re $800,000. We like the idea that buyers here can get the space of a small rowhouse and all-new construction at a much lower price.”
Hooked on the views: While all the homes have at least two bedrooms and two baths and even the smallest home has 1,253 square feet, the four upper level units have twice as much living space — when the weather cooperates — if you count the rooftop deck.
First-time buyers Simon Klink and Marissa Gesell, who bought Unit 10, a penthouse with a private rooftop deck as big as their entire condo, were drawn to The 610 Condos because of the location and their lifestyle. They were hooked when they saw the roof deck, which has views of the National Cathedral, the Washington Monument and downtown Washington.
“We live near the U Street corridor now, so we wanted a place where we could walk to restaurants and nightlife,” Gesell says. “I take Metro to work, too, so it’s great to walk a few blocks and be at the Petworth Metro station.”
Klink says the couple looked for a place on and off for two years and initially focused on townhouses. But when they saw the amount of work required, they realized a new condo would be a better fit for them.
“We looked at some other places the Rubin Group has built, and we liked the features and the work they do,” Klink says.
Living there: The homes have 81 / 2- to 11-foot high ceilings, and each has big windows facing at least two directions, Tygier says. Two of the ground-floor units are two-level homes with separate entrances so that they feel more like townhomes. Unit 1 has three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, and a living and dining area with a separate kitchen on the lower level.
Unit 2 has an open floor plan on the lower level with an open kitchen and two bedrooms with two baths upstairs. Each of these units has a half bath on the main level.
“There are six different floor plans here, but all of them have upgraded finishes like hardwood flooring in the living areas, marble floors and Italian-tile walls in the baths, and big open kitchens with plenty of storage, stainless steel appliances, and granite counters,” Rubin says.
Unit 9, an upper-level home with 1,431 square feet, is available for $619,900. This home has an open floor plan with an oversized island with a breakfast bar, a balcony off the living and dining area, and stairs to an expansive rooftop deck. The master bedroom has two closets and a luxury bath with double vanities and an oversized shower. The second bedroom has a large closet and an adjacent full bath with a soaking tub. Every home has extensive recessed or pendant lighting, a washer and dryer in the unit, and extra closets.
Neighborhood amenities: Residents can walk to the new Safeway, scheduled to open in July; and to shops, restaurants and bars on Georgia Avenue and in nearby Columbia Heights.
Schools: Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View; Raymond Education Campus; Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus
Transit: Three blocks to Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station for Green and Yellow lines; bus service along Georgia Avenue.
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer.