Tenants at the Beverly Court apartments in Adams-Morgan yesterday became the owners of their building, apparently the first tennants' group in the District to finance the conversion from apartments to cooperatives through private lending institutions.
"We did it," said a very happy Tom Goodwin, an independent television and film producer who has lived at Beverly Court more than five years. "Good Friday turned into a really good Friday."
Beverly Court, at 1736 Columbia Rd. NW, has housed artists for years, providing a low-rent building with large, dramatic and unusual spaces for such things as studios or exercise classes. The tenants' success is particularly remarkable in that they were able to get financing though they aren't typical 9-to-5 workers. Many are self-employed or do their work in a free-lance fashion.
The building has been deteriorating in recent years. Tenant association president Hank Leland estimated that when finished, the purchase and rehabilitation of their building will have cost $930,000. The cooperative unitis have been sold at prices ranging from $14,200 to $45,900.
The tenants' permanent financing is from Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan Association, and the rehabilitation loan is from the D.C. National Bank.
Yesterday's settlement-on Friday the 13th-marked the end of a year long struggle for the tenants. Their landlord died in 1977, and the estate attorney notified tenants last year that someone was interested in purchasing the building, located in one of the city's most popular neighborhoods.
Under city law, they were offered first chance to purchase the building.