Western Development Corp., which has a major commercial-residential project ready to fly in Georgetown and a new shopping center started in Great Falls, has begun the $1.5 million renovation of a building called 1835 K Street, site of the Jean Pierre restaurant, which is also being given a facelift. The nine-story structure, acquired for $1.45 million, has 68,000 square feet of space, including 10,000 in retail.Renovated office space is being preleased for about $9 a square foot, with commercial space starting at $20 a square foot. Leasing director Dennis Galanis said that 88 percent of the space has been signed up. Permanent financing of $2.5 million was provided by Travelers Insurance Co., with interim construction financing by United Virginia Bank.

Oliver T. Carr Jr. and George H. Buechert Jr. have acquired the long-vacant commercial building at 1411 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The property is adjacent to the Willard Hotel, recently acquired by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp. Carr's hyper-active downtown development group is reported to be highly interested in redoing the Willard, which has been moribund for years.

The recently announced resignation (effective later this year) of Richard J. Canavan as president of the Home J. Canavan as president of the Home Owners Warranty Corp., was a surprise to the national housing industry. A veteran of FHA higher echelon duty and formerly a staff vice president of the National Association of Home Builders, Danavan took the HOW post when NAHB convinced him that his savvy was needed to get the program into high gear. Since taking over three years ago, Canavan saw HOW coverage increase from 10,000 new homes to more than 250,000. Canavan, 55, whose resignation followed a policy difference with his board of directors, plans to tour Ireland and then take an extensive sailing trip.

KLW Design, Inc., headed by Terry Korth and Charles Lemke (both formerly with Berger-Berman Builders), is completing nine town houses on a triangle formed by 16th Street and Arkansas Avenue NW.

Area builders are smiling a bit as the result of improved construction weather during the past week. But there continues to be concern about mounting construction costs. One are builder said that increases in lumber prices continue to be a plague and that use of steel members for framing could be possible within a few years. Meanwhile, home-looking traffic picked up considerably last weekend. However, astute builders have to be concerned that the impetus for new home buying in the price range over $80,000 might decline sharply by summer.