The tenants at The President apartments at 2141 I St. NW have signed a contract to purchase their building from the estate of Lester and Rose Rosenberg, tenant association president William Buchanan announced.

Buchanan said the 125-unit building would be rehabilitated and settlement on the sale would take place next month. The total sale price was reportedly $1.5 million.

Buchanan said that some of the apartments will be available to buyers who are not members of the association. They can be reserved now on a non-binding basis through the Edmund J. Flynn Co., he said.

The contract was negotiated with the aid of consultant Ken Kopstein and attorney Ann Garfinkle. Financing will be provided by Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan Association of Baltimore.

Meanwhile, the Gwenwood Apartment Tenant Association, headed by Eva Migonis, held a book sale this week to help raise money to buy their building from Gwendolyn Cafritz. Cafritz has had a $6 million offer -- which the tenants hope to match -- for the 40-year-old, 191-unit building at 1020 19th St. NW.

Under District law, the tenants have 120 days. Migonis said the group wants to turn the building into a tenant-run cooperative or condominium. "Otherwise, I'm sure the building will be torn down to be replaced by another office building," she said.