The Washington Post

Donatelli Development sells the Ellington — harbinger of change on U Street — for $100 million

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 190-unit apartment building opened on U Street NW in 2004 and made the neighborhood one of the hottest in the District.

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.”

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.



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