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Boutique condos in D.C.’s Columbia Heights offer charm, location

The living area in model Unit 3 at 1435 Clifton St. NW. Exposed brick is one of the building's traditional charms. (Benjamin C. Tankersley for The Washington Post)
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City life appealed to new homeowner Denise Baltuskonis.

The 32-year-old was renting in the Arlington neighborhood of Clarendon and actively looking to buy for about a month, narrowing her search to one-bedroom units. She’d already lost one deal in a bidding war.

Then she found the building at 1435 Clifton St. NW in D.C., a rowhouse that was converted to an eight-unit condominium building. It checked all the boxes.

Baltuskonis picked a one-bedroom unit in the front of the building because of the natural light that beamed through the south-facing bay windows. Her Arlington apartment doesn’t get direct sunlight from November to mid-March, she said.

“It really affected my mood and energy levels,” she said. “I knew good light was important wherever I would choose to buy.”

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Baltuskonis said she also liked the amount of storage included in the floor plan. “Thoughtful storage,” she said, “really seemed to be lacking in a lot of the units that I saw.”

Five units are available for sale at 1435 Clifton St. NW, at prices ranging from $425,000 to $815,000 for 535 to 1,275 square feet. All but one of the available units have one bedroom and one bathroom. The other available unit is a penthouse — one of two in the building — and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a roof deck. Some other units have private outdoor spaces. Two parking spaces are available for $40,000 each. The building has no shared amenities.

Move-ins are expected to start in early June.

For Baltuskonis, the location in Columbia Heights was another plus.

“I really liked that this particular building was between Columbia Heights and U Street Metro stations,” she said, “so it’s convenient to all the restaurants, bars, and stores in both areas, as well as Meridian Hill-Malcolm X Park.”

She added: “But most importantly, it’s walking distance to Trader Joe’s. I also have several friends that live nearby, and I’m looking forward to no longer having to drive to have to see them.”

D’Ann Lanning, head of the Compass-affiliated sales team, said the mix of traditional charm and modern convenience is helping to close deals.

“Buyers love all of the extra touches like exposed brick, solid slab backsplashes, LED [recessed ceiling] downlighting and all of the bathroom details,” Lanning said.

Columbia Heights borders 16 Street Heights to the north and the U Street corridor to the south. Park View and Pleasant Plains are to the east and Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant to the west.

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The Columbia Heights Metro station, in service since 1999, has spurred decades of redevelopment in the neighborhood, including the renovation of the landmark Tivoli Theatre building and the opening of the DC USA shopping mall.

Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park, is a 12-acre National Park Service property and an important community asset, with lawns, shaded walkways, statuary and a majestic cascading fountain.

Schools: Marie Reed Elementary, Columbia Heights Education Campus (middle), Cardozo Education Campus (high).

Transit: The Columbia Heights Metro station is about a half-mile north. The U Street Metro station is just over a half-mile south. Both are on the Green and Yellow lines. The 52 and 54 buses run on 14th Street; the H2 and H4 on Columbia Road; 90 and 92 on U Street.

Nearby: Meridian Hill Park, Girard Street Park, U Street corridor, DC USA mall, Howard University

1435 Clifton St. NW

1435 Clifton St. NW, Washington, D.C.

The building has eight units, and five are still available at prices ranging from $425,000 to $815,000.

Builder: 10 Square

Features: Exposed brick, hardwood floors, Blomberg appliances

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 or 2/1 or 2

Square footage: 535 to 1,275

Condominium fee: $165 to $314

View model: Make an appointment anytime,

Sales: Trent & Co. at Compass,