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$1 million condos proposed for D.C.’s Truxton Circle

(Courtesy of Ditto Residential)
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Truxton Circle, nestled between booming Bloomingdale and Shaw in Northwest Washington, has been slower to change than its neighbors.

The modest rowhouses, smaller than Bloomingdale’s Victorians, change hands quietly, with an occasional gut renovation. The 13 social service agencies packed into the small neighborhood attract a sizable population of homeless and needy citizens to the sidewalks during the day.

According to Trulia, the median sale price year-to-date for Truxton Circle is $645,000, marking a 14 percent increase since 2014.

Now, one development firm may significantly boost the upper level of the neighborhood’s price range with $1 million condos.

Ditto Residential is gathering final approvals to construct a four-unit condo building at the corner of 4th and P streets NW and New Jersey Avenue. Ditto is building two four-story houses and dividing each into two 2,200-square-foot units. Two of the units will have two bedrooms plus a den while the other two will have three bedrooms.

“It will be an outlier in terms of quality and value, but it’ll be a lot of fun for me to build,” Martin Ditto, founder of Ditto Residential, said in an interview. “This is an opportunity to create a crowning element on that corner, and the person who lives there will have the opportunity to purchase a property that they ordinarily wouldn’t have.”

The condo is priced comparably to similar properties in Shaw, just west of Truxton Circle, said Suzanne Des Marais, associate broker of  Keller Williams Realty’s 10 Square Team.

“A 2,200-square-foot condo priced at $1 million is only $454 per square foot, which is pretty typical and even low,” Des Marais said in an interview. Des Marais noted that a similarly sized condo sold for just under $1 million a few blocks away at 1401 5th St. NW.

Ditto is working with the architecture firm Dep Designs — it previously worked with the firm on the Roundhouse in Brookland and the OSLO at 6th and S street NW — and is throwing luxury elements onto every inch of the property. Advanced flooring systems, custom cabinets, integrated appliances, commercial window systems, below-grade patios crossed overhead by metal bridges and cypress exteriors all add cost to the project, Ditto said: “Nice things cost money.”

As is typical for the firm, the architecture will be contemporary, with a wood and glass exterior, and the layout of the units will be unusual. The adjacent buildings will be offset from each other, so the southern house will have a front patio, while the northern house will have a back patio. The owners of the top units will each have a rooftop terrace, and all owners will have a parking space.

The visible location on New Jersey Avenue sold Ditto on the site, he said. “It’s a very prominent corner. People drive up New Jersey all the time, and they’ll see Shaw on their left, and Truxton Circle on their right. Truxton has been kind of an ugly duckling, and  this is a chance to bring something special and transformative to the area.”

Once all approvals are in, construction will last for about eight months, said Ditto. He estimates a late 2015 completion date.

The project won’t be Ditto’s first in the area, nor its priciest: In early 2015, the firm completed 5Q, a four-unit townhouse  at the corner of 5th and Q streets NW (the address falls just outside the official bounds of Truxton Circle).

Each four-bedroom townhouse comes with below-grade parking and an in-law suite. They are in the process of finding buyers, Ditto said, but the most expensive unit, listed for $1.55 million, has sold.

Shilpi Malinowski is a freelance writer.