“The architecture is typical of the old District. These homes could be in Logan Circle,” said Sean Ruppert, owner and CEO of OPaL, a local builder that partnered with Ditto Residential on the project.
On the other side, the passageway opens into the bluestone-paved North Courtyard, which has white birches, flower beds and seating. “White birches were selected because the foliage is transparent,” Ruppert said. “The light filters through unlike maple or oak canopies that are denser.”
Buying New | Watkins Alley in Southeast Washington
Four-level townhouses are on both sides of a passageway leading to a courtyard.
Beyond the townhouses, a two-level, 750-square-foot detached house — called the Carriage House — stands by itself where the alleyway from the North Courtyard intersects with the South Courtyard. This second courtyard is flanked by four-level townhouses on both sides. The architecture is industrial-style, with arched windows and periwinkle awnings over the front doors.
“The outdoor living spaces [courtyards] set it apart from other multifamily residential developments,” Tom McCollough, president of McCollough Construction, the general contractor, said of Watkins Alley.
LOCH Collective in Annapolis, Md., designed the courtyards.
Martin Ditto, CEO of Ditto Residential, said Watkins Alley’s development plan responded to a feeling that “a true sense of community has become harder and harder to find.”
“We live in this hyper-connected world, yet most of us don’t even know our neighbors, Ditto said. “Our inspiration came from the amazing community that already exists on Capitol Hill, all built around a beautiful alleyway that connects both homes and people.”
Watkins Alley has 29 four-level townhouses, eight duplexes, six single-level flats and the one detached residence. Some townhouses and condos have elevators. The units are priced from $795,000 to $1.6 million. Eight townhouses and seven one- or two-level condos have been sold.
Jody and Peter Larkin and their dog, Lucy, are enjoying summer at the Larkins’ retirement home on the coast of Maine. They expect to move into a two-level unit in Watkins Alley in August. “We’ll probably spend six months here and six months in D.C.,” Jody Larkin said.
Their unit has a ground-level entrance. “For somebody with a dog it’s perfect,” she said. “The space is marvelous. We have a lot more than we expected to get for our money.”
Watkins Alley is near Watkins Elementary School, which is named for Catherine R. Watkins, director of D.C. kindergartens from 1898 to 1936. An auto repair shop and a warehouse were removed to make room for residential development.
Nearby: In addition to the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Hill has many other places of historical and cultural interest. Congressional Cemetery, Nationals Park and the Navy Yard neighborhood are close by. Eastern Market has shops indoors and vendor stands outdoors, with crafts, jewelry, ready-to-eat foods, and fruits and vegetables.
Schools: Watkins and Peabody Elementary, Stuart-Hobson Middle, Eastern High.
Transit: The Potomac Avenue Metro station, on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines, is close. It has rack space for 10 bikes. Major streets and highways include Pennsylvania Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and Interstate 695. The community is highly walkable.
1309 E St. SE, Washington, D.C.
The condominium development has 44 residences — four-level townhouses, one- and two-level condos, and a single detached house — organized around two courtyards and priced from $795,000 to $1.6 million. Eight townhouses and seven condos have been sold.
Builder: Ditto Residential and OPaL
Features: Ceilings are nine or 10 feet high, depending on the unit. Floors are five-inch-wide white oak. Doors are solid core. Double-hung black metal-over-wood window frames are by Ply Gem. Kitchens have Bosch appliances (with gas cooking), Italkraft cabinets, Calacatta quartz counters, a subway tile backsplash and a microwave drawer. Master bathrooms have a frameless glass walk-in shower, a quiet-flush Kohler toilet, and a double-sink vanity. There is a mail and package room. Space for bike storage is provided. Select units have elevator access. Parking is included with townhouses and can be purchased by owners of other units for $55,000.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 to 4 /2 to 4
Square-footage: 750 to 2,500
Condominium association fees: Average $290 a month.
See models: By appointment.
Contact: Sean Ruppert at 202-921-0315 or WatkinsAlley.com