The building at 1021 17th St. NE was once part of a 1937 red brick garden apartment complex between K and L streets in the District. That section, gutted and expanded, has been rebuilt as a three-story gray brick condominium.
Today, the building there has eight units: two on the semi-basement lower level, two each on the first and second floors, and two penthouses on the third. The building’s owner and developer, Kimly Sarin, kept one penthouse and plans to move in. The other is under contract. The remaining six units are for sale.
The building, in the Carver-Langston neighborhood, is near the National Arboretum, to the north, and the Kingman Park neighborhood, to the south. Gallaudet University and the H Street corridor are to the west.
On the phone from Cambodia, where he was on vacation with his family, Sarin spoke about the design of the building. “I always planned to live in one of the units and wanted to be sure it felt like home,” he said.
Sarin said the units for sale have bay windows facing the street — even though they cost more — to provide an alcove for a dining table. And he created a den, without a window, that can be used as a second bedroom or an office.
Sarin said he went with the windowless room to give the open living area an additional window. He wanted “to ensure that natural light flooded the open living area,” he said. “I could have arranged the floor plan to include a true second bedroom but would have lost that light. Instead, I put in a den.”
The furnished model unit, No. 4, is the smallest of the six residences for sale. Entry is into the living area. Immediately to the left is the dining space formed by the bay window. On the right is the kitchen. The kitchen appliances and a counter are along one wall, facing an island with a sink and three high-top stools.
After the kitchen comes a bathroom, then the den and, at the end of the unit, the master bedroom with a large window and en suite bathroom.
Coakley Realty is handling marketing and sales. Joey Yaffe of New City Construction, a design-build firm, designed and built the residences.
Flourishes of Cambodia: Under the unit number at each entry door appears a bit of what looks like calligraphy, the delicate swirl of a paintbrush.
“Actually, it is the number in Khmer, the language of Cambodia,” Sarin said. He said that he was born in Cambodia and that his grandparents died during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror in the 1970s. He said he wanted to pay homage “to my family, my family name and my ancestors who gave me the opportunity to develop this building.”
“And I wanted to make each home here special,” he said.
What’s nearby: In addition to the National Arboretum — with its holly and magnolia trees, fern collection, azaleas, dogwoods and Asian garden — Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, managed by the National Park Service, is close by, and it offers ranger-led nature tours, birding and lots of aquatic plant life. Langston Golf Course, on Benning Road NE, has an 18-hole course, a driving range and the Langston Bar and Grille.
The neighborhood is a bit rough looking, but “it’s starting to bloom,” Sarin said. “When I bought the building seven years ago, I saw beauty there. People played golf and went to the Arboretum, but they never stayed afterward because there wasn’t anything to keep them. Now you’re seeing more people walking around and enjoying coffee shops, bars and restaurants.”
Safeway is at 1601 Maryland Ave. NE, and Aldi is at 901 17th St. NE. A farmers market operates at 2615 Benning Rd. NE.
Schools: Browne Education Campus (elementary and middle), Eastern Senior High.
Transit: Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood, on the Red Line, is the closest Metro station. Northeast Washington traffic corridors include Bladensburg Road, Maryland Avenue, Benning Road and New York Avenue (Route 50). Metro buses run along Mount Olivet Road and Rhode Island Avenue.
There are eight condominium units. The two penthouse units are sold. The other six are for sale at base prices ranging from $379,000 to $449,000.
Builder: 1021 LLC
Features: The six units for sale have one bedroom and a den. Kitchens have quartz counters, an island, GE appliances and a gas stove. The floors are dark engineered hardwood. Two parking spaces behind the building are for sale at $20,000 each on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 / 2
Square footage: 821 to 928
Condominium association fee: $157 to $171
View model: By appointment.
Contact: Rory P. Coakley at 301-370-0781