Visitors to Capitol Hill may be looking for such landmarks as the Library of Congress or the Supreme Court. But people who live there are more likely headed to other destinations.
For many years, a popular spot among the locals was Frager’s Hardware, at 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE — a two-story yellow brick building offering hardware, paint and household sundries. Then in early June 2013, fire devastated the building, the business and many loyal customers.
“I used to be a customer at Frager’s. I bought my Christmas tree there. I was coming home from work the day of the fire and stood outside watching with neighbors,” Andrea Short said. Kyle Erickson remembered the store as “a staple of the neighborhood. Everyone came here.”
Now Short and Erickson both have a hand in a multiuse project that is bringing Frager’s — which has operated elsewhere since the fire — back to its former Pennsylvania Avenue address. Erickson is the construction manager for Grunley Construction, the general contractor for the Penn Eleven development. Short bought one of Penn Eleven’s condominium units.
“Frager’s wanted to return to the site, and we were thrilled to be able to return Frager’s to their historic location on 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE,” said Adam M. Peters, executive vice president of Perseus TDC, the development company. Frager’s has already moved its garden center there from E Street SE, and the rest of the store is expected to follow next month.
The condo units were built on top of the restored building, but Perseus TDC didn’t go straight up. “We stepped the building back, Peters said. “We tiered floors three, four and five, and by doing so, we pushed the mass of the new building away from the street. This enabled us to provide terraces to 75 percent of the units and to highlight the original historic building.”
Penthouse units: The building has 34 one- and two-bedroom units, and larger two-bedroom units also have a study. The condo units are on the second to fifth floors.
One penthouse has space on the fourth and fifth floors; two penthouses are on the fifth. They have exceptional views through floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that open to a private terrace.
The one-bedroom units and one penthouse have been sold, and 17 units are left.
“There are no cookie-cutter units because the units don’t stack one above the other. Some floor plans are similar, but they’re all different from one another,” said Chris Masters, executive vice president of McWilliams Ballard, the company handling sales for the developer.
Kitchens are outfitted with white or walnut cabinets and quartz counters. Some have islands. Gas stove hoods are vented to the outside. Dining and living areas flow seamlessly from the kitchen.
Outside the master bedrooms are dressing areas with built-in floor-to-ceiling wardrobes. Master suite bathrooms have private toilet rooms; showers have a wall niche for cosmetics.
Some second bedrooms are windowless but they have closets.
Some units have singular features such as a linen closet in the toilet room, ceiling speakers over the kitchen, a separate laundry room with side-by-side washer and dryer or a walk-in closet in the second bedroom.
Shortsaid she will move into her condo unit soon. “I only live three blocks away so this will be the shortest move in history,” she said.
Her unit was sold as a three-bedroom, but she wanted to maximize the living area so she took down the wall between one bedroom and the living room to make a great room. “I’ll never sit at a desk in the third bedroom when I can be sitting in a living room looking at the Capitol,” she said.
Jeff Gabardi and his husband, Paul Brooks, also live only a few blocks away and bought a Penn Eleven condo. “We’ve been talking about this for sometime thinking, ‘We’ve got to get to one-floor living,” Gabardi said.
They’re looking at earth-tone paint colors now. “We hired a professional, who’s also a close friend, to do this for us. She’s making the selections, and we’re doing the ‘Okay, that looks good,’ ” he said.
Amenities: A concierge desk is in the lobby, and the communal roof deck has views of the Capitol, the Potomac River and Rosslyn in Northern Virginia. Garage parking spaces sell for $50,000 to $60,000. A small “catering” kitchen, with access to a rooftop terrace on the fifth floor, is for sale for $200,000. The buyer has to be a Penn Eleven resident.
Shopping and dining: Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market and Eastern Market are nearby. A highly anticipated restaurant by Kevin Tien, chef at Himitsu in the Petworth neighborhood, is coming to 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Schools: Tyler Elementary, Jefferson Middle, Eastern Senior High.
Transit: Eastern Market Metro station — on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines — is close. Pennsylvania Avenue crosses the Anacostia River into Maryland, where, as Route 4, it feeds into Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway). Pennsylvania Avenue is served by a number of bus routes.
CORRECTIONS: The name of the hardware store was misspelled in an earlier version of this story. It’s Frager’s, not Fager’s. Also, Frager’s is moving back to 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE from E Street SE. An earlier version incorrectly said it was moving from East Street SE.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington
There are 34 condominium residences ranging from $679,000 to $2,899,000. Seventeen have been sold.
Features: Entry doors are eight feet high and coffered ceilings are 9½ to 11 feet high. Units have motorized window roller shades and recessed lighting. Units have wide-plank hardwood floors throughout. In the kitchen, Bosch premium appliances and Kohler faucets are standard.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 2 / 2 or 3
Square-footage: 819 to 1,988
Condominium association fee: $625 to $1,500 a month
View model: By appointment daily.
Contact: Miriam Fernandez at 703-850-1159, Roger Cornell at 202-360-0033 or www.Penn11.com .