Finding a starter home, a place for renters to purchase so they can build equity for a down payment on their next place, can be tough in the costly housing market in Washington.

Wall Development, founded by Stan Wall, focused on the needs of first-time buyers when he started planning a 16-unit condominium at 1115 H St. NE in the H Street corridor.

Wall, who is also director of real estate and station planning for Metro, designed a transit-oriented, energy-efficient residence where buyers could save money on utility bills, potentially live a car-free lifestyle and still spend approximately the same amount or less on their monthly mortgage payments as rent in the District.

The units, priced under $400,000, are attracting first-time buyers and some investors who plan to live in their condo for a few years and then eventually turn it into an investment property, says Iris Dedja, a sales agent with Urban Pace.

Among the attractions of the building are access to the rooftop deck, which has skyline views. The condos themselves have views of H Street through large windows. The upper floor windows have views of the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome.

Wall said he opted to stay close to the community by working with students at the nearby Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School to generate ideas for the site. He said he plans to continue working with the students after the residential portion of the development is complete later this spring.


The living room (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Large insulated windows: The development, called 1115 H Street, is on the site of a former Woolworth’s store and is designed to reach LEED Platinum certification for energy efficiency.

“The street level will have a casual Italian restaurant that we expect to open in about a year,” Dedja says. “The residential section has a gated entrance into the lobby.”

The building has an elevator and bike storage and the elements needed for energy efficiency certification include triple-glazed windows, extra insulation and a design with just four units per floor to maximize the natural light in each residence.

The monthly condo fees include water, sewer, trash, maintenance and insurance; residents must pay their own cable, Internet and electric bills. Dedja says electric bills are anticipated to be extremely low because of the energy efficient features in the home.

Views of Capitol: All the units have one bedroom and one bath. Each of the three remaining units has a similar floor plan with 635 to 660 square feet. Unit 203 on the second floor is priced at $364,900, while units 403 and 504 are priced at $399,900. Unit 504 has a view above nearby rooftops of the Capitol dome and is next to stairs leading to the roof, which has a deck for residents overlooking H Street.

Units 203 and 403 have an open kitchen, dining and living area with tall triple-glazed glass doors at one end that open onto a Juliet balcony. Recessed lighting throughout this room is complemented by pendant lighting.


The south east view from the roofdeck (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

The bedroom (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Nearby are a coat closet and a closet with a washer and dryer. The kitchen has recycled glass counters with a sink on the center island, stainless steel appliances and espresso cabinets. The bedroom has a walk-in closet and an adjacent bath with ceramic tile flooring, a recycled glass counter and a combination tub and shower. The bedroom windows, which are also triple-glazed, are “tilt-and-turn” style windows for greater energy efficiency.

Unit 504 features a similar floor plan with a larger coat closet and a smaller bedroom closet.

Nightlife and shopping: The H Street corridor, one of the hottest destinations in the city for nightlife, surrounds this condo with entertainment and dining venues, such as the Atlas Theater, the Rock and Roll Hotel, Biergarten Haus, Toki Underground, Smith Commons, the H Street Country Club, Boundary Road, the original Taylor Gourmet restaurant, the H Street Farmers market and more. A Whole Foods grocery store is scheduled to open in 2016 within five blocks of the building.

Schools: Ludlow-Taylor Elementary, Stuart Hobson Middle and Eastern High.

Transit: The building is served by multiple bus routes, including D3, D4, D8, X1, X2, X3, X8, X9, 90, 92 and 93; Union Station Metro; and several Capital Bikeshare stations.

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer.

1115 H Street

1115 H St. NE, Washington

The three remaining condos range from $364,900 to $399,900. A parking space is $20,000.

Builder: Wall Development

Features: Each unit has hardwood flooring in the living areas, ceramic tile bathroom flooring, stainless steel appliances, recycled glass counters, espresso cabinets, a washer and dryer, sound attenuating materials, recessed and pendant lighting, a Juliette balcony and triple glazed windows. The building has one parking spot available for sale and has an elevator.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1/1

Square footage: approximately 635 to 651

Condominium association fees: $280 to $285 per month

View models: Open by appointment

Contact: Iris Dedja of Urban Pace at
202-841-7784 or Lynn Tsao of Urban Pace at 202-603-0373 or www.1115H.com .