Southwest D.C. to Get First New Luxury Apartment Building in Four Years

Washington, D.C.--Camden Property Trust recently broke ground on the 276-unit Camden South Capitol, the first new luxury development in the area for four years.

L to R: Mark Bucci (Camden Property Trust), Screech (Nationals mascot), Bob McNeil (Donohoe Construction), Neil Stablow (Donohoe Construction) and Greg McCarthy (Washington Nationals)

Washington, D.C.—The Washington, D.C., apartment market kept somewhat of a lid on new construction during the recession, and now that the market has returned to life, Camden Property Trust is preparing to provide more supply for the growing demand with the development of Camden South Capitol. The multifamily real estate company recently broke ground on the 276-unit apartment project, the very first new luxury residential development to get underway in the city’s southwest quadrant in over four years.

“They’re trailblazing because nothing has been developed south of M St. on Capitol,” Ari Firoozabadi, vice president of investments with Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, tells MHN.

Camden is developing South Capitol through its Multifamily Value Add Fund, having sold the fund the land for the project for $9.4 million. The multifamily community is sprouting up at 1325 S. Capitol St., and those performing the hands-on work under the guidance of general contractor Donohoe Construction may have to duck every now and again over the next couple of years of construction activity should one of the Washington Nationals players or visiting baseball team members hit one out of the park—that park being the nearby Nationals Park. As is frequently the case, location is everything. “Camden can get equity and debt because the project is right across from the baseball stadium, but if it were one block removed, it wouldn’t be coming out of the ground,” Firoozabadi says.

WDG is behind the design of the 11-story building that will offer such amenities as a rooftop pool and deck, an internal courtyard and a secure three-level parking facility. Additionally, the studio, one- and two-bedroom residences will have all of the accoutrements of a luxury apartment property. And then there are the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, which, according to Firoozabadi, should play a big role in filling up the tenant roster. “To the east, residents will be able to see baseball games; to the north they can look at the U.S. Capitol; and to the South there’s the Anacostia River.”

While the vistas will certainly serve as a great draw, they are not necessarily Camden’s ace in the hole; the market conditions are. Vacancies are on the downswing and rents are on the rise, according to a Marcus & Millichap report. And the job market in the District is one of the main drivers of the apartment sector’s renaissance. In 2010, local employers added 33,100 jobs, and the city is expected to see the addition of 85,300 positions in 2011, a 2.9 percent expansion that marks one of the highest anticipated job growth rates in the country for this year. Marcus & Millichap anticipates that the vacancy rate in Washington, D.C., will drop to 4.2 percent by year’s end.

With construction underway, South Capitol is on schedule to open its doors in summer 2013.