Moderno Goes Residential

Article Published in Washington Business Journal - April 26, 2007

Moderno, a one-time commercial project on U street in the District, is going residential and retail, with plans to break ground on April 15.

Higher construction costs led to the change of plans, says D.C.-based developer Robb LaKritz of LaKritz|Adler, which will partner with luxury residential developer Robertson Development on the $12.5 million project.

The 35,000-square-foot development will be at the corner of 12th and U streets NW, one block from the U Street Metro station.

Current plans call for 5,000 square feet of retail on the street level and 15 residential units above. An adjacent site will be divided into two sections, each with two three-story flats.

The redevelopment of the intill site at 939 12th Street revives a long-vacant property that once was a parking lot known mostly as a hangout for drug dealers.

LaKritz says the site was carpeted with hypodermic needles and trash.

Developers hope the new denizens of the site will be professionals who can afford to pay anywhere from $350,000 for a condominium to $1.2 million for a triplex. The units will come with European-style kitchens and high-end amenities. Sales began Oct. 26 of last year.

Georgetown-based Core is the project architect.

LaKritz says the project is modeled after developments he saw in Barcelona. "It's about enhancing neighborhoods," he says.

The project's architecture will reflect both European and modern design elements. It will have clean, simple line with attention to detail and a lot of glass. The facade will be of limestone.

LaKritz also wants the retail space to be occupied by a European-style cafe/bakery/market that would fit in as a low-key but welcoming neighborhood convenience.

LaKritz is actively looking for tenants and talking to bakers and professionals in New York and elsewhere.

This will be a larger development for LaKritz|Adler than some of the others it has undertaken, including building a neighborhood restaurant and hangout called Temperance Hall at 3634 Georgia Ave.

The development duo also is working on a project near the Petworth Metro at 3646 Georgia Ave. The plan is to create a shopping center with convenience retail including a bank.

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