Feldman Ruel Urban Property Advisors announced the sale of 4618 14th St. NW, a 25,153 s/f development site located directly across the street from WMATA’s planned redevelopment of its Northern Bus Garage.

Josh Feldman and Ian Ruel, managing principals at Feldman Ruel, had the listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, Raymar Corporation which had controlled the property since 1964. Over the last five years Raymar Corporation had retained the managing principals of Feldman Ruel to sell its entire portfolio including 218 Vine St. NE in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington, DC where the purchaser, Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, just recently broke ground on what is slated to be a 129-unit residential project offering both affordable and senior housing units. The sale of 4618 14th St. NW represents the final property in the Raymar portfolio.

While the property includes the majority of the block and is surrounded by public alleyways on the other three sides, it offers very little street frontage along 14th St. NW. 4618 14th St. NW was acquired by Heleos, a DC-based affordable housing developer, in partnership with a local performing arts nonprofit, for $4.19 million. The new owner is in talks with The Menkiti Group, which owns the adjacent retail properties to the south, to collaborate on its planned multifamily development.

The new owner plans to construct 99 multifamily units with 66 of those units set aside to house residents making up to 60% of the area’s median income and 20 three-bedroom units designed for families.

The property is currently tenanted by a local furniture store on the first level and a dance studio on the partial second level. The development project will be branded as Dance Loft at 14th and will also include up to 16,000 s/f of ground-floor retail space.

Feldman Ruel’s research of the property prior to its marketing effort, including an opinion from highly regarded Washington DC land-use attorney Kyrus Freeman, a partner with Holland & Knight, concluded that there was a high probability a planned unit development (PUD) could be approved for the site thereby yielding much more density for the buyer and resulting in a significantly higher price for the seller. The selling entity, Raymar Corporation, preferred offers wherein the buyer would close on the transaction well before completing the PUD process, making the sale much more complex since a closing prior to obtaining the PUD passes the entitlement risk along to the buyer.

The deal was further complicated by the configuration of the property, requiring the developer to partner with the adjacent landowner if they wanted the project to offer the type of frontage that typically helps to activate projects like these.