Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

The news has filtered my way that EYA is about to begin taking reservations for market-rate townhouses in the second phase of Capitol Quarter. The timeframe is *very soon*, quite possibly within the next week or so. This phase will cover the three remaining blocks of the development, between Third and Fourth streets SE, south of I down to the stretch just south of L (backing up to the 300 M Street office building). There will be infrastructure work to do first (including carving out the new north-south "3 1/2 Street" running between I and L), with "vertical construction" then starting in the fall, followed by the first move-ins happening in mid-2011. There will be 77 market-rate and 34 workforce-rate houses, 47 affordable rental units, and five Section 8 purchase units. (There will be a lottery for the workforce units, but I don't know when.)
When I get word of when reservations will start being taken, I will post ASAP. I don't know if there will be people camping out like in the old days, but it will be interesting to see the response. I don't know anything about prices or anything else beyond the fact that we'll know more soon.
One footnote that might be of interest: what helped get this second phase kicked off was the $9.5 million grant from HUD that the DC Housing Authority received late last year, which came from a pool of federal stimulus funds. DCHA had been unable to get any financing for the second phase throughout last year thanks to the moribund municipal bond market, but the HUD grant allowed DCHA to pay for the completion of construction drawings, the land preparation costs, and other costs that then made it possible for the second phase to begin to move forward.
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JW says: (5/18/10 9:29 AM)
Thanks for the info, this is great news. Do you know if folks lined up early for market-rate homes? Thanks


JW says: (5/18/10 9:33 AM)
Also it is interesting to note that EYA's website says "Phase 2, open for sale this summer."


JD says: (5/18/10 9:45 AM)
Yes, as the two links in the entry showed, people camped out for the market-rate homes back in 2006 and 2007. Some were out there close to three weeks.


MJM says: (5/18/10 6:25 PM)
There was an open house two weekends ago for a corner unit and the asking price was a cool $1.2M. Either way it was a sweet pad!


JA says: (5/19/10 1:35 PM)
The $1.2m house is at 418 L St. Already dropped down to $998,900. That's still more than it was purchased for, but it may drop more since it will be tough to compete with the Phase II homes being offered since they haven't been lived in and you can choose all your options. Only difference is that it will be next year before Phase II houses are complete. But I agree with your comment. It's a nice house. EYA seems to be doing pretty good work in Capital Quarter.

Btw, EYA has announced the new prices and will start taking reservations this Sunday, May 23rd, at 11 AM on a first come, first served basis.


JD says: (5/19/10 1:56 PM)
(Yes, see my post after this one about the reservations on Sunday)


Fran says: (5/19/10 2:20 PM)
Getting my tent ready. Going to camp out Saturday night. Looking for a Banneker.


c says: (5/19/10 3:21 PM)
what a rip off - apparently EYA believes these are among the few homes in DC that should appreciate despite ongoing trends - by the time you upgrade this house with bump out and finishes for the banneker you are looking at well over $800K. Yes they are nice but not worth this amount. These houses are constructed in masse in a couple weeks, like wood framed apartment buildings, dry wall thrown in, a little granite and walla - I'll take your cash please.

I understand there is no need to camp out - there were a number of available homes in initial phases in need of buyers until rather recently. I will be very surprised if buyers are lined out the door.


Fran says: (5/19/10 4:13 PM)
Seriously? I don't know. I want to live in D.C. and I am not handy. So, I want to buy new construction - without the high condo fees.

If I can get away with only putting on $90 K worth of upgrades (including the loft) then I will do it. I would save no money if I bought in Alexandria or Arlington.

The commute with this new BRAC thing off 395 is going to be an absolute disaster. Of course, there is no way I am living in Screwball, VA. I work at DOT and will walk to work in 5 minutes.

I will get 2 extra hours of life per day (1 hour commute in and 1 hour commute out), 10 extra hours of life per week, and 520 extra hours of life per year. I make $60 an hour. That is a savings of $31,200 annually. So, I will basically pay for my $90 K in upgrades in 3 years. My time is valuable to me (and, life is too short to be traveling back and forth from Woodbridge every day).

My tent will be set up on Saturday at 10 PM.


C says: (5/19/10 8:54 PM)
Seriously? I must know, do you work for EYA? Your post is oddly similar to the smooth talking salesman who has made a fortune selling homes in a neighborhood he would not likely ever live in.

I will stop by Saturday at 10 PM to say hello.


Adam says: (5/20/10 9:42 AM)
C:
Seriously?
These are great homes at great prices. For those of us who live and work in the neighborhood, it represents an opportunity to own more than a condo at a reasonable price. Homes just on the other side of 395 go for well more than these homes.


JoeNDc says: (5/20/10 11:59 AM)
Fran. Go for it! I bought a home in Phase I of Capitol Quarter. I love it. The construction is very good. I have had minor... repeat minor issues, which are common in all newly constructed homes. They have been addressed by EYA. In so far as the commute, you are absolutely right. I work at the U.S. Dept. of Labor. My commute is rediculously simple and quick. Wish I worked at DOT though. That would be even better. I had the choice of buying a new construction home in Woodbridge. I could have saved $370,000. My best friend bought out there. It is a beautiful home. A big house, a big yard...and a really big commute. No thanks. Glad I stayed in the city.

As for costs for upgrades for a Banneker, I think $90,000 is not going to cut it. You should realistically consider $120,000 at bare minimum. Don't get all goo-goo gaga either. Be relistic in your choices. Choose finishes that will endure for years and not just ones that are trendy right now. Also, do not be afraid to forgo certain options right now. You can often get them cheaper by having an outside company come in to do the work for you at a later date. For example, rather than expensive carpet in the bedrooms, I upgraded the pad and went with inexpensive carpet. I'll change the carpet out in 3 years but the nice padding will already be there. It still looks nice and feels nice under foot.

I chose not to have the extra room on the 3rd level. I asked myself, "How much freaking house do I need?" Instead, I have a private roof terrace which is the entire size of my roof, decked out with furniture, planters w/ trees & a BBQ. Just had a party w/ 20 people last weekend and everybody was just stunned at how private,lovely, and relaxing it was out there. I also opted for a one car garage (I only have one car)with a enclosed room in the front of the house. Really glad I did that!!!

If you are in it for the long haul (10 years or more)... you are going to see a profit. This area is going to be a jewel. It is already on its way. As for the nay sayers. Bleh! to them. Good luck to you. You will be glad you bought here.



bruce says: (5/20/10 12:31 PM)
Being buyer #2 in 2006, We had a vision as to what this area could be.
Now that we are here, that vision is stronger than ever. We are blessed to have wonderful home and great neighbors. Also, during our pre dry wall inspection, NO DEFECTS were found at all.
As for options, some are expensive, some are not and some are just convenience. Do not go for expensive carpeting. We have so little that the standard is fine with upgraded padding.
Do what makes you feel comfortable. The important thing is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. We are near highways, trains and too many walkable places to mention. I cant see buying a home in the burbs and spending hours a day commuting (no tax write off there). It hurts your quality of life.
Canal Park will be built this Sept and the rest will come. The area around Verizon Center was not built in a day. I truly believe this is the area to be in. Love Barracks row.
If you look at the prices of homes in Capitol Hill, these re still the best bang for buck, you know what is behind your walls, you have brand new infrastructure and a garage ( or 2). We own an end unit Banneker and love it.
You will see a nice return down the road AND enjoy living here. As for those who have no vision, we will be the ones laughing, not you.
Good luck and welcome to the new neighbors.


JA says: (5/20/10 1:48 PM)
C -

regarding your comment that "apparently EYA believes these are among the few homes in DC that should appreciate despite ongoing trends", you may want to check out the linked article. Apparently, single family homes in the DC area increased 6.4% which was biggest increase in 10 major metro areas that were analyzed and that increase is consistent with EYA's price increase on Cap Qtr homes...but I recognize that the increases in the DC area varied depending on exact location.
link

Only time will tell if these homes are in fact a "rip off" as you say. I think Fran and some of the others above make valid points that you're not going to find a new home with what Cap Qtr offers (e.g. location, available upgrades, garage parking, etc) for anything close to that price inside the city...but I agree that camping out may be a bit overboard. EYA will find out pretty quickly if they've gotten too aggressive with the pricing. They've been doing this for a long time and I'm sure have every incentive to price the homes according to market rather than not sell them.


Fran says: (5/20/10 2:53 PM)
I agree. I am not going to camp out. Instead, I am going to visit the new EYA community in Brookland and in Old Town Alexandria, and compare these new communities to Capitol Quarter. I hope to be ready to move in about a year. Capitol Quarter and Old Town Alexandria are priced similarly. However, the new EYA homes in Brookland are less expensive. But, for potential, I think Near Southeast will eventually offer more than Colonel Brooks in Brookland/Catholic/Trinity.



Fatman says: (5/20/10 4:36 PM)
Thank you! My fiancee and I have been looking at Capital Quarter recently and the detailed info above, especially on upgrade costs, is very helpful.

We also went and looked at EYA's Brookland development. Not much to see at Brookland yet besides dirt and grass. The salesperson there actually suggested going down and walking through the Capital Quarter models so we could get a feel for what the finished homes are like (compare, for example, the Addison and Calvert, or the Elliott and Banneker).

Even without much to see in Brookland, yet, it was useful to walk/drive around and get a feel for the neighborhoods and what the extra $$$ at Capital Quarter gets you.

Thanks again.


Mark says: (5/20/10 5:00 PM)
My family moved into a Banneker II last summer. We love CQ - the homes are extremely well built (this is the 3rd new home I've purchased and I worked in construction when I was younger), the location is amazing, I can walk to work, we all walk to the Mall/ Capitol Building, and my wife regularly takes our son to the Capitol Hill parks, the neighbors are great - and you absolutely can not discount how important it is to have a garage for a) security, b) always having a guaranteed parking spot, c) easy access for brining in luggage/ groceries, and d) easy to get in and out of the car in the rain/ snow/ snowmagedden...

We love living at CQ - I can not recommend the community enough. Heck, if I didn't already own one I'd probably camp out Saturday night to ensure I could reserve a Banneker.


Fran says: (5/21/10 1:22 PM)
Someone is sitting outside the sales office right now in a chair. It is not me. I am getting nervous now.


JD says: (5/21/10 1:23 PM)
Yes, I tweeted this a little while ago. Not sure whether there will be 8 more before the time you plan to get there.


Mark says: (5/21/10 2:13 PM)
Fran -

If you want to ensure you'll get a Banneker I would recommend getting in line ASAP. I know the Bannekers are the quickest to go.

Also, btw, if I can throw my two cents in, I have a Banneker II. I recommend this model; it has a little more square footage on the third and fourth floors - and the master bedroom is much bigger.


JD says: (5/21/10 3:25 PM)
I hear there's now a second person in line.


RootingForFran says: (5/21/10 3:35 PM)
Maybe it's Fran!


C says: (5/21/10 7:27 PM)
Fran is the salesman - pining to lure people to spend one million on a home that takes less than 3 weeks to construct - go Fran! I hope all your dreams come true!!


bruce says: (5/22/10 11:32 AM)
C: Do you have anything positive to say? I respect your opinions, IF you dont like it, dont buy it. Simple.


Mark says: (5/23/10 4:12 PM)
C is just some bitter individual for whom facts are unimportant when formulating an opinion.


b says: (5/23/10 9:25 PM)
6 people stayed overnight and the salesman wrote 6 contracts today.

I guess C will have to continue to commute from Dumfries.


Ben says: (5/24/10 8:19 AM)
Obviously those 6 people work for EYA. I mean, why else would anyone buy a brand new row house in an up-and-coming neighborhood in DC with a garage, roof terrace, new finishes, and tons of space for the same price or lower than the 100yr old houses 4 blocks to the north? Especially when the people who live in these new houses can't stop talking about how much they love the house and the hood. Let's be serious, here. In fact, I have long suspected that JD does not actually exist and is just a creation of EYA designed to create false demand for Capitol Quarters.

Nice try, EYA. Nice try.


bruce says: (5/24/10 9:24 AM)
To those who purchased Welcome. To those who did not, Sorry.
Live where you want. There is no need to trash the area. I know who will not be laughing down the road as this area explodes. I'm guessing the folks who just like to bash the area and the homes.


Ben says: (5/24/10 10:42 AM)
I hope my sarcasm bled through (I thought it did). I currently live in CHT, but have been eying an EYA home since I got here. The Brookland development is more my price at this point, but I'm enjoying the Front (if not the parade of names for the hood) too much to bolt just yet.



JoeNDc says: (5/24/10 12:33 PM)
Bruce, regarding C (as in..."completly bitter"). Whats up with this individual? Just reading his/her negative, sophmoric, whiny remarks makes me feel like I am sitting next to some burnt out old hack salesman at the local pub whose life sucks. Ick already!!!

C,if you could not muster the cost to buy into CQ because you just couldn't scrape up the money or get financing, ok... fine. We all have our financial limits. But when you blather on without having any real facts as compared to Bruce, myself and others who are actually CQ home owners and belivers in "The Front" in general, well... you just come off as ridiculous. If you are going to debate anything in life, you must first come armed with real facts and figures. If you don't, you just come off looking like... we'll... blatanly silly.

You cannot get these type of houses next to a river front, in an up and coming revitalized area of a major metropolitan city with so much already so close by and more to come in the near future for what we paid. Sure, I could have bought at EYA's Hyattsville development for almost half of what I paid here. The floorplans are practically identical. Then again, that is PG county. For one thing, land is cheaper there for the developer to buy and as such, the end cost of nearly identical houses are cheaper. Lets not go into the commute difference.

You see, "C"... those of us who have bought into CQ have not been duped. We did our homework, considered many possibilities, potential risks, pitfalls and rewards before deciding to buy. We walked into the deal with real facts and figures and with our eyes wide open. Phil at EYA is an enthuiastic promoter of the CQ and the Front. Hello??? That is his job. Would you hire a schlub as a salesman that told your potential customers that what your are trying to sell them is garbage? He was well informed of the "green" construction techniques, etc. and he operated sincerely, professionally, and with pride as he championed CQ and the Front. We who actually went through the buying process and now live day in and day out in our CQ homes were not duped like nieve school children. Phil was very honest throughout the entire process. I resent you labeling him as some sort of "smooth talking salesman."

We know what we paid for and we know that it was by and large, a very fair price and have no doubts that it was the right move for us. If you feel it was not the right thing for you, fine. But please stop being bitter Betty and move on already.


Mark says: (5/25/10 1:33 PM)
Just wanted to welcome the new members of the CQ community - you will truly enjoy living here!

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