Habituées of the 1400 block of P Street NW are well aware that the Metropole condo building [located at 1515 15th St NW] has been slowly rising on the site of the old Duron Paint store for the past few years. Originally scheduled to deliver in 2007, it finally started closing sales in late 2008. As described by our friends at DCRealEstate.com:
The Metropole, facing both pedestrian-thriving P Street and the converted warehouses of Church St., adds 90 new condos starting from $485k to $2.1m (underground parking included with all units) by Metropolis Development (MDC), which also built Cooper-Lewis, Lofts 14, & Langston Lofts, all in Logan Circle. Architecture by RTKL and interior design by HGTV-design phenom Cecconi Simone will offer 20-foot high floor to ceiling windows in many units, Bosch appliances standard, two-story interiors on most units, and braggingly large private terraces on all top floor units (all of which also include a loft that overlooks the main living space), and some of the best interior design south of Manhattan. The Metropole replaces the old Duron paint store (no architectural loss) just steps from Whole Foods and Logan Circle, now rivaling Dupont for great retail, 4 blocks from Metro, 8 minutes by foot to the White House. Retail occupies the first floor, including a 23k s.f. Vida Fitness and Bang Salon. Construction began in August 2006, but received a major setback when Glen Construction, the main contractor on the project, went bankrupt, leaving this and other large residential projects throughout DC to find new GCs, here with Foulger Pratt. Settlements began Nov. 7th, 2008. This will be one of the few condos to feature Ritz-style concierge services, available to purchasers from the time they sign the contract.
Given its prominent and visible location, there was a lot of interest in the building. It was featured in a WaPo article in late September 2008 and my friends at UrbanTurf wrote a story on it, too. One fact that struck me when reading UrbanTurf's article was that the prices seemed a little too 2005ish to me. So, armed with Excel, Redfin, and the District's real property sales database, I did a little analysis to see whether my gut instinct was correct.
- I captured price and unit data [bedrooms, size, whether parking is included] on all sales in the building through year end 2008 as well as those units currently listed on MLS.
- I pulled comparable sales for the neighborhood - condo sales in squares 0208, 0209, and 0210 - for 2008.
- To account for those units that are listed as having parking spaces, I determined that the District values parking spaces in the area at $35,000.
- For those Metropole units I know have parking spaces (all are listed on MLS), I performed two analyses: value with parking space included, value excluding parking space. Since I don't know whether other units sold in the area and building had parking spaces, I assumed not.
The comparables I used were based on sales of 37 units in the area. The comparable price per square foot for each unit type was:
- 1/1: $586.48 / sq foot
- 1/1.5: $549.65 / sq foot
- 2/2.5: $660.86 / sq foot
Results? On an unadjusted price per square foot basis, with two exceptions units at the Metropole range from 7.13% to 58.65% more expensive than comparable units sold in the neighborhood in 2008 [see table below]; the average is 23.11%, the median is 24.89%. Moreover, there's a wide disparity in prices paid for units that have the same floor plan. For example, units 203, 204, and 205 are the same size and have the same floor plan, yet almost $40,000 separates the most expensive unit from the least.
I'm sure having Vida and Bang downstairs is nice and the [probably expensive] Ritz-style concierge services is convenient, but I'm unsure it's worth the hefty premium.