South Cathedral Mansions Prepped for Modernization
South Cathedral Mansions at 2900 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. in D.C.’s Woodley Park neighborhood has been acquired by a newly formed multifamily joint venture led by Commonwealth Cooperative at a cost of $70 million. Located at the corner of Cathedral and Connecticut Avenue, South Cathedral Mansions is a landmark 131-unit multifamily rental property in a complex of three apartment buildings, which was developed in 1922 by the team of Harry Wardman and Mihran Mesrobian and is included on both the National Register of Historic Places and the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites. The Commonwealth Cooperative JV is comprised of Commonwealth Residential and CAS Reigler, with Oculus Realty providing property management services and Snead Construction providing contractor services, stakeholders with extensive experience in the city’s multifamily housing market and the renovation of boutique and historic apartment properties.
An extensive two-year renovation will begin this fall to incorporate modern systems and improvements while preserving the historic character of the building. Working closely with the South Cathedral Mansions Tenant Association, Commonwealth Cooperative noted that “It took a collaborative approach with the tenants, via the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, and committed to a historic renovation to seal the deal in which the partnership and the South Cathedral Mansions Tenant Association will redevelop the property.”
Modernizing the property will focus on adding all-new unit interiors, central HVAC, upgraded common areas, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a community space in the original carriage house. Plans also include the creation of 29 new units by incorporating previously unused attic space and reconfiguring apartment layouts. Seventeen (17) of the 29 new units will feature 20-to 30-foot ceiling heights.
“Upon completion of these extensive renovations, South Cathedral Mansions will compete with Class A properties along Connecticut Avenue and in other sought-after neighborhoods of Washington,” said Kevin Riegler, principal of CAS Riegler. “We have an in-depth understanding of the way these buildings were built, how to preserve them and how to ensure that they last into future generations.”
Best Addresses: A Century of Washington’s Distinguished Apartment Houses, by James M. Goode, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988
Historic Woodley Park apartment building to get major renovation, Washington Business Journal, By Jeff Clabaugh, June 23, 2014
JV Pays $70M for Historic South Cathedral Mansions Apartments, with Plans to Start Renovation This Fall, Multifamily Housing News, By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor, June 27, 2014