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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By: Erika Morphy

Rock Creek Wonders: Condos or Apartments

WASHINGTON, DC-Rock Creek Property Group has acquired two buildings in Chinatown totaling 31,000 square feet. The $5.9 million transaction was structured as a sale leaseback to allow the owner, Gospel Rescue Ministries, which runs a homeless shelter, to transition to its other facilities in the city.

Rock Creek acquired the property unsure of whether it would build apartments or condos. More than likely, Rock Creek Property Group Partner Gary Schlager tells, it will wind up being an apartment building. "We believe that will be the highest and best use."

The company has started the entitlement process, which will likely take up to a year, to develop between 50 and 60 units. "It will be a trophy quality boutique development," Schlager says.

Schlager said the company is not prepared to discuss development costs, asking rental rates or sales projections at this early date. "We have to see what the final design will be and what the market will be like in a year from now."

It is not surprising that condos made the short list for Rock Creek—increasingly, they are becoming more of a viable development, CBRE First Vice President Marc Rampulla, who represented the seller in the transaction, tells "I think more people are willing to consider condos now based on the size of the project and its location." Smaller sized projects are more likely to go condo, he says, based on development costs and marketing practices.