- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2007

Affordability and style are coming together at Savoy Court, a condominium conversion project across

the Anacostia River from the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium.

Building Partnerships LLC is renovating a 60-year-old, 62-unit apartment building at 210 Oakwood St. SE, which originally served as off-base military housing for Bolling Air Force Base.

Building on the art deco style of the residence, the developer has created a jazz-themed decorating scheme. Art deco architectural features are being added to the entryways and hallways, which will be lined with photographs of famous jazz musicians. The name “Savoy Court” comes from jazz musicians Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie’s record label, Savoy.

Bob Aramony, a partner with Building Partnerships LLC, says several developers, including his company, have been working east of the Anacostia for several years to develop new affordable housing with such elements as hardwood flooring, granite counters and other upscale amenities.

Now, at Savoy Court, these elements have been expanded with new community amenities such as landscaped courtyard with a patio, a trellis, flowering trees and a pergola.

The rooftop deck has river views, as well as views of downtown Washington. Also on the roof are seating, plants and gas grills for the residents.

What once was the boiler room in the basement is being converted into an exercise room with flat-screen televisions, mirrors and exercise equipment.

The development also includes a bike room, storage bins for each unit and a community room. Security cameras are being installed to add to the safety of residents. Some garage parking spaces are available.

Developers at Savoy Court are replacing all the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, appliances, bath fixtures and flooring. Interior walls are being knocked out in each unit to enlarge the kitchen area.

While all of these improvements sound costly, Savoy Court’s one-bedroom homes are available for a base price of $162,900 and up. Monthly condominium fees are $220 to $390.

About 25 percent of the new condominiums are designated to be affordable to buyers earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. Eight homes will be sold at less than half the market price to former apartment tenants, and eight more homes will be subsidized by the developer for sale to buyers in the Manna Inc. Homebuyers Club.

Manna, a nonprofit housing agency, educates and prepares Homebuyers Club families for the financial and maintenance responsibilities of homeownership.

Savoy Court is in a residential neighborhood bordered by parkland near Interstate 295, minutes from downtown Washington.

A trolley system, planned by Metro to link neighborhoods with Metro stations east of the Anacostia River, will stop two blocks from Savoy Court. A Metro bus stop is directly in front of Savoy Court.

Nearby employment centers include Bolling Air Force Base, the Anacostia Naval Station, the Southeast Federal Center and the Naval Research Lab.

A mixed-use development will incorporate an existing strip shopping center and bring in a 66,000-square-foot supermarket and include a space for a casual dining restaurant as part of the 114,000 square feet of retail space.

This Alabama Avenue location is anticipated to be open by the end of this year.

By July 2009, another shopping center is expected to be redeveloped into another mixed-used development with 315,000 square feet of retail space along with housing.

This development is across from the Good Hope Marketplace, now open with a grocery store, video store, coffee shop and other retail shops.

As part of this revitalized neighborhood, Savoy Court’s developers have not only improved the exterior of the buildings and added amenities to the community, but they have renovated the interior of each home.

The homes have new wood floors, new carpet in the bedrooms and ceramic tile flooring and walls in the bathrooms. Each home has natural maple kitchen cabinets with sliding shelves, track lighting, under-cabinet task lighting, quartz countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances.

The homes have new central air conditioning and heating, a stacked washer and dryer and a work nook, which is wired for cable, telephone and satellite. Each home is prewired for up to two optional flat-screen televisions.

The one-bedroom homes have 577 to 688 square feet. A typical home has a coat closet adjacent to the front door, which opens into an open living and dining room with an open center-island kitchen. The washer and dryer are adjacent to the kitchen.

The bedroom has a closet along one wall with two double doors. Across from the full bath is another closet.

For information on Savoy Court, call 202/561-3644 or visit www.savoycourt.com.

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