Thursday, May 13, 2004

The streets of Washington are gradually being transformed by entrepreneurs and investors willing to purchase aging rowhouses and revitalize them with new interiors.

Along Fourth Street Northwest, in the northeastern area of the Shaw neighborhood, town homes are snapped up quickly and renovated into condominiums and residences for individual families.

The Federal-style all-brick building at 1718 Fourth St. NW, built in 1900, has been converted into two bi-level condominium homes.

The Metro station under construction on New York Avenue near North Capitol Street is within an easy walk, along with the existing Metro station at Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue.

Just north of this neighborhood is LeDroit Park, and south of this part of Shaw is the Mount Vernon Triangle section of town.

These neighborhoods, along with the area north of Union Station, are all in the process of revitalization with an increased supply of renovated housing and an expansion of new residential and retail development.

At 1718 Fourth St. NW, both identical condominiums are for sale, each priced at $485,000.

A wrought-iron fence encloses the brick front patio, which leads to a locked wrought-iron gate into the open marble foyer linking the entrances to each home.

At the back of the building, a large brick patio or parking area awaits the buyers’ decision on how to use the area.

One option chosen by some other area homeowners, known as a “rolling door,” allows for the property to function as an enclosed parking area and as a patio. The door can be attached to an exterior fence while the patio remains open to the air.

The car can be moved to on-street parking when the patio is being used for relaxation, or safely enclosed on the patio when it is not in use.

Inside, each condominium has been renovated and embellished with skylights and tall windows to increase the light.

Each front door has an etched-glass center to allow light to filter in while maintaining privacy. High ceilings add to the sense of open and spacious rooms, and recessed lighting has been placed in most rooms.

At the front of each home is an open living and dining area with a gas fireplace. Throughout both levels of each home, maple flooring adds a modern yet warm touch, and ceiling fans have been installed in many rooms.

An open kitchen adjoins the living and dining area and includes a breakfast bar.

The kitchen features granite counters; a stainless-steel sink; maple cabinets; and stainless-steel appliances, including a gas range and a built-in microwave, all of which combine for a sleek, trendy look.

Just down the hall is a full bath with marble flooring and a stone shower. Nearby is a closet with a full-size stacked washer and dryer. At the back of this level is a bedroom with a door to the brick patio and windows on two sides.

Maple stairs lead to the second level, which is sunny and open because of the large skylight over the stairs. At the front of the home is the master-bedroom suite, a large room with a gas fireplace with a remote control.

This bedroom has two separate closets and a private bath with a marble floor and a whirlpool tub set under a window.

The third bedroom, placed at the back of the home, includes a door to a wide balcony overlooking the brick patio. A third full bath is nearby.

A maple spiral staircase leads from the upper-level hall to the roof, where a wood-roof deck can be added.

The condominium fee for each of the two units is $229 per month and includes all electricity for the common areas, exterior building maintenance, an insurance policy, reserve funds, water and sewer bills, and trash removal.

Address: 1718 Fourth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Community: Shaw

Age: Originally built in 1900, renovated 2004

Price: $485,000

Size: 1,613 finished square feet on lot of 2,680 square feet

Taxes: $3,505 in 2003

Condo fee: $229 per month, includes electricity for common areas

Exterior features: Federal-style brick attached town home, wrought-iron front gate enclosing small brick entrance patio, brick patio or parking area at rear of building

Interior features: Three bedrooms; three baths; two finished levels with open living and dining area on main level with gas fireplace, open kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances; maple hardwood flooring in all rooms; marble floors in all bathrooms; master suite with two closets, gas fireplace and whirlpool tub in master bath.

Amenities: Deck off bedroom level, skylights over stairs and bedrooms, ceiling fans, spiral staircase leading to optional roof terrace, gas heat, video security system.

Close by: Walk to future Metro station on New York Avenue near North Capitol Street, and to Metro station at Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue; walking distance to retail developments planned for the area north of Union Station; near Le Droit Park.

Open house: May 16, 1 to 4 p.m.

Contact: Helen Dodson of Long & Foster Realtors at 202/364-5200, Ext. 2955

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