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Developer breaks ground on mixed-use building on 14th Street NW

Elysium 14 as seen from Wallach Pl

Wilkins and Wontkins, the Wilkins Coffee mascots for the company that once had its headquarters on this spot

A mixed-use building at 1925 14th Street NW is now officially underway, with developer Madison Investments breaking ground earlier this month. The project now known as Elysium 14 consists of a new nine-story building and the restoration of two historic buildings on the same lot at the corner of 14th St and Wallach Place.

The 1,300-square-foot space on the corner formerly held a hair salon. Long before that, the space once served as the headquarters of the Wilkins Coffee Company, which was made famous when a young Jim Henson produced a series of commercials for the company using puppets he designed named "Wilkins" and "Wontkins." 
Barry Madani, principal with Madison Investments, says that the two historic buildings will contain a total of six apartments, and the new nine-story, 69,000-square-foot building will add 50 high-end apartments in a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms. The apartments will average 750 square feet.  They will be priced at the high end of the luxury rental market, according to Madani, and be ready for occupancy in 16 months.

“The new building’s footprint on 14th Street is not large. But there will be a deck and a clubroom, and 14th Street itself is the amenity,” said Madani.
Madani said Madison Investments chose the location because 14th Street is a “very attractive area. If not the hottest area in the city, it’s close to the hottest.”
Said Madani, “The center of Washington has moved to Logan from Dupont. 14th Street is very vibrant. It has a New York-Manhattan vibe. Zoning allows a lot of retail uses and it also allows builders to build exciting properties.”

PGN Architects is the architectural firm for the $30-million project. United Bank is providing financing.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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