| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed

Development News

Wilkes Co., Quadrangle move ahead on Mount Vernon Triangle project

Construction of a long-planned 324-unit apartment building in Mount Vernon Triangle may be slowly moving forward after years of delay.
The planned building at 801 Third St NW, tentatively called The Cantata, was delayed due to title issues with the land, but Sandy Wilkes, chairman of developer The Wilkes Company, says there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are far along at this point,” Wilkes says of the project, which has been in the works for almost a decade.
The Wilkes Company, Quadrangle Development and Mount Carmel Baptist Church are co-owners and developers of the project, located at the corner of H Street NW on a vacant city-owned lot adjacent to the church.
Wilkes says that the project has a “matter of right” status, meaning that it does not require Board of Zoning Adjustment approval. The developers have been through design review with the District Office of Planning and are currently working on the detailed plans and determining a precise cost estimate for the project, a task Wilkes says is difficult because "of the tremendous uptick in construction costs in the last 90 days."
“When we finish the plans, we will get a building permit,” says Wilkes, who projects a ground-breaking in the first quarter of 2016. Given the complexity of the project, he estimates 24 months to build.
Wilkes says the current plan is for a 10- or 11-story building with 324 units, of which 60 will be designated as affordable and reserved for tenants earning 20 percent or less of the area median income, which is $107,500 for a family of four.
There will be 150 parking spaces for residents, and 75 for the church.  

“A major problem for city churches is parking,” says Wilkes.
Wilkes says The Cantata is part of a two-million-square-foot development The Wilkes Company and Quadrangle Development have undertaken in the Mount Vernon Triangle, with some projects completed and others in the works.
The Cantata was delayed because of title issues on the land.
“There were easements on the property because of the [I-395] highway. Construction of the highway was done, but who do you go to get the easements and covenants off the record so we could develop the property? We got different answers, and the banks won’t lend” without clear title, he says.
Wilkes says the developers finally settled on the property in 2014.
“It took years and a huge sum of money to work through the title issues. But our commitment to the church was ironclad. It was a long, complicated process but we stuck with it,” he says.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts

Related Project