Ellisdale Construction and Development

Thanks to its boutique niche of multifamily condominiums and apartments of from 20 to 100 units in the Washington, D.C., area, Ellisdale Construction and Development’s projects can take advantage of urban infill locations that are too small for large investors. 

“You won’t get any institutional investors excited about 60 units – it’s too small,” points out Kevin Ash, president and founder of Ellisdale Construction and Development. “So that’s where we develop. We’re under their radar. We execute in that middle layer, and there’s a lot less competition. We don’t do cast-in-place buildings. We do light-gauge metal and wood buildings. It sets us apart – we understand the nuances of wood.”

The percentage of new construction vs. rehab varies with the economy. During the recent recession, approximately 40 percent of Ellisdale’s dollar volume was new construction, but with the economic recovery, up to 60 percent is new. The company’s projects are mostly in the mid-Atlantic states and predominantly in northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Ellisdale has strong relationships with several architectural firms with which it works regularly.  A current Ellisdale project is a 10-story, 123-unit building in the Mount Vernon Triangle that is scheduled to begin construction in August or September. The planned mixed-use building will be 110 feet tall, have mainly one-bedroom units and ground-floor retail.

“We see in a lot of our projects that a lot of buyers are out there that can afford under $500,000,” Ash observes. “Then the market jumps to a penthouse at $1 million. Between $500,000 to $1 million is a pretty thin market.”

Third-party Projects

Ash estimates that approximately 20 percent of Ellisdale’s construction is for its own developments and the rest for other customers. A project being planned by Peterson Companies that Ellisdale Construction will build is at the corner of 17th and Columbia Road NW. The Ontario Theater opened there more than 65 years ago, and the busy location is close to the Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

The $30 million dollar redevelopment will turn the building into a six-story, upscale mixed-use condominium named the Ontario 17 Condominium. Detailed brickwork, metal paneling, an extensive glass storefront and windows, as well as the original Ontario Theater canopy will highlight the exterior. 

Residential Rehab

A third project on which Ellisdale Construction will be the general contractor will involve the renovation of an existing 30,000-square-foot retail building at 2251 Wisconsin Ave. into an 81-unit residential building.

Altus Realty Partners secured $39 million to acquire and redevelop the project in Glover Park. Chesapeake Realty partners is the master developer. Glover Park is an upscale neighborhood with higher-end restaurants and bars and retail. 

“We’re keeping with the fabric of the community that we touch and are building for generations to come or revitalizing something that has already been there for a century and giving it a new life for another century,” Ash concludes. “I think that’s a great thing about real estate. It’s a lasting impression, and you touch so many different people in any given day, from a laborer onsite to an architect, to a banker and everybody in between. We’re in it for the long haul, and celebrating our 10th year is a milestone.”

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