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A lack of parking led to the building of Capitol Hill luxury townhouses

BUYING NEW | Heritage Row’s six residences rose above a needed garage.



The townhouses at Heritage Row on Capitol Hill are priced from $2.4 million to $2.7 million. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Parking can be a chronic complaint, particularly in crowded neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, but the solution to a parking crunch rarely results in the development of upscale housing. But in the case of the six luxury-level townhouses at Heritage Row, it was the need for a parking garage for employees and visitors to the Heritage Foundation think tank that drove the development.

“An affiliate of the Heritage Foundation asked us to develop a parking garage, and a residential component was needed to get rezoning approval,” says Steve Kay, co-owner of Encore Development in Bethesda, developers of Heritage Row, 428 Third St. NE. “We’re bullish on the location, within blocks of the Capitol building, congressional offices, lobbyist and government offices, as well as Union Station and tons of restaurants.”

The unusual arrangement resulted in a parking garage for Heritage that includes six private one-car “garage-within-a-garage” units, each with an attached storage and trash closet and a direct entrance into a townhouse. Encore Development previously built Alban Row in Cathedral Heights and Wormley Row in Georgetown, each upscale townhouse developments with attached parking. At Heritage Row, the company purchased the air rights above the parking garage to be able to build the townhouses.

“Our goal is that people will see these townhouses and think they are beautifully restored, 100-year-old townhouses, at least from the outside,” Kay said. “Across the street from Heritage Row are historic townhouses, so we wanted to respect that style.”

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Buying New | Heritage Row in Northeast Washington

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The Capitol Hill townhouses are priced from $2.4 million to $2.7 million.

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The Capitol Hill townhouses are priced from $2.4 million to $2.7 million.

  Parking can be a chronic complaint, particularly in crowded neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, but the solution to a parking crunch rarely results in the development of upscale housing. Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post

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Historical yet modern: Old World style and attention to details are two reasons Elizabeth Della Ratta, an interior designer and real estate developer, decided to buy one of the Heritage Row townhouses.

“I’d seen the work Steve Kay did at Wormley Row and told him I would buy one of his houses if he built one on Capitol Hill,” Della Ratta said. “Quality workmanship is extremely important to me and I know that they wouldn’t skimp on anything.”

Cunningham and Quill Architects designed facades to evoke the history of Capitol Hill, while adding a slightly more contemporary style to the interiors.

“There’s light and openness from the front to the back of the townhouses, but we also added some definition to the rooms with a two-sided fireplace,” Kay said. “You get three distinct areas on the main level but with plenty of light and space.”

The crown moldings and architectural moldings along the stairwell are traditional features of Capitol Hill rowhouses but have been installed here with cleaner, more modern lines, said Chris Masters, executive vice president of McWilliams Ballard.

Although people who work on Capitol Hill might love the location, the $2.4 million to $2.7 million price tag for these homes limits the pool of buyers who can afford them.


The kitchen has white Shaker-style cabinets and quartz counters and a quartz backsplash that resemble marble. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Nine-foot-tall windows: Two of the six townhouses have been sold. The model home at 428 Third St. NE, priced at $2.45 million, has 3,672 square feet.

The main level includes a front living area with a box bay window, a central dining room with a built-in bar, and a rear kitchen with nine-foot-tall windows and French doors that open onto the terrace. Each of the townhouses has sanded-in-place wide-plank hardwood flooring, 10-foot-high ceilings on the main level, and built-in bookcases and cabinets in the entry foyer, around the fireplace and in the dining room.

The kitchen has white Shaker-style cabinets and quartz counters and a quartz backsplash that resemble marble. It has an induction range, a wall oven, a dishwasher, a wine refrigerator, a French-door refrigerator and a pull-out pantry, as well as a breakfast area and space at the island for a breakfast bar.

Buyers can furnish the breakfast area as a sitting area and switch the functions of the living and dining areas, if they prefer.

Each townhouse has French doors that open onto a deck of Ipe wood with a few steps down to a terrace of bluestone slate. The terraces are each built on a pedestal, so that ice and snow melt and drain. The terraces have raised brick garden beds, electricity and gas hookups.


Amenities for the townhouses include terraces and a private elevator that connects the garage level with all three above-ground levels. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Custom closets: Inside, the second-level master bedroom overlooks the terrace and includes two walk-in closets. Each buyer will receive a $15,000 credit to customize their closets. The master bathroom includes an air-jet tub, an oversize shower and Calacatta marble flooring.

The second level also has a guest bedroom with a double-door closet and a private bathroom with a shower. The third level includes two more bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet and a full bathroom with a combination tub and shower. The front bedrooms on the second and third floor have a box bay window. The upper level also has a laundry and mechanical room.

Amenities for the townhouses include terraces and a private elevator that connects the garage level with all three above-ground levels.

“We like the idea that if someone wants to, they can go directly from their garage to their bedroom level,” Kay said.

What’s nearby: Heritage Row residents can walk to numerous Capitol Hill landmarks, including the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Folger Library and congressional office buildings. Coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants and stores are also within walking distance. They include the Monocle, Charlie Palmer Steak, the Big Board, 201 Bar & Lounge, Bar Elen, Bistro Cacao, Cafe Berlin and Romeo & Juliet. Residents can also walk to Union Station for multiple transportation options to other parts of the District.

Schools: Watkins and Peabody Elementary, Stuart-Hobson Middle, Eastern High.

Transit: The development is walking distance to Union Station for Metro Red line service, Marc, VRE and Amtrak service. The area is served by numerous Metrobuses and the DC Circulator. It is less than one mile to the Capitol South Metro station for Blue, Orange and Silver line service.


The building has six private one-car “garage-within-a-garage” units, each with an attached storage and trash closet and a direct entrance into a townhouse. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Heritage Row

428 Third St. NE, Washington

The townhouses are priced from $2.4 million to $2.7 million.

Builder: Encore Development

Features: The townhouses have traditional brick exteriors, private terraces and a one-car garage. Inside, each has 10-foot-high ceilings, wide-plank hardwood flooring, solid wood doors, built-in bookshelves and cabinets, modern crown moldings, a two-sided fireplace with a limestone surround and a contemporary wood mantel. They also have an elevator, digital wiring, a jetted tub and separate shower in the master bathroom and upgraded stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen, which has a quartz counter and backsplash that resembles marble.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 3 or 4 / 4 or 5

Square footage: About 3,642 to 3,902

Homeowner association fees: $295 per month

View models: By appointment.

Contact: Chris Masters, executive vice president of McWilliams Ballard at 202-360-2426, or visit heritagerowdc.com .

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