The historic Hurt Home, which the District sold to developers Argos Group for $775,000, will become The Montrose condominiums in a year's time if all goes according to plan.
Mayor Vincent Gray, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins, developer Gilbert Cardenas, Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Charlie Eason shoveled the ceremonial groundbreaking dirt for the 15-unit project Monday.
Of the 15 for-sale units, three will be reserved as affordable housing for blind people with an income up to 80 percent below the area median income (AMI). The developer will work with the DC Council for the Blind to help identify potential occupants for those affordable units.
The Montrose will offer a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
Initially a condo of 41 units and then 35 units was proposed for the site. The 15-unit plan was the result of several years of conversations between the community and the developer.
"I have to be completely honest," said Cardenas to the small group of neighbors and local officials at the ground breaking. "The first time that I walked into the meeting with this community, there was at least 100 people out of which maybe half of them were lawyers. It was very intimindating. I have to say I had a little bit of fear, pure fear, when I walked into the meeting," he said.
"I think by working together we came to a very good project," he concluded.
There will be two corresponding parking spaces for each of the 15 units and the current curb cut will be widened to accomodate the increased alley traffic.
Mayor Vincent Gray praised the developer for his "sensitivity" to the parking woes of Georgetown.
"This obviously is a difficult neighborhood in terms of being able to find a place to park," said the mayor. "In creating housing we don't want to create more congestion in the neighborhood."
Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans credited Argos for "incorporating" the views and perspectives of neighbors into the project.
"A lot of devleopers don't act that way, but the way you acted was a model for how projects should get done," said Evans.
Eason likewise thanked the developer for being sensitive to the concerns of residents. "I wish every project went that smoothly," he said.
Construction is scheduled to last 12 months.
Eason said the "very detailed construction management plan" would guard against concerns over parking and traffic from construction vehicles.
"It's going to be as minimal an impact during the construction as is possible," said Eason.
Cardenas noted that the project should finish in 2013, 100 years after the original stucture was built.
Editor's Note: This article originally reported that the District sold the property for $7.75 million, based on information on an Office of Tax and Revenue website. The Deputy Mayor's Office, however, confirmed that the property actually sold for $775,000. Many thanks to the Patch reader who questioned our original report.