Development Headed for 809-811 Otis Place

809-811 Otis Place, just behind the E.L. Haynes school

This seems to be a big week for development news in the neighborhood. While strolling along Georgia Avenue the other day, I noticed that the vacant building at 809-811 Otis Place, NW, had a new sign attached to it by Ellisdale Construction & Development. As this looked promising I decided to give them a call and see what I could find out.

The representative I spoke with suggested I reach out to the building’s owner for details and a timeline. I’ve done this but have not yet had a response. Even so, the project as described has the building potentially destined to be gutted and rehabilitated into 27 condo units. It sounded like the building is currently planned to be a market rate project. I was also informed that the exterior of the building would not be significantly changed, the courtyard would remain, and the broken glass blocks would also be replaced.

The courtyard has been largely overtaken by Bradford Pear tree, obscuring the building’s most significant architectural details.

I happen to think this is very good news if true, especially since this building was listed as vacant and blighted in September 2011 and then solely as blighted on March 2012. At that time the owner was in the process of appealing the blighted listing (as an aside, the current owner is relatively new and was not responsible for the building’s current state of repair).

For those unfamiliar with the building, it dates to 1941 and was designed by architect George T. Santmyers. Though largely plain, the detailing around the entrances — carried up by the glass blocks — gives the building a nice Art Moderne style that is otherwise absent in Park View.

Below is an image from DCRA’s PIVS system that gives an idea of what the building’s courtyard looked like in 2004.

You can also get an idea of the Art Moderne detailing of the entry doors from the image below.

The detailing around the entry doors, carried up by the ribbon of glass block, give the building a distinct Art Moderne flair.

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3 Comments on “Development Headed for 809-811 Otis Place”


  1. […] Back in August I reported that redevelopment was headed for 809-811 Otis Place, NW. Well, work is finally underway. Previously, I was told that the building could have as many as 27 units … but in looking at a set of plans I was able to find (dated November 2011) it appears that the number may actually be closer to 23. […]


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  3. […] been nearly a year since I first reported that the 809-811 Otis Place building was headed for rehabilitation.  Since work commenced in […]


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