Developer Puts Scott’s Addition Apartment Project on Hold, Up for Sale

In a rare occurrence for one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, a developer is pumping the brakes on a new apartment project in Scott’s Addition.

Northern Virginia-based Bonaventure has listed for sale the 1.7-acres at 1700 Belleville St. where it had been planning its Scott’s Edge II project.

In addition to the land, the offering includes approved building plans and permits for a 203-apartment mixed-use building. Bonaventure has been planning the project since 2020 but never began work. It bought the land in a series of deals totaling $4.45 million.

Bonaventure CEO Dwight Dunton III said the decision to list the project for sale didn’t necessarily have to do with the broader economic landscape or the potential for a recession this year.

“(The recession and rising interest rates) are happening to everyone,” Dunton said. “It’s just we’re rebalancing our investment portfolio of projects that we have under construction versus other things.

“As we think about our entire investment portfolio, we’re shifting a little bit more of our resources toward acquiring existing assets rather than building from scratch,” he said.

Scott’s Edge II was to be a de facto second phase to Scott’s Edge, a 94-unit building that was one of Scott’s Addition’s earliest historic rehab tax-credit, adaptive reuse projects. Bonaventure bought the original Scott’s Edge in late 2019 for $17.6 million.

Dutton said Bonaventure has about 10 buildings under construction throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast and it owns around 30 more properties that are already completed.

Northmarq’s Wink Ewing, Mike Lowry and Matt Straughan have the listing, which does not include an asking price. The city most recently assessed the land at $2.9 million.

The highest price tag for land on record in Scott’s Addition on a per-acre basis is currently $4 million, which Capital Square set last year with its $10.8 million deal for N. Chasen & Son’s 2.7 acres along West Marshall and Clay streets, where it’s planning to build 350 apartments.

The highest per-acre price tag the city’s ever seen came last fall when Brooklyn-based Avery Hall Investments paid $5.9 million per acre for the riverfront land in Manchester on which it’s planning to build a pair of apartment towers reaching 16 and 17 stories.

Avery Hall picked up that land from a local development group that, similarly to Bonaventure, had included approved plans and permits in the offering, though Avery Hall wound up not using those plans and designed its own project.

While Bonaventure’s Belleville site hits the market, another project just a block to the south is underway. Thalhimer Realty Partners and John Freeland’s 6-story, 126-unit apartment building at 1508 Belleville St. is now going vertical.

About half of the Bonaventure site was previously home to Ironwood Automotive before its owners sold to the developer and relocated their auto shop a few blocks north to the Westwood area.

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