When Cleveland-based Forest City Residential decided to take ona development project in the historic Washington, D.C., Navy Yards, it noticed right away that much of the construction around the new site was brand-new. But the company wanted to preserve the history of Foundry Lofts, constructed in 1917 as a large-scale woodworking shop and pattern storehouse, not far from where baseball stadium Nationals Park now stands.
“If there’s one thing you won’t find an abundance of in the D.C. apartment market, it’s historical loft renovation,” says Joseph Szabo, marketing manager for Forest City. “The city is home to plenty of brownstones and historic apartment buildings, but it lacks the stock of older industrial buildings that give historic lofts their charm and character. Which makes Foundry Lofts, with its historic location, about as unique and authentically D.C. as an apartment can be.”
Szabo says the company’s goal was to leave every visible sign of history exposed and celebrated. That means exposed brick walls and concrete pillars in all units, refinished wood floors, concrete ceilings, open ductwork, and industrial lighting. But residents also enjoy distinctly modern touches, including stainless steel appliances; energy-efficient windows; and a courtyard with a yoga platform, sculpture garden, and movie screen.
“It truly has an industrial feel while offering all the luxuries the modern renter craves,” Szabo says.