As the first major office-to-residential conversion in Washington, D.C.'s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID), the apartments at Elle are in the final stretch of construction. After breaking ground in 2022 on the site of the former Peace Corps headquarters, the new project will feature 163 residential units across 185,000 square feet.

"We have seen in other parts of our city how having the right balance of residents and workers can sustain a vibrant and thriving neighborhood. We have a beautiful downtown that is already bustling with people and activity, and the Housing in Downtown program will allow us to build on that in a very strategic way," says mayor Muriel Bowser. "Innovative projects like the Elle have already made D.C. a national leader in office-to-residential conversions, and now we can bring in even more partners to reach our goals and continue the transformation of downtown.”

Gary Cohen, chair of development firm Willco, which is managing the conversion, points out that every step of the project required an inventive approach to turn the office building into a place people will call home. "Going into this, we were excited about how we could adapt the building for the future of downtown," says Cohen. "Elle will offer ample amenities for residents, including a community room, fitness center, dog park, and rooftop pool."

With the goal of revitalizing downtown in a way that creates housing and brings people into the area, the Golden Triangle is actively evolving from almost entirely office space that once held desks and copy machines into homes with kitchens and bedrooms, galleries featuring artists and theater productions, and other creative uses.

"It's exciting to see all the ways downtown is changing and to help shepherd this transformation," says Leona Agouridis, president of the Golden Triangle BID. "People approach work and life differently now. We are embracing this change and working to elevate the experience everyone can have in the Golden Triangle."

Agouridis says the recently released Downtown Action Plan by the Golden Triangle and Downtown D.C. BIDs recommends many innovative solutions for reimagining the future of downtown. It not only recommends growing the residential base, but also proposes ideas like creating cultural and entertainment corridors, expanding university uses, and developing a large tech hub.