After languishing for years as an abandoned office space, a 1930-built Capitol Hill apartment building is returning to its past glory as it welcomes back residential tenants for the first time since the 1960s. A year after construction got underway to gut and restore the Frederick Anhalt-designed building at 16th and E John, leasing is now underway at The Anhalt Historic.
Real estate investor Richard Leider, whose Trinity Real Estate company acquired the Anhalt in 2012, told CHS the two-building project would fill Capitol Hill’s divergent apartment desires.
“What we like to do is find buildings that need work, and this was a good example that could be put into use as residential, which it originally was,” he said. “But people like new, too.”
The Anhalt Historic’s sleek website promises a balance of “minimalism and medieval” that embraces the “decorative motifs spanning from medieval castles to the Renaissance.” Studios start at $1,595 a month with two-bedrooms topping out at $3,150 a month. Pricing information for the 15-unit Anhalt Modern has not yet been released.
In 2012 the city’s Landmark Preservation Board designated the Anahalt a landmark following Trinity’s nomination. Leider told CHS that working within the landmark constrictions posed some significant challenges, but the project benefited from joining a city pilot program that allows for a building’s energy compliance to be based on total use rather than meeting standards for individual components, like windows and heating.
The Anhalt marks the third landmark building Trinity has redeveloped, and the company’s first development on Capitol Hill. In 2010 Trinity bought and renovated the Marborough House on First Hill, then sold it for a cool $10 million profit.
The Anhalt was originally built as a medeival-inpired apartment building in 1930. In the late 1960s Group Health curiously began using the building for office space, taking out many of the interior walls and installing drop ceilings. In 2008 Group Health determined the aging building could not be upgraded to fit their needs and moved out, leaving the building vacant.
Trinity acquired the building in 2012 for $2.7 million. Given Capitol Hill’s concentration of older buildings, Leider said he was interested in finding more restoration projects in the neighborhood.
“A number of trends are coalescing — a preference for urban living, being proximate to work, being proximate to transit,” he said. “Those are all things Capitol Hill provides.”