By Michele Lerner
November 12, 2020 at 5:30 a.m. EST
Modo, a new apartment building at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW in the District, is the first in the city to be built using modular construction. In September, 44 custom-designed modular boxes were shipped from Pennsylvania and installed with a crane to create 16 of the 17 apartments in the building.
Modular construction, factory-built components that are delivered to a building site, has been used for years for single-family homes and for construction of multilevel buildings in other cities.
Community Three, a real estate development firm, in partnership with D.C.-based Rooney Properties, worked with the Modular Mobilization Coalition to choose VBC Construction as the modular contractor. The components were built by Simplex Homes in Scranton, Pa. The developers chose modular construction to reduce construction time and to generate less onsite construction waste. The modules arrived onsite 80 percent complete.
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Modo will have 17 three-bedroom apartments designed to appeal to younger renters who want to live in the city and need to find affordable housing. The large apartments have floor plans that make them easy to share with roommates. Each apartment has built-in shelving and desks to facilitate working at home and a pre-installed jumbo flat-panel TV.
Environmentally friendly features in the apartments include energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, reclaimed wood flooring, eco-friendly subway tile and a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system.
Sixteen modular apartments are on four floors. The 17th apartment will be a separately built penthouse unit with a private roof terrace.
The building will have an automated entry system for smartphone access to the building and to individual apartments. The ground floor will include retail space with room for more than 100 outdoor café seats and the lobby will have a seating area for remote work or relaxing. The roof deck will have seating and grilling areas.
The apartment is within steps of the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station and bus routes on Georgia Avenue. In addition, the neighborhood has numerous shops and restaurants.
Pre-leasing of the apartments is expected to begin by Urban Pace in March 2021 and the building is anticipated to be complete by mid-2021.