Buyers sought for Safeway-anchored Petworth apartments

Reston-based Duball LLC is seeking buyers for The Swift, a Safeway-anchored mixed-use project in Petworth, months before the development’s scheduled completion this coming summer.

Duball has retained Cassidy Turley to market the 218 apartments attached to the project in what could be a strong test of how investors view Petworth, one of several emerging neighborhoods in the city.

More than 100 companies have already taken a look at the property at 3828 Georgia Ave. NW, and Duball President Marc Dubick said he has been pleased at the response three weeks into the effort.

“The project should be completed in early summer and the notion is we would sell to a residential owner that is a long-term owner,” Dubick said. “Petworth has received a tremendous amount of positive attention over the past number of years, and we’d like to think our project has contributed to that.”

The Petworth Safeway closed its doors in September 2012 for the development, which will include a 64,000-square-foot Safeway beneath the planned residential units. Safeway will retain ownership of its new store, which is not being included in the sale offering. The property is assessed at $4.5 million, according to District land records, but that assessment does not reflect the improved value.

Selling the project before its first residents move in would also allow Duball to avoid complications that come with the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, which requires owners to let tenants make a competing offer when another prospective buyer submits an offer for the property.

Several other developers have taken the same approach, including The JBG Cos. with its Louis at 14th on the District’s U Street corridor.

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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