Developing DC

Developers Influencing the Greater Washington Area’s Neighborhoods

In 1791, Pierre L’Enfant said that Washington was “a pedestal waiting for a monument.” He foresaw a city with “grand avenues” lined with trees, and fascinating monuments scattered throughout, reminiscent of the most spectacular European capitals. Walking through the streets of the city today, those original plans are etched permanently into the fiber of the city, be it in the cobblestone streets in Georgetown or the turn of the century row homes on Capital Hill. It is impossible to ignore how far the city has come. The fourth largest city in the United States, we cannot help but be in awe of Washington’s metamorphosis. In this Developer’s Section, DC Magazine is proud to highlight some of the top developers who have made Washington and the surrounding areas a destination for those who desire hip urban living, driven by the individuality of the neighborhoods they occupy.

Change has not always come easily to the District, and for this reason many were satisfied with keeping everything as it always was. The skyline, consisting of familiar monuments and iconic buildings, memorialized the city that allowed for change only every four years.Housing was remarkably uniform, which, combined with a limited number of desirable addresses, hampered the creativity and opportunity for developers to do business in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

But a growing group of discerning DC residents have encouraged the city’s transformation from demure to daring. Out of the burgeoning trend towards contemporary design came a crop of new developers who touted their own newfound ingenuity. But all developers are not created equal. 

Those featured in the following pages have shown themselves to be the best in the business, producing avant-garde luxury living while still paying homage to a city steeped in history. They are devoted to edgy design, innovative use of materials, quality workmanship, and the blurring of form and function to create unique spaces in which nothing is off-limits. These developers have made DCarea living synonymous with lofted ceilings, enormous picture windows, and the finest appliances and accessories, allowing you to leave the compromising to the politicos.

Attention to detail is epitomized by Taurus Enterprise Group & Norman Smith Architecture’s Lofts 11, where the 27 unique and spacious units are creative and individualized, giving vast inspiration to its lucky residents. They have infused cutting edge with the high life, taking care to include all of the amenities into a sustainable design. In an expression of what is possible to expect from vanguard and meticulous designers is View 14 from Level2 Development, which is no less than a palace of glass flaunting amazing views, an expansive rooftop area, and outdoor spaces.

When uniformity was cast away, so were the limitations on location. In this city, every neighborhood has a story to tell, none more than historic U Street, where in the 1930’s the sublime music of the likes of Duke Ellingon, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole filled jazz halls, making the influence of the Shaw area rival that of New York’s Harlem. Today, the reinvigorated area is on the rise, and Donatelli Development’s The Ellington follows in the spirit of that great history. The property innovatively fuses great spaces with hip restaurants and retailers to create a lively community that speaks to the stylish neighborhood that U Street is destined to become. 

New life has been breathed into the downtown district with the help of Intrepid Real Estate’s 2501 Pennsylvania Avenue property. An area that once shut down at the end of business now flaunts a new dynamic with hip restaurants and retailers, into which the contemporary Europeanstyle building fits perfectly. The company has anticipated the needs and desires of the astute buyer, allowing the property to exceed even the most ambitious expectations.

And leaving city limits doesn’t mean you have to surrender style. PN Hoffman has a distinguished history as one of the leaders in the transformation of properties in the DC region. One of their current projects, Condominiums at Carlyle Square in Alexandria, Virginia, boasts downtown chic and sophistication, all a stone’s throw away from the magnificent waterfront, haute shopping, and superior restaurants. Imaginative space planning makes each residence visually stunning, and the quality and thoughtfulness that is tantamount to PN Hoffman is visible in every aspect of the property. 

What is so exciting is that this growth the DC-area is experiencing is expected to endure. For example, it is projected that the region will grow from 5.9 million residents to 6.3 million by 2008. This should come as no surprise for a city that has so much to offer. Washington has led the country in job growth for the past twenty years, and it is the nation’s second best city for entrepreneurs. But the city knows how to

have a good time, too. The city is proud of its diverse and extensive arts and culture scene, into which $3.6 billion has been invested into new infrastructure. 30 golf courses have been added in the past five years, and retail and restaurants are on the rise. Furthermore, 40 colleges and universities call the DC area home. It should come as no surprise that Washington has the wealthiest and most educated population in the country.

Thanks to this and the developers who are behind a whirlwind of innovation, there is a growing trend of flight from the suburbs to the city, a phenomenon that will likely continue for the next fifteen years. The area’s economy rose by 19.6% in the past five years, more than 5% greater than the national growth rate. In response to this increasing wealth, property has become one of the most lucrative and safest investments. With new housing being tailored to fit many different demographics and lifestyles, there is truly something for everyone. The choices we make today will define the city’s presence and personality for years to come. We are in good hands with these developers, whose cosmopolitan vision with emphasis on convenience and individuality fits perfectly into the lifestyle we all hope to enjoy. 

These exceptional developers are on the cutting edge in a transformation of Washington, DC, denying limitations on possibility and redefining the art of luxury living.


Established 1987 | Principals: Gail Montplaisir, Norman Smith
202.462.4904 |,

Taurus Enterprise Group and Norman Smith Architecture have a distinguished two-decade history of creating distinctive urban developments and communities.
Committed to a forward-thinking approach, they incorporate environmentally responsible features in concert with modern design creating enduring communities. This unique blend of creativity and individualism has been nationally recognized by the Washington Post, the New York Times, Spaces, Home & Design, BUILDER and Metropolitan Home. Together, they have set the standard for modern urban living, creating meaningful communities throughout the Washington area.

Founded in 1987, Taurus Enterprise Group is a Washington-based development and construction company specializing in urban development and custom condominium construction.The firm actively participates in the city’s revitalization, creating new communities through creative construction. Redefining contemporary urban design throughout the mid-Atlantic since 1989, Norman Smith’s Washington-based firm specializes in single and multi-family residential architecture and interior renovations, as well as small to mid-size commercial, retail and public work. Recent projects include Lofts 11, City Overlook, The Annecy, Belmont Overlook, The Madeleine and The Lofts at Meridian Hill. 

We believe that a firm commitment to sustainability and to modern design results in an enduring community. Our collaborative design process results in innovative details, finishes and materials. Our shared vision is to design and build habitats that refresh, surprise, compel and continue. 


This spectacular Mondrian-inspired glass structure offers 18 spacious condo units, priced between $300,00 and $1 million. Units boast the best views of Washington, with underground parking, soaring ceiling heights, and custom, modular European kitchens in the hip Columbia Heights neighborhood.


All projects boast sustainable green features, custom design, and interior details not found in current new construction. 


Urban living at it’s finest.


This 9-story boutique condo residence building just east of Logan Circle on 11th Street is home to 27 spacious units, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and top-of-the-line kitchens, baths and superior finishes.

  • Soaring ceilings
  • Walls of glass
  • Custom European cabinetry and fixtures
  • Authentic hardwood floors
  • Spacious floor plans and custom finishes
  • Green roofs
  • Passive solar elements