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Multifamily Executive – Preserving Historic Buildings in a Tech-Driven World


“Whether you’re developing a brand-new apartment community or reimagining an existing one, preparing it for today’s tech-savvy residents is a must. Instances exist, however, when the history of a building or location comes first.”

When redeveloping a historic building where many of the original features must be preserved, the scope of the task is much different from building a new community from the ground up at an everyday site. You have to be extremely cognizant of the historical significance of the structure and the sensitivity of the surrounding community and jurisdiction. In reality, preservation requirements might prevent you from implementing some of the changes you have in mind, so you have to go in with a creative and flexible mind-set.

First and foremost, it’s about what elements are important to the historic preservation review board in that jurisdiction. You must work with them to determine what exterior and interior features should remain to preserve the history and character of the building and design around them.

At Mill Creek Residential, we recently had the privilege of redeveloping the former Italian Embassy building in Washington, D.C., into Modera Sedici, an apartment community that will open this fall. We restored the existing Embassy building and converted it to 22 custom apartment homes. We also developed a brand-new, nine-story building alongside the original structure offering an additional 112 residences.

When redeveloping a historic community in a tech-driven world, there are a few best practices to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome:

Treat Historic Features With TLC
Blend in Technology
Be Flexible
Use Your Own Construction Team 

Full article expanding on each example, here.