Awards of Excellence 2019
Trammell Crow Company

Award of Excellence
Best Multi-Family Project - Washington

Project Team

High Street Residential - (Developer)
1441 U Street LLC - (Owner)
Eric Colbert & Associates - (Architect)
Clark Construction Group - (General Contractor)

Executive Summary

At 14th and U Street NW, Sonnet provides a unique approach to living in the heart of the city. Sonnet’s location and best-in-class amenities create an urban oasis where guests can relax after participating inthe vibrant neighborhood just beyond their doorstep. By taking advantage of natural light, multiple outdoor areas, and earthy materials, Sonnet distinguishes itself from other urban multi-family projectswhile contributing to the lively U Street community.

To meet construction deadlines, Sonnet had to coordinate with the adjoining affordable housing project, Portner Flats. Prior to redevelopment, the site housed a distressed 48-unit, HUD Section 8, housing complex. Though the new buildings would be separate and distinct, the development plan called for a shared garage entrance, exterior wall and physical building connection. Portner Floats was responsible for the garage entrance and ramp; both of which were critical to Sonnet’s construction. The PUD required Portner Flats to be complete with a certificate of occupancy prior to Sonnet receiving theirs. Agreements were put in place to mitigate Sonnet’s risk in the event that Portner Flats was not able to complete construction in a timely fashion.

Construction of the two buildings occurred simultaneously, requiring constant coordination between the teams. Portner Flats delivered in March 2018 with Sonnet delivering in October 2018. The opening of Portner Flats allowed for the original 48 families living on the site to return to brand new residences. The redevelopment plan doubled the number of affordable units to 96 and brought in-demand market-rate units and retail space to the U Street Corridor.

Sonnet’s design infuses light and air throughout the common areas. First-floor amenity spaces open to a private courtyard on one side and a dedicated pet run on the other. Each of the 288 residential units feature floor-to-ceiling windows and most have balconies to allow natural light to fill the 9 to 10-foot ceilings. The wraparound rooftop terrace serves as an extension of the community lounges, drawing guests outside with 360-degree views of the city and its surrounds. Even the rooftop infinity pool stretches into the DC skyline to provide views of the Washington Monument.

Though many multi-family buildings offer extensive amenities, none deliver to the scale of Sonnet. The first-floor courtyard features landscaped grounds and grassy areas for lawn games. Petcare is simplified with a pet spa and grooming center. The Woof & Run courtyard allows furry friends to exercise in the comfort of an enclosed space decked out with a faux log and fire hydrant. Health amenities include a fitness center with Peloton bikes and a yoga studio equipped with a TRX system and Wellbeats virtual training. Residents can host a dinner party using the rooftop level catering kitchen or multiple gas grilling stations. The 151” outdoor TV wall shows sporting events and movie screenings for pool swimmers, terrace sunbathers, and poolside bar-goers. Ecofriendly initiatives, such as a green roof and energy efficient appliances, qualify Sonnet for a LEED Silver designation.

Sonnet meets the high demand for transit-oriented housing in DC. The location has a perfect Walkscore of 100 due to its close proximity to neighborhood retail, restaurants, nightlife, grocery stores, bike share services, bus routes and the U Street Metro Station. Sonnet’s 16,000 SF of retail space will contributeto the fabric of the vibrant community by bringing local and national retailers to the neighborhood including the fitness boutiques Nuboxx and Solidcore, which opened in July.


Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   The Tower Companies  |   Whiting-Turner  |   Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   DPR Construction  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   HITT Contracting  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   Martone Construction  |   MetLife  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company