First Large-Scale Office-to-Residential Conversion in DC’s Downtown Nears Completion

Elle Apartments in the Golden Triangle Prepares for Summer Delivery

WASHINGTON, DC (March 11, 2024) – The first major office-to-residential conversion in Washington, DC’s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District is finishing its final stretch of construction before delivering this summer. The Elle apartments, which broke ground in 2022 on the site of the former Peace Corps headquarters at 20th and L Streets NW, will feature 163 residential units across 185,000 square feet in the heart of Downtown.

“We have seen in other parts of our city how having the right balance of residents and workers can sustain a vibrant and thriving neighborhood. We have a beautiful Downtown that is already bustling with people and activity, and the Housing in Downtown program will allow us to build on that in a very strategic way,” said Mayor Bowser. “Innovative projects like the Elle have already made DC a national leader in office-to-residential conversions, and now we can bring in even more partners to reach our goals and continue the transformation of Downtown.”

Gary Cohen, chair of the development firm Willco, is managing the conversion. He noted that each step of the project required an inventive approach to turn the office building into a place people will call home. For example, windows, plumbing, and electrical needs are all different in terms of individual residential units versus a large office space with a lot of interior areas and shared utilities.

“Going into this, we were excited about how we could adapt the building for the future of Downtown,” said Cohen. “The Elle apartments will offer ample amenities for residents, including a community room, fitness center, dog park, and rooftop pool.”

The progress on the Elle comes as office space across the entire District is evolving to meet new work realities, as virtual and hybrid work has emptied out many offices and prompted new thinking about the way to use those spaces. With nearly 2,500 new apartments in the works in the District, countless more conversions are underway in cities across the country.

The goal is revitalizing downtowns in a way that creates housing and brings people into the area. The Golden Triangle is actively evolving from almost entirely office space that once held desks and copy machines into homes with kitchens and bedrooms, galleries featuring artists and theater productions, and other creative uses.

“It’s exciting to see all the ways Downtown is changing and to help shepherd this transformation,” said Leona Agouridis, President of the Golden Triangle BID. “People approach work and life differently now. We are embracing this change and working to elevate the experience everyone can have in the Golden Triangle.”

Agouridis adds that the Downtown Action Plan highlights, recently released by the Golden Triangle and DowntownDC BIDs recommends many innovative solutions for reimagining the future of Downtown. That plan not only recommends growing the residential base, but also proposes ideas like creating cultural and entertainment corridors, expanding university uses, and developing a large tech hub.

In recent years, the Golden Triangle has grown its menu of programming. The addition of tech events, lunchtime concerts, and other entertainment complement longstanding initiatives like public art and the Golden Haiku writing competition – all of which create a lively Downtown experience in an area historically known primarily for its office space.


About the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District
Formed in 1998, the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) enhances Washington, DC’s central business district, the 44-square-block neighborhood stretching from The White House to Dupont Circle. For more information, visit and follow the BID on X (Twitter)FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.


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