DC’s First Major Office to Residential Conversion Cuts Ribbon and Welcomes First Residents to Golden Triangle

Conversion of former Peace Corp building transforms western end of District’s central office corridor

WASHINGTON, DC – (July 11, 2024) One of the most anticipated office to residential conversions in the nation’s capital is now complete. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other District leaders gathered with the building owners from Willco at 1111 20th St. NW in the  Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) for a ribbon cutting of the Elle apartments and to welcome home the first residents of the Golden Triangle.

Sited in DC’s central office corridor, the Elle marks the very first residential conversion project to deliver in the District. Previously leased to the federal government on behalf of the Peace Corps, the former office building has been replaced with 163 apartments of varying size and design, a rooftop pool, a fitness center and yoga studio, a dog spa, a community room, and other amenities.

“The transformation of Downtown DC is focused on people. We’re changing spaces and filling spaces with one big goal: to bring more people Downtown. And that’s what this conversion is helping us do,” said Mayor Bowser. “We have a fantastic Downtown – it’s beautiful and walkable, it’s accessible by public transportation, it has great restaurants, and parks, and museums. And we’re proud – with the support of fantastic partners – to be leading the way on office to housing conversions.”

“This shows what’s possible for the future of business districts,” said Leona Agouridis, the President of the Golden Triangle BID. “There couldn’t be a better place to call home than the Golden Triangle, where you can walk to Metro, your office, restaurants, shops, and museums amid our clean and beautifully landscaped streets.”

Gary Cohen, Chairman of Willco and a third generation developer, envisioned the Elle after evaluating options for what to do with the office building. “I believe in downtown and I’m seeing that people want to experience everything the Golden Triangle offers,” Cohen said. “Willco is proud to be a leader in making it possible for people to live here, in the center of it all.”

Agouridis added that upon learning about Willco’s plan for residential conversion, the BID immediately began considering how to make the neighborhood feel like home. A recently completed enhancement adjacent to the Elle is the new 20th Street Pollinator Gardens. The BID worked with the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration to expand 28 tree boxes along 20th Street NW, morphing 3,000 square feet of concrete into a new pollinator habitat that presents an inviting corridor with thousands of colorful plants and educational signage.

Converting office buildings to residential or other uses became much more appealing following the COVID 19 pandemic, when most white collar workers became partially or fully remote and many office spaces emptied or downsized.

Now office buildings converting to residential or other uses is becoming widely replicated. There are several other office to residential conversions happening in the District right now, including many more planned in the Golden Triangle, as the city evolves for the future.

The Downtown Action Plan, released by the Golden Triangle and DowntownDC BIDs in collaboration with the Mayor’s team, recommends many innovative solutions for reimagining the future of Downtown. Recommendations to increase the residential base are accompanied by other big ideas like creating cultural and entertainment corridors, enhancing the public realm, and growing the technology and innovation economy.

In the past year, the Golden Triangle has pivoted to amplify a much broader range of activities in the western side of the city’s commercial core – especially among the artistic community. The BID has helped a local theater company stage four productions in empty retail space and helped Artomatic secure 300,000 square feet of pop-up space in an empty office building. This summer, the BID is working with the Capital Fringe Festival to bring dance, music, and theatrical performances to vacant retail spaces in the neighborhood.

In addition, the BID recently launched summer activations, such as “Lunch Culture” and “Farragut Field Days”, that offer free lunchtime entertainment to workers and visitors in the Golden Triangle. The BID also hosts an annual tree box landscaping competition, a worldwide Haiku competition, and other programs that foster an active community year-round.

Agouridis and others are available to talk about the path of the Elle and downtown’s transformation.


 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 goldentriangledc.com and follow the BID on X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Media Contact
Karyn Le Blanc at 202-497-4572 or karyn.leblanc@kglcommunications.com. And Vince Morris at 202-503-6802 or vince.morris@kglcommunications.com