Building of the Month: A Look Inside DC’s The Wray

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Name: The Wray

Address: 515 22nd Street NW in Washington, D.C.

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Category: Multifamily

In May, The Wray, an eight-story, 158-unit apartment building, opened in Foggy Bottom, offering studio, one- and two-bedroom units, boasting wood flooring, granite counters and stainless steel appliances. 

Developed by Insight Property Group in partnership with ELV Associates, The Wray also features 19 furnished corporate units through a unique partnership with Interim Homes, offers a pet spa, dedicated bike storage and a rooftop gym featuring two Peloton bikes.

History: Originally designed in the 1940s as residential apartments, the property was acquired by the U.S. government during World War II and served as offices for the State Department for many decades. 

The property was acquired by Insight Property Group in partnership with ELV Associates in 2019 with the idea to redevelop the building into its original apartment use.

“The little-known history of The Wray is that it was originally intended to be residences. There was a destiny that it never got to live through,” said Brian Miller, designer of Edit Lab at Streetsense. “We were lucky enough to have access to the original hand drawings, and we’ve used that as inspiration to recreate and reimagine the building for a new audience.”

The designers preserved its historic facade and original lobby, adding modern amenities in a new penthouse structure on the roof.

“The building’s unique ‘bones’ offered us an opportunity to be creative, while paying homage to the federal modern character of the historic building,” Miller said. “We filled it with vintage materials specified in the original drawings, and a mix of classic and contemporary furniture pieces, maintained striking historic features, and tried to capture the building’s story through every detail from the woodwork to the lighting.”

Location: The Wray is situated a few blocks from the Metro, close by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Rock Creek Park, Georgetown waterfront, The George Washington University, Whole Foods, plus numerous restaurants and retail establishments. 

Rooftop views from The Wray showcase the historic neighborhood, with the White House, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol and National Cathedral all in sight.

“We are excited to be part of The Wray in the Foggy Bottom community, a new neighborhood for our group that’s rich with culture and history,” said Scott Jenkins of ELV Associates, a partner in the project. “It is truly one of the only luxury communities in the city, where residents can surround themselves by some of the most iconic attractions in the region, while enjoying easy access to work, entertainment and dining.” 

Keith Loria can be reached at kloria@commercialobserver.com.