Another big apartment buy on H Street

McLean-based Insight Property Group is the latest apartment developer to decide it needs to be on H Street Northeast, after it dropped H Street NE is getting another apartment building. (Amanda Voisard – The Washington Post) $10 million on Nov. 2 to buy the single-level Murry’s grocery store on the 600 block.

Michael Blum, a principal at Insight declined Monday to share any plans the company has for the property. Insight is known for high-end apartment development and redevelopment projects in Rosslyn, Pentagon City, Reston, Silver Spring and elsewhere.

Blum and Richard Hausler, with whom he co-founded Insight two years ago, are former executives at Kettler, the apartment development giant that is also based in McLean. Insight’s 23,500-square-foot lot, at 610-610 H Street, is across the street from where Jair Lynch Partners agreed to pay $51.5 million for three brick office buildings in September. Lynch plans 240 apartments.

Lynch, however, made his name building in emerging D.C. neighborhoods (that is, after he starred in gymnastics).

Insight has followed a different path to H Street. Blum and Hausler have developed more than 14,000 apartments and condominiums between the two of them, mostly in suburban areas. Their interest in the corridor marks another escalation in H Street’s progression from a run-down corridor still scarred from the 1968 riots, to an edgy strip of local bars, to a sought-after residential market, even by developers looking region-wide.

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