1483 Newton St., NW, is the ugliest building UIP has ever purchased.

WASHINGTON, DC-With the larger institutional players having snapped up many of the area’s core and value-add multifamily assets, investors are targeting smaller projects in the District on an asset-by-asset basis. In some cases, such as with locally-based Urban Investment Partners, they are acquiring properties that can only be called blighted.

Shortly before the year’s end, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, announced the sale of a 23-unit apartment property located in the Petworth submarket at 3921 Kansas Ave., NW. Peggy Brooks Smith and Marty Zupancic repped both the seller, a partnership, and the buyer, a private investor. The property, which was constructed in 1952, sold for $1.5 million or $66,500 per unit and at a 6.6% cap rate. Twenty of the 23 units were occupied at the time of the sale. Payton Banks also assisted in closing the  transaction.

Petworth has experienced significant rent growth in the past 24 months, Zupancic says in a prepared statement. “This has resulted in a higher demand for rental units and a substantial increase in investor activity in the class B, C, and D Multi-Family product in the submarket.”

Another trade, which occurred earlier in December, was by UIP. For $2.4 billion it acquired the 32-unit apartment building at 1483 Newton St., NW in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. The building is approximately 80 years old and has not only been vacant for decades but also condemned by the DC Condemnation Board. It is one of the so-called “Seven Sisters” – seven identical buildings in that part of town that were developed by real estate entrepreneur Harry Wardman and designed by Albert H. Beers.

UIP will invest in a $5 million total gut rehabilitation of the building in the second quarter of 2013 to create 39 modern rent-controlled apartments.