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How Will REDBrick Bring People to Trinidad? It's in the Details

[All photos by name]

Is Trinidad D.C.'s next real estate sweet spot? Sebastian Sergi thinks so. "There's a march northward across Bladensburg Road," the local developer and Sergi Development Group partner says. "People are getting priced out of other neighborhoods."

Of course, he has the numbers to back up his statements. Sergi has been investing in Trinidad since 2009 and the price of his flips has doubled from $200K to the mid-$500,000s in just those four years. What's more, Lock 7 just announced a new 49-unt apartment building for the neighborhood yesterday. But, Sergi and his REDBrick Homes partner Lee Wells aren't looking to construct anything new. Instead, they focus on improving what's already there.

The 1200 block of 16th Street NE isn't exactly a ghost town but there are a lot of empty homes. "Someone prior to the crash had this idea," says Sergi of the gut renovations in which Sergi Development Group & REDBrick Homes are investing. Still, Sergi says what sets him apart is the dedication to high design.

"These aren't typical flips. The finishes are better quality," he says.

Some of those finishes have already started to appear. He points out both the iridescent tiles on the master bathroom and the gray tiles on the floor that are reminiscent of stone. He also points to the french doors on the closet as a small detail that could make a big impact.

Of course not all of the details of these renovations are small. Cognizant that the young people in his target market often live with roommates, each bedroom has access to its own bathroom. One of the bedrooms has access to a brand new deck. There's still evidence of a wall that's been torn down on the first floor to create more living and dining space. The level of pride and passion in Sergi's voice as he points out the large and small fixes in the still-dusty construction site really speaks to his mission. He thinks Trinidad is a worthwhile investment and believes that other people could and should feel the same way.
· Sergi Development Group [Official Site]