Bloomingdale Buzz

A rendering of Ditto’s project at 1501 Fourth St. NW.

A Place to Nest

Nest DC is not your average property management company. By putting the customer and the community first, Nest DC is redefining the rental experience and doing it in a socially responsible way.

Lisa Wise, chief nester, started Nest DC in 2009 to manage properties that big companies weren’t interested in. “We believe great spaces attract good tenants. When people are happy where they live, they make better neighbors. Better neighbors make up better neighborhoods,” Wise explained. Nest DC not only manages a blend of market-rate housing and housing for lower-income owners, but it also offers home design services and resources for tenants.

“In every interaction I never get the sense I am dealing with a ‘business,’ more like I am actually calling a team or family,” said property owner Mark, a Nest client in the Foreign Service. “When I called Nest, there was personality from the initial ‘hello,’ and it made all the difference.” Wise explained, “One of our competitive advantages is that we answer the phone … We have people who manage property and are available and interested in making sure you’re having a good experience.”

In addition to providing attentive personal service Nest DC also serves the community. It has sponsored yard sales and neighborhood cleanups, as well as highlighting local events on its Facebook page and weekly newsletters, which are written by Nest DC staff members. “I think community involvement and being people-focused and highly value-driven are infused in every part of what we do, even in terms of how we treat each other,” Wise shared.

Nest DC is participating in the “Fill the Bowl Challenge” with Capital Area Food Bank and regularly donates time and money to various other charities including Bread for the City, Washington Animal Rescue League, Whitman Walker Clinic, and DC Central Kitchen.

This month Nest DC will hold a fundraiser and reception to celebrate the unveiling of a mural on its Florida Avenue building. January will see the launch of, “Roost,” a company that will manage only associations and apartment buildings. “When we’re doing our best work, focusing on responsiveness, involvement in our community and giving back, our bottom line should be just fine,” Wise said.

Visit Nest DC at 87 Florida Ave. NW,, or call 202-540-8038.

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated

Thanks to Ditto Residential property development company, DC’s real estate market is getting a facelift. With innovative designs dotting the real estate landscape, Ditto Residential has proved that historical homes and well-built modern architecture can peacefully coexist. It is currently working on several projects in Shaw, H Street corridor, Petworth, Capitol Hill, Bloomingdale, and Truxton Circle, including one on Fourth and P streets at New Jersey Avenue. When completed in spring 2016 it will transform a site that was once just a billboard into a vibrant destination.

“We really love the Truxton/Bloomingdale/Eckington neighborhood,” said Martin Ditto, president and CEO of Ditto Residential. “It has an energy to it that you don’t find in a lot of other neighborhoods in the city. We hope to continue to do projects here and will look to find more ways to get involved supporting and promoting the neighborhood, especially small local businesses!”

While many of Ditto’s projects are new construction, the company has also converted buildings such as the Edmonds School on Capitol Hill into condominiums. “So much of what you can do to maintain the historical context of a neighborhood is in just being thoughtful in your design,” Ditto explained. “We tend toward a more modern vernacular, and we have an understanding and appreciation for the historical fabric that makes up DC, and so do our architects.”

Ditto Residential also understands the importance of increasing the amount of available housing and is currently working on several rental projects with affordable units. “Our team is convinced that incredible residential living and transformative design are not reserved for the luxury market,” Ditto shared. “We would love the opportunity to build low/moderate-income housing that proves that all housing can and should be well designed.”

Contact Ditto Residential at 2217 14th St. NW, #300, at, or call 202-417-3937.

Exploring DC’s Roots

Author and native Washingtonian David Nicholson remembers when Bloomingdale still felt like a small town rather than an international destination. In his short story collection, “Flying Home: Seven Stories of the Secret City,” Nicholson captures the neighborhood of his youth and shows readers DC’s roots. “My family’s lived in Bloomingdale since 1928, when my grandfather bought the second house he owned in Washington,” explained Nicholson, founding editor of the Black Film Reviewand a former editor of The Washington Post’s “Book World.” “Sundays, after dinner, you’d walk up to the High’s on Rhode Island Avenue – there’s a Chinese food carryout there now – for ice cream,” he recalled.

The stories in “Flying Home” depict a time when DC was made up of close-knit neighborhoods and longtime residents. “Washington used to be essentially a small, Southern town. This was especially true for black men and women who came here from Virginia and the Carolinas and … chose to live in the same neighborhoods,” Nicholson said. “Before integration, black Washington was a smaller, close-knit community whose members often seemed to know one another.”

Through fictional stories of the types of working-class people he grew up with in Bloomingdale, Nicholson examines the universal struggles of adapting, maintaining a sense of self-worth, and fighting for one’s beliefs. “One of the nicest things is looking out into the audience and seeing someone nodding at a line of dialogue or description,” Nicholson explained. “It’s then that I think I’ve done my job. I also think I’ve done my job when people who’ve recently moved to the city say my book’s made them look differently at what they see around them.”

Nicholson will be reading from his book at the Cleveland Park Library on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., and at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m.

Contact David Nicholson at