The Duncan Coop is a group of long time Petworth residents who were able to purchase their 24-unit apartment building in October 2006 with the help of ONE DC. They organized themselves to act in 2005, after the son of long time owner Gladys Duncan decided to sell the building. A condo developer wanted to buy and vacate all the units for re-sale, but tenants did not want to move. Several residents formerly worked in the household of Mrs. Duncan and had lived there for between 15 and 30 years. A couple others moved into the complex during the first year after it was built in 1965. The quiet neighborhood, friendly neighbors, and low rents made for an attractive lifestyle that kept residents in place over many years.
The tenant association approached ONE D.C. in early 2006 after being turned down by other developers who found the project too small to work with. ONE D.C. staff were impressed with the high level of organization and motivation among the residents. In particular, they agreed to pursue a Limited Equity Co-op ownership form so that everyone could qualify to stay and buy, and it would remain affordable in the future also. Several leaders who could have afforded to buy (and profit from) a condo were willing to forgo that option so that nobody would be displaced.
With a low interest loan from the DC Dept. of Housing and Community Development, the group successfully purchased for $2.35 million in October 2006. During 2007 the Board and membership planned a moderate renovation of the building, hiring PGN Architects and selecting Hamel Builders to do the renovation, scheduled for 2008. The Board has taken an active role in managing the property, selecting Delwin Realty as property manager, interviewing applicants to fill vacancies, reviewing expense reports, and taking non-paying members to court.