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Washington Business Forward
October, 2000 Issue

The Next Network
By Eamon Javers

James Abdo
CEO, Abdo Development, Washington, DC

WHY NEXT? Abdo lives on the edge, or at least on the edge of tough neighborhoods. He’s also on the leading edge of making the District a better place to live.

THE STORY SO FAR: Jim Abdo likes historical details, mantle pieces, bay windows and tall ceilings. But he likes to find them in crack houses and houses of ill-repute. Abdo, 40, has found a niche rehabbing old Victorian townhouses in and around Logan Circle, navigating a maze of historical preservationists, neighborhood activists, and the city bureaucracy to create elegant, state-of-the-art homes—which he then sells for a tidy profit. The work had led the revitalization east of Dupont Circle, which serves as a model for neighborhood combacks in the District. Abdo himself lives in his company’s first project on 19th St., an 1890s brownstone that had degenerated into a flophouse. The open-plan penthouse has a loft bedroom, cherry cabinets in the kitchen, and a side terrace with an excellent view. If Logan Circle re-emerges as a prestige address, it will be largely be because of Jim Abdo.