Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New apartment buildings continue to escalate the battle of over the top amenities

When the now AvalonBay apartment building opened at 1st and M Streets NE, it took apartment building community amenities to the next level with a bunch of elements that no one else had:

- a section of the building was designed to accommodate dogs, with a side entrance to make it easier for taking the dog out for a walk
- a dog grooming lounge
- a large refrigerator at the front desk, for holding grocery deliveries
- a couple of band/music practice rooms with appropriate sound dampening to minimize impact on other areas of the building
- they were also supposed to be putting in a bike maintenance "lounge" too, although I never doubled back to see if it had been installed--it hadn't been at the time I went on the tour.

Since then, AvalonBay's AVA brand has added new community lounge elements and the ability of residents to do some in-unit customization, including painting--and AVA will provide the paint.

Image from HillNow.

While Notions Capital calls our attention to the opening of Station House (with an actual place-related name, since it's across the street from the Union Station complex) at 701 2nd Street NE because of the irony of the headline of the HillNow story, "Bowser Touts Affordable Housing in Luxury Building Near Union Station," this building's package of amenities has some new elements that take amenities offerings to another level also:

- a game room, including skee ball and ping pong tables
- a demonstration chef quality kitchen
- they have the requisite rooftop pool, but also a rooftop garden with sitting area
- and apparently a dog walking area on the roof as well

along with 10 electric car charging stations in the garage and other stuff.

Of the building's 378 apartments, 28--fewer than 10%--are set aside to be offered at "affordable" rental rates.

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At 8:29 PM, Blogger Kevin Love said...

No swimming pool?

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

sure, and it's quite pretty. But swimming pools aren't bleeding edge...

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

Just a we have class A, and Class B defined rental markets in DC, I suspect REIT would like to create a class superA.

They are clearly being built at price points that expect room-mates -- who need some alternative space.

I'd suggest reserving several rooms as rentals for the night, so you can sleep while your roomate hooks up. Althogh there are any number of good last minute hotel spots for that.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

maybe that's the next stage of an amenity. Some sleep cubes for extraordinary situations.

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 17 years of homeownership I am now a renter. And in no hurry to reenter the real estate market. Do not live in DC market, and where I live most who rent do not by choice, so the pickens are kind of slim, although I lucked out on my apartment. For now, I love it.

In the future the amenities I'd be interested in: on-site mini storage, and esp. storage for a bike, which I don't have. A balcony or small outdoor space, which I have. I'd be ok with on-premises wi-fi, since I feel its ridiculous to pay for internet and TV for an individual DU when it isn't really that intensely used. Secured access, but in a mixed use building. Nice closet space and a laundry/utility space. Open and flexible floor plan. I like the idea of an on-site micro unit for visitors!

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous MarcioWilges said...

I would be very happy if I was going to do house removals into an apartment with an awesome gym space like that! Unless that's all the stuff in a singular apartment. In which case, I'm very sad now.

At 6:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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