by Ethan Rothstein — July 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm 2,799 0

The AKA Virginia Square extended stay hotel is undergoing a conversion into a condominium building and plans to open this fall.

The building, at 3409 Wilson Blvd, was purchased by Bethesda-based The Goldstar Group. The company has rebranded the building as Arc 3409, saying it will featuer “luxury condos.” The sale went through this spring, and by May the hotel was no longer taking reservations as it prepared to close.

Goldstar Senior Vice President Eric May said the company plans to open the building in mid-September, and to start sending out information about asking prices and individual units later this summer. May said the prices for the 85 units in the building have yet to be determined.

The renovations, May said, include replacing floors, kitchens and re-fitting the units. No structural work needed to be done, he said, because the building, built in 2008, was originally intended to be condominiums before it was sold to become, essentially, a short-term rental apartment building.

“The building itself is very different from Arlington standard,” May said. “It’s not brick box. It’s got angles, curves, glass and it’s a cool building. The units themselves are cool units, some of them have floor-to-ceiling glass and most of them have balconies. It’s more of cutting-edge D.C. design than you typically see in Arlington.”

The building is two blocks from the Virginia Square Metro station, but the location and the appeal of the unusual building were just part of the equation for Goldstar’s purchase.

“There is a huge lack of supply of new or any condos in Arlington right now,” May said. “There’s very little to no new product, so we saw an opportunity to bring to market effectively new condominiums at prices that are going to be competitive.”

by Ethan Rothstein — May 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm 2,874 0

AKA Virginia Square (photo via AKA)AKA Virginia Square, an extended-stay hotel at 3409 Wilson Blvd, will be closing later this month and will undergo a renovation in order to be converted into condominiums.

The building was sold recently, according to an AKA employee, and the hotel is no longer taking reservations as it prepares to close.

Attempts to reach AKA representatives who could further discuss the sale were unsuccessful. The hotel was constructed within the last 10 years and, we’re told, it was originally intended to be a condominium building. So far, there’s no word on when the building will re-open or start selling units.

Photo via AKA

by ARLnow.com — March 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm 2,920 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A construction worker has suffered serious injuries from a four-story fall off a roof in the Buckingham neighborhood.

The incident happened just before 4:00 p.m. on the 400 block of N. George Mason Drive. According to initial reports, the man fell from the roof of an under-construction, four-story condominium building onto a concrete surface below. The construction is for new townhouses in the Ballston Row development.

The victim was at least initially conscious and talking to those who came to his aid, but was bleeding from the head, according to scanner traffic. His injuries are described as life-threatening. He’s being transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital.

State occupational safety inspectors are being requested to investigate the incident.

by Katie Pyzyk — December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm 1,157 0

Avery Row Apartments (photo via Avery Row Apartments website(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The leasing center at the new Avery Row (1200 N. Rolfe Street) apartment complex opened for business yesterday (December 9).

Potential residents can now tour the four story, 67-unit building in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood. The “boutique apartment community” features one and two bedroom apartments, balconies, rooftop terraces and an outdoor dining area.

“We give you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, a lot of outdoor areas to appreciate nature,” said Shelley Brooks, Regional Portfolio Manager for Bozzuto Management Company. “It’s a very special community. It’s modern, yet elegant. I think they’ll go very quickly.”

The complex had previously been known as “Grayson Flats” and was intended to be marketed as apartment rentals. But Reston-based Silverwood Companies announced its purchase of the property in April and repositioned it as a condominium building, while also changing the name to “The Avery.” The property was recently repositioned again as the Avery Row apartments; it is still owned by Silverwood and Bozzuto Management Company currently oversees the property.

Brooks explained that The Avery opened for condo sales in early June and interest rates increased less than three weeks later, stopping interest in the condos. Silverwood reassessed the market and determined apartments were a better option, especially given what it calls a lack of large, luxury units in the area.

The apartments are ready for immediate move-in. So far, one apartment has been leased and there are 66 others available. Monthly rental prices range from $2,345 for a one bedroom to more than $3,430 for a two bedroom with den.

by Katie Pyzyk — July 18, 2013 at 9:40 am 5,393 0

A high profile property has gone on the market near Rosslyn. Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green has put his condo up for sale.

The loft style condo in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood is at 1615 Queen Street N. and has a full listing in the ARLnow.com real estate section. The two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom property has 2,041 square feet and lists an asking price of $1,595,000.

There are two master suites, a wine room, a two-story veranda and parking for two cars. The seller recently spent $300,000 in upgrades for the condo.

According to the listing, the buyer will “also get bragging rights.” Interested buyers can contact Casey Margenau with Re/max Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. at 703-821-1840.

Anyone thinking they can stop in to try getting a glimpse of Green should think again. According to the Washington Post, Green has already bought another home and moved out.

by Katie Pyzyk — June 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm 3,455 0

Rendering of proposed Latitude Apartments building in Virginia SquareResidents at the Monroe Condominium (3625 10th Street N.) in Virginia Square take issue with plans for a nearby apartment development, and they want the county to do something about it.

The site in question currently houses a one-story bank building and a two-story office building with surface parking. There is a request to rezone the land at 3601-3625 N. Fairfax Drive from commercial to residential in order to move ahead with the proposed Latitude Apartments project. The 12-story building would contain 256 residential units and 5,600 square feet of ground floor retail space along Fairfax Drive.

Some Monroe residents believe the plan is progressing without adequate community input. They claim the project directly violates the Virginia Square Sector Plan, which calls for a commercial building on the site. In a written statement, the condo association’s board of directors asked the County Board to reject Latitude’s site plan application.

In response to the association’s complaints and request for county action, Helen Duong with the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development said, “We’re still evaluating the proposal and will be developing a recommendation in the near future.”

The Monroe board’s written statement called the Latitude plan “ill conceived.” It also says the project would “have a disastrous effect on the Virginia Square Community,” by upsetting the desired residential-commercial balance, creating a street parking burden and overwhelming the Virginia Square Metro station.

Monroe board officials will hold a public forum at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, in the condo building’s community room. All Virginia Square residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to receive more information about the Latitude Apartments project and to express their views.

by ARLnow.com — June 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm 5,518 0

A small section of fence is prompting a big stink at the River Place condominium complex (1011 Arlington Blvd) in Rosslyn.

The fence was put in place at some point this spring to block a paved pathway that served as a shortcut for those walking to and from the complex. The pathway leads to a parking lot used by TV station WJLA, which residents use to access a marked crosswalk that leads to the complex.

According to a Facebook page set up by a resident who opposes it, the fence was erected — or, more precisely, an opening in an existing fence was closed — by property owner Monday Properties due to safety concerns.

“An individual listening with headphones was allegedly ‘almost backed over’ by a WJLA news van,” a Facebook post said. “Monday Properties (MP) owns the lot and leases it to WJLA-TV. Obviously with liability in mind, MP closed the opening in the fence and chained the side entrance to the lot.”

Even though residents could just walk five yards out of their way to get around the fence altogether, Omar Baddar, who is helping to organize opposition to the fence, argues that that’s not a viable option.

“It’s not an acceptable alternative because there is no walkway there,” Baddar said in an email. “We’re forced to walk over mulch and then directly in between parked cars, which is an inconvenience, particularly to people with baby strollers or carts of any kind.”

“It is… obviously inconsiderate to block a pedestrian path and tell the hundreds of people who use it ‘why don’t you just walk over the mulch?’” Baddar continued. “Blocking a pedestrian entrance that has existed for decades without consultation with the residents who use it is simply not defensible.”

Baddar says he has collected more than 200 signatures — more than 10 percent of the River Place population — for an anti-fence petition.

Another option for pedestrian access to the apartment complex is walking down the N. Lynn Street sidewalk to the vehicle entrance for River Place. That adds travel time and another resident we talked to said it’s potentially dangerous at night due to poor lighting.

Tim Helmig, Executive Vice President at Monday Properties, says the fence was necessary to keep pedestrians from accessing the parking lot.

“What we have to focus on is keeping pedestrians safe,” he said. “What we noticed is that that parking lot is used by vehicles to pull in and out. It’s just not a safe place for pedestrians to walk.”

Helmig continued: “What we’ve encouraged pedestrians to do is utilize the sidewalk to access River Place. The sidewalk is there to provide a safe passageway, as opposed to cutting through that parking lot, which has a lot of traffic and has the potential to create a dangerous condition.”

No changes to the fence are planned, Helmig said.

Opponents, meanwhile, are not done fighting. Last week, a message on the River Place North building email listserv encouraged residents to call Monday Properties and sign the petition. It also called for those with legal backgrounds to help out with a pending legal challenge to the fence.

by ARLnow.com — April 22, 2013 at 11:55 am 0

The Avery condominium building rendering

The new “Grayson Flats” rental apartment building, at 1200 N. Rolfe Street in Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, has been purchased by a local developer and is being re-positioned as a condominium building called “The Avery.”

Reston-based Silverwood Companies announced today that it has purchased the 67-unit building, which was originally planned as a condominium, before being converted to rentals. Now, the building is back to condos.

“There is considerable demand for new condominiums, and with interest rates at historic lows, we see real opportunity,” said Mark Silverwood of Silverwood Associates, in a press release. “The building was designed as a condominium with large floor plans and an array of impressive amenities.”

The Avery condominium building renderingThe building’s sales agent echoed Silverwood’s assertion that demand is outstripping supply in Arlington’s condominium market.

“This will be exceptional new offering into a condominium market with virtually no inventory, and — most importantly — will be available for occupancy this summer,” said David Mayhood of The Mayhood Company. “The timing could not be better.”

The Avery features one- and two- and two-bedroom-plus den condos up to 1,750 square feet. Prices start in the mid-$400,000′s.

Building construction was completed in March and sales will start in May, with the first move-ins expected at some point this summer. The condo conversion took place before any of the units were leased, according to a spokeswoman.

More about the building, from the press release:

Situated in a park-like setting adjacent to Fort Myer, The Avery enjoys a highly convenient location just an eight-minute walk to the Courthouse Metro station. Residents will enjoy easy access to Routes 50 and 66, the George Washington Parkway, and to the shops, restaurants, culture and nightlife of both the District and Arlington. Georgetown and the Kennedy Center, just two miles away, can be reached easily by car, public transportation, or on local bicycle trails.

Almost 90 percent of The Avery’s homes have private outdoor spaces – some up to 300 square feet – including large patios, balconies, and individual rooftop terraces. The floor plans feature open entertaining areas, gourmet kitchens with large granite- topped islands, and wide plank flooring. Especially impressive is the abundance of closets, built-in shelving, and in-unit storage space. Individual condominiums, with ceiling heights up to ten feet, range from 750 SF to 1,750 SF, and most feature powder rooms. Some 40 percent of the homes offer private dens that are perfect for home office or guest room use.

The Avery’s stylish amenities include an elegant entrance lobby with a staffed front desk, The Avery Club Room opening onto a large outside terrace with landscaping, seating, and cooking station, and a residents’ rooftop terrace. The fitness center offers both strength training and cardio equipment with IPod docks. Garage parking, bike storage, and individual storage spaces also are available.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2013 at 11:05 am 864 32 Comments

Construction is underway on two residential buildings near the Courthouse Metro station.

“19Nineteen Clarendon” is a new 200-unit luxury apartment building that, despite the latter half of its name, will be located at 1900 Wilson Blvd in the Courthouse area. It replaces what was formerly a Hollywood Video store and a small office building.

The new building’s ground floor in now in place and the remainder of the structure’s five stories will soon follow. According to the 19Nineteen Clarendon web site, the building is expected to open this summer.

Just up the street, on the same “superblock,” a construction pit marks the future location of “2001 Clarendon.” Also known as “Washington View,” the project features 154 residential units — planned as condos — and 32,840 square feet of retail space.

2001 Clarendon replaces what was once a Taco Bell and the famed Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse. The $55 million project is expected to open in April 2014, according to CityBizList.

As part of the project, the developer will construct an extension of N. Troy Street between Clarendon and Wilson Boulevards, thus breaking up the superblock between Courthouse Road and Rhodes Street.

by ARLnow.com — September 4, 2012 at 11:35 am 4,107 51 Comments

This periodic sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: I would like to buy a new home in Arlington. I’ve seen quite a bit of construction, can you tell me what is going to be available by end of year?

I’m happy to do so. Below are brief introductions to the various new construction projects that currently have homes available for move-in before 2013.

Arlington Condos:

Turnberry Towers is located in Rosslyn at 1881 N. Nash Street. This is the most luxurious addition to the condo market in Arlington. Imagine living in a 5-star hotel with valet service, doorman, a grand lobby, indoor pool and every amenity you can wish for. The homes are larger than your average condo in Arlington and come “decorator ready” so that you can pick out your own flooring and wall coverings. All other premium finishes are included. Turnberry Towers is at the tail end of sales with only 11 homes remaining. Prices range from $825,000 to $4,350,000.

Gaslight Square is located between Rosslyn and Courthouse at 1700 Clarendon Boulevard. Gaslight Square is selling in three phases. The first phase is complete, models are available to see and residents have begun moving in. This is the same builder as Wooster & Mercer Lofts, located next door. Gaslight is a little more refined and includes private elevator access to all upper level units. Every home includes outdoor space ranging from grand rooftop terraces to modest balconies. Prices range from $769,900 to over $1,400,000.

Lyon Pointe is located in Lyon Village within walking distance of Clarendon metro station. The address is 2702 Lee Highway. This is a true boutique building with only eight homes total (two per floor). Like Gaslight Square, the building offers private elevator access where the elevator opens directly into your home. The finishes are top notch. The penthouse units come with huge rooftop terraces and the ground floor includes sizable garden patios. Though the building is located on Lee Hwy., the high quality windows buffer most of the noise and there is decent separation between the building and the road. Construction of Lyon Pointe is still underway, but sales have begun. Prices range from $699,900 to $829,900.

Dominion Heights is located in Cherrydale at 2702 Lee Highway. Unlike the others, this is not within what most people would consider walking distance to the Orange Line. Cherrydale does have its own share of shops, restaurants and charm. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification so homeowners can expect low utility bills and improved comfort. Standard finishes include hardwood flooring, gas cooking with stainless steel appliances, and granite counters in the bathrooms & kitchens. Prices range from $312,500 to $716,000.

Arlington Townhomes:

The Court at Lyon Village is located in Lyon Village at the intersection of Lee Hwy. and Veitch. They are about three blocks north of Courthouse metro station. 13 new townhomes are being constructed. Each townhouse includes outdoor space perfect for entertaining, gardening and grilling; on lots that range up to 3053 square feet. Each home also includes a 2-car garage. Another bonus is the view that comes with some of the homes. The Court at Lyon Village sits on hill with views that reach parts of McLean, Georgetown and the National Cathedral. Currently there are two townhomes left, priced at $950,000 and $1,100,000.

Cathedral View is located adjacent to Washington Golf and Country Club. I have not been in these homes, but the photos are truly extraordinary. They include elevators, four finished levels, three car garages, slate roofs, views of the National Cathedral (hence the name), and size & finishes to rival the premiere single family homes in North Arlington. There are four homes still available starting at $4,295,000.

Arlington Single Family Houses:

The Enclave of Ballston is located on the outskirts of Ballston off of Carlin Springs Road. There are a total of 10 lots. Each home includes three finished levels, two car garage, professionally landscaped and fenced yards, dual zone gas heat and high end finishes. The exteriors are stone and cement composite siding. Depending on the lot you chose, you may be able to select the homestyle and finishes. Only five lots are currently available and prices from $1,300,000 to $1,500,000.

There are a number of custom and spec homes being built throughout Arlington that I’m happy to provide you a list of if you would like. Just send me an email: adam@arbourrealty.com.

*All pricing and descriptions are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2012 at 8:50 am 1,023 23 Comments

Arlington, Alexandria Compete for Federal Funds — Alexandria’s planned transit corridor along Route 1 is competing with Arlington’s proposed Columbia Pike streetcar for a limited pool of federal transporation funds. Meanwhile, Alexandria officials are still upset that Arlington declined to help pay for a study that could have helped Alexandria obtain federal funding for the Route 1 transit project, which the two jurisdictions have been otherwise cooperating on. [Connection Newspapers]

Democratic School Board Slate Set — Incumbent Emma Violand-Sanchez and political newcomer Noah Simon have received the Democratic endorsement for Arlington County School Board, all but guaranteeing their election in November. [Sun Gazette]

Condo Building Sells Out in Weeks — A new condo building at 1221 N. Quinn Street, in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, sold out of all 13 units  in just a matter of weeks this past winter. [CityBiz List]

by Katie Pyzyk — May 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm 3,872 41 Comments

It’s National Barbecue Month, and as the weather warms up, more people are firing up the grills. But before getting caught up in grilling, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re familiar with the Arlington County fire code.

According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Captain Gregg Karl, problems can arise with people in multi-unit residences, such as condos and high rise apartments, who may not even realize they’re violating the code.

No grills, combustible devices or open flame cooking devices are to be used or stored on balconies and rooftops. Fire pits and similar types of warming devices are also banned. Electric devices without an open flame are acceptable.

Most standalone homes and townhouses with ground level patios are exempted from the rules. However, the fire department still recommends trying to keep the device 15 feet away from the building, or as far as space allows.

“You do still have the potential for a fire if something goes wrong with the grill,” Karl said. “We want people to be aware of where they’re putting the grill and the potential dangers.”

Landlords are supposed to inform tenants, in writing, of all the fire code regulations upon move-in and lease renewal. After that, tenants are responsible for following the regulations.

Those who are found to be in violation of the code will be issued a notice and given the opportunity to remove the offending items. Failure to correct the violation could result in a citation and fine.

Karl encourages people with questions about the rules to call the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office at 703-228-4644.

by ARLnow.com — April 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm 7,646 87 Comments

Rosslyn might not quite be Manhattan on the Potomac, but a loft-style condo that’s up for an award from HGTV does have a certain SoHo vibe to it.

A penthouse condo at Rosslyn’s Wooster and Mercer Lofts condo building (1600 Clarendon Blvd) is one of eight finalists for an HGTV “Doory Award” under the “Urban Homes” category. The two story, 1,111 square foot, 1 bedroom/1 bathroom condo features Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, 25 foot ceilings, a kitchen island, private roof deck, two walk-in closets and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances like a Wolf gas range and a Sub Zero refrigerator. The building was built in 2007 and the condo is priced at $791,000.

The condo’s competition in the HGTV contest includes units from other trendy multifamily properties in big cities like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Seattle — and New York City itself.

You can vote for Arlington’s hometown entry in the contest on the Doory Awards website.

Disclosure: John Eric, an ARLnow.com advertiser, is the listing agent for the condo.


by ARLnow.com — March 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm 3,891 55 Comments

The original plan, as approved in 2009, was to take 48 units of the 140-apartment Buckingham Village 3 affordable housing community and sell them as condos to moderate-income households. Last night, that plan was officially scrapped after the Arlington County Board was told that the condos would be a tough sell.

Buckingham Village 3, a series of 16 low-rise apartment buildings along the 300 block of block of N. George Mason Drive, was purchased by the county for $34.5 million in March 2009 as part of its ongoing effort to increase the supply of committed affordable housing in Arlington.

The initial goal for the community was to renovate the buildings, lease 92 apartments to households earning below 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and sell the remaining 48 units to households making 60 to 80 percent AMI. The condo component was part of a county initiative to increase home ownership among moderate income households.

The condo plan, however, eventually became the victim of grim market realities, according to a staff report. As determined by two market studies commissioned at the request of the county, selling the condos to households in the target income range would have required “significant price reductions” due in part to the onerous affordability restrictions that would come with such a purchase. Also hurting sales: the difficulty in securing a mortgage for households in the income range. In the end, the market research suggested it could have taken up to four years to sell all 48 units, with a county subsidy of nearly $230,000 per unit.

Last night, the County Board reluctantly but unanimously voted to keep the 48 would-be condos as committed affordable rental apartments.

“This is not the outcome the Board had hoped for when we set this project in motion in 2009,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “However, the Board’s action today ensures that these 48 Buckingham 3 units will be preserved as affordable rentals for decades to come.”

The Board also directed staff to find new ways to help lower-income residents to buy a home.

“We also have given staff clear direction to devise a funding strategy to help qualified, low- and moderate-income, first-time vested Buckingham home buyers the chance to buy — either in the Buckingham neighborhood, or elsewhere in Arlington,” Hynes said.

by Katie Pyzyk — January 27, 2012 at 10:35 am 3,506 41 Comments

A commercial tenant will soon move into a building that’s been the center of a years-long controversy in the Cherrydale neighborhood. A Subway restaurant is coming to the Bromptons at Cherrydale building (3800 Lee Hwy), now known as 3800 Lofts.

The residential space above the restaurant was supposed to be sold as condos, but multiple issues prompted the developer to convert the units to rentals over the summer.

Subway will be the first retail tenant in the building. The space, including the residential portion, sat empty for years due to problems with the building’s structural soundness, multiple lawsuits and a faltering economy.

Work has already begun on the restaurant, but there’s no word yet on an opening date.


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