Arlington, VA

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Due to the amount of interest I’ve gotten over the last few years on smoking bans in condos, and the number of buildings currently trying to ban smoking, I decided to organize a panel discussion/information session on it.

Next Tuesday, October 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. I’m hosting four Board/Committee members who led the smoking ban effort in their respective (Arlington) buildings to share their approach, lessons learned and more. We will also be joined by the Northern Virginia Regional Manager for Virginia’s Tobacco Control Program.

You do not have to be Arlington-based to attend. If you can’t make it in person, I plan on broadcasting on Facebook Live and having the recording available afterwards for anybody who wants to watch.

If you’d like to attend or to view the live or recorded version, please email me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: Are there any smoke-free condo buildings in Arlington?

Answer: There is overwhelming support amongst condo owners in Arlington and the D.C. area to ban smoking in condo buildings, including within individual units and balconies. The problem is that it requires a two-thirds (or more) vote in all existing condo buildings to change the by-laws to ban smoking completely and only a handful of buildings have successfully done so.

2000 Clarendon to be Smoke-Free, LEED Certified

I’d like to recognize The Bush Companies for making 2000 Clarendon, an 87-unit condo building currently under construction in the Courthouse neighborhood, for being the first developer in Arlington to ban smoking outright in the original by-laws. Per the by-laws:

“Smoking is prohibited inside the Condominium building. Smoking is prohibited outside the Condominium building except in designated smoking areas located at least 25 feet from all entries, outdoor air intakes and operable windows. The no-smoking policy applies to spaces outside the property line used for business purposes.”

In addition to being smoke-free, 2000 Clarendon will also be a LEED Certified “green” building.

There is real demand in the Arlington condo market for smoke-free buildings and there will likely be multiple owners who choose 2000 Clarendon as their home because of the smoking ban. I believe that the decision by The Bush Companies to ban smoking will result in stronger sales and I expect more developers in Arlington and the surrounding D.C. area to follow suit.

On October 15 I’m hosting a panel and info session on smoking bans in existing condo buildings. If you are interested in attending or getting a recording of the meeting, please email me at [email protected].

2000 Clarendon Sales Update

If you’re in the market for a condo in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor and aren’t aware of 2000 Clarendon, it’s because marketing has been very limited and nothing has been entered into the MLS yet (hopefully you saw my column introducing 2000 Clarendon in April). However, demand has been high enough without a full marketing push that over 50% of the units are already under contract.

The shift in demand within the Arlington condo market to larger units with 2+ bedrooms is evident at 2000 Clarendon, with impressive demand for their 2 BR and 2 BR+Den units and double-digit waiting lists. The 1 BR+Den floor plans have been nearly as popular, but 1 BR sales have lagged. I expect the 1 BRs to move rather quickly once they’re entered into the MLS for broader distribution.

The developer is releasing units for sale by floor and to-date ten of the fourteen floors have been released with floors 9, 11, 13 and 14 yet to be offered. Some units on the upper floors are expected to have direct D.C. views.

If you’re interested in learning more about available units at 2000 Clarendon or other new condo development in Arlington or the D.C. area, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: Do you think Pierce condos in Rosslyn will be able to sell for the prices they’re advertising?

Answer: A few months ago, local developer Penzance released details on their upcoming Highlands development that includes three luxury residential buildings, one of which will be a 27-story condo building called Pierce. Here’s a summary of what we know:

  • Large Floor Plans: 104 units ranging from a 1,270 sq. ft. 1 BR+Den to a 3 BR with over 2,400 sq. ft.
  • Larger Prices: Starting at $900k and increasing to over $3M
  • Luxury Finishes: Thermador appliances, hardwood throughout, Snaidero cabinets, floor-to-ceiling windows, some direct-access elevators and other luxury touches
  • Top Amenities: 24hr staff, rooftop pool, two-story gym, club room, to name a few
Photo courtesy of Mayhood at PierceVA.com

Is There Anything Else Like It?

It seems that Penzance is modeling its approach after Turnberry Tower, the iconic all-glass blue building a block from the Rosslyn Metro. Both buildings’ smallest units are 1 BR+Den with about 1,300 sq. ft., they have similar high-end finishes, many units with direct-access elevators, and both have luxury amenities.

Demand and prices at Turnberry have increased significantly over the last 18-24 months, which is a good sign for Penzance.

Meeting New Demand

There is a significant, relatively new, demand in Arlington for large condos to satisfy Baby Boomers downsizing from big suburban homes around the D.C. area. Over the last 20 years of condo development in Arlington, most floor plans have been 1 BR-2 BR, ranging from 700-1,000 sq. ft. To find larger floor plans, buyers are mostly left with buildings constructed in the 70s and 80s, so there is currently an underserved market for newer condos with large floor plans.

For example, 2000 Clarendon, a condo building in Courthouse set to deliver next year, originally planned six 2 BR+Den units of ~1,400 and ~1,700 sq. ft. They had so much interest that they added two more. Their current waitlist for the 2 BR+Den units has over 20 people on it. However, the price of 2000 Clarendon units are about half what similar units at Pierce will cost.

Will People Pay These Prices?

  • 1 BR+Den with 1,270+sq. ft. start at $900k (4 units)
  • 2 BR with 1,320+sq. ft. start at $1.1M (44 units)
  • 2 BR+Den with 1,953+sq. ft. start at $2M (46 units)
  • 3 BR with 2,411 sq. ft. start at $2.6M (10 units)
  • More than half of the units will be $2M+
  • More than half of the units will be over $1,000/sq. ft. Over the last five years, seven Turnberry condos and two Waterview condos have cross the $1,000/sq. ft. mark. D.C. hits this mark in its premier buildings.

Rosslyn has only begun its transition into a luxury market and Pierce will be a great indicator of where Rosslyn is in the eyes of the market. The sales won’t come overnight, or be without challenges, but the developer can afford to be patient.

  • The down-sizing Baby Boomers that Pierce is suited for can afford to pay a significant premium for the right floor plan and building
  • Amazon, Nestle, consulting/law firms, Defense contractors and tech start-ups are supplying more and more highly-paid executives to the Arlington housing market
  • International money will be drawn to its proximity to D.C. and Amazon
  • Trophy units with direct views of D.C. and the Potomac River should be in high demand because it’s unlikely that future developments will block those views, something that has had a major impact on many Turnberry owners in the last five years (I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them move a couple of blocks up the street to reclaim their views)

There are some challenges that will likely slow the pace of sales and maybe even cause them to bring prices down on some units.

  • At these prices, buyers will also be looking at similar units in D.C.’s top addresses in neighborhoods like Georgetown, West End and The Wharf
  • There will be a 7-11, fire station (quiet-exits will help, but won’t convince everybody), and a school (a negative for most, despite the beautiful design) within one block
  • Being up the (steep) hill from many of the neighborhood’s top draws including Rosslyn Metro, Key Bridge, Mt Vernon Trail and new dining options
  • Rosslyn still has many elements from its sleepy government office district days and probably 5-10 years from shedding that completely via redevelopment that’s in the pipeline

Pre-sales are scheduled to begin in early 2020, but the building probably won’t be finished and ready for move-in until well into 2021. I don’t think the current market, or even the 2020 market, will be ready to pay these prices for most of the 104 units, but I think by 2021 we’ll see Rosslyn far enough along and Arlington’s market driving forward enough to generate some eye-popping sales for Penzance’s Pierce condos.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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After a year of silence, plans for the redevelopment of two blocks along N. Vermont Street straddling 11th Street N. could be coming back to the table.

In February 2018, Arlington County Board approved developer NVR’s plans to replace the two-story church and its parking lot at 1031 N. Vermont Street — formerly Grace Community Church and currently Portico Church Arlington — with a 72-unit condominium building and 12 townhouses. Four of the units on-site would be committed as affordable housing.

The plans drew some backlash from the neighbors who said the plan added density to an already congested Ballston neighborhood.

Since its approval, however, there has been no sign of work moving forward on the homes. An employee for NVR confirmed that the company had dropped its plans for the site, while county officials tell ARLnow that a new developer and development plan is forthcoming.

“Yes, NVR has walked away from this site plan,” said Gina Wimpey, spokeswoman for Arlington’s Dept. of Community Planning, Housing and Development. “There is a new contract purchaser and they are planning on submitting new plans as early as next month.”

Wimpey said the contract was purchased by BCN Homes, a developer that has constructed custom homes throughout the Arlington. Brian Normile, president of BCN Homes and a partner in a number of popular local restaurants, told ARLnow it’s too early to comment on the property but more information could be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

“The plans will be processed as a minor site plan amendment, but will still need to return to the Site Plan Review Committee,” Wimpey said. “That should occur sometime this fall or winter.”

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(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) Arlington County and Ft. Myer firefighters are on scene of a fire at the Courthouse Crossings condo complex in the Courthouse neighborhood.

Firefighters were dispatched to the condo building, at 1410 N. Scott Street, around 1:15 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a fire broke out in a resident’s kitchen but was extinguished by a sprinkler system before it could spread.

No injuries were reported.

File photo

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A small sinkhole seems to have opened in the parking lot of a Shirlington condo complex, snarling traffic in the neighborhood.

The hole, now several feet wide, is centered in a parking space near the 2900 block of S. Woodstock Street, where the Courtbridge I condominiums are located.

Elizabeth Hallman, who lives nearby, told ARLnow she first saw the sinkhole appear yesterday (Thursday), while a car was still parked in the space.

“At first, one of its back wheels started to dip down a little,” she said. “But just a little while later, it was really low, to the point where the front wheels were noticeably higher.”

She added that a “very skillful” tow truck driver was able to remove the car from the space a short time later.

As of this morning (Friday), crews were hard at work to patch up the hole. They’ve closed a section of S. Woodstock Street while those repairs continue.

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At The Bower, you’ll never run out of things to do and explore. Eclectic dining, live music, nights at the ball game, vibrant community events — it’s all here at The Yards, waiting to welcome you home.

Dine at local hot spots including Chloe, District Winery and Osteria Morini. Shop local favorites from Steadfast Supply to Willow and stock up on the essentials at Harris Teeter located just one block away from The Bower.

With a buzzing nightlife, a humming social scene, outdoor concerts, the riverfront and more — it’s a city within a city, a world within a world and, for those buying a condo in D.C., it’s the place to find everything you need.

The Bower offers a variety of layouts to suit your lifestyle, including spacious two-bedrooms as well as studios to penthouses. These thoughtfully designed condos feature 9′ ceilings, wide-plank hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling glass, Bosch electric appliances and Italian cabinetry.

The Bower includes inviting community spaces from a rooftop residents’ lounge and terrace with wet bar and wine storage to a fitness studio. With the ideal mix of energy, convenience and style, The Bower is the perfect transition from the energy of The Yards to the peace of home.

With over 50% of residences sold at The Bower. Now is your opportunity to call The Yards home. To learn more visit thebowerdc.com or call 202-869-5233 Sales by PN Hoffman Realty.

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Repair work is set to start soon on some large holes that opened up in front of a Rosslyn condo complex.

Several large pits have marked the lawn and front driveway of the Atrium Condominiums, located at 1530 Key Blvd, for the last few weeks. But George Pace, general manager of the Atrium Unit Owners Association, says he should have workers repairing the damage sometime in the next four to six weeks.

Pace says the holes, which are each several feet deep, were the result of the complex’s storm drain collapsing, even though neighbors initially feared they were sinkholes caused by the rain that soaked Arlington last month.

“The storm drain was over 35 or 40 years old,” Pace told ARLnow. “It just got corroded and collapsed… it doesn’t affect the building structure or anything else like that.”

Pace says it’s taken the condo complex some time to work with its insurers and review bids from potential contractors, but he’s confident the situation will be resolved soon.

In the meantime, the complex’s front driveway, including some portions not visibly impacted by the holes, will remain closed.

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The board of a condominium building in Virginia Square is moving its meeting spot after a resident brought a gun to two board meetings.

In a letter sent to residents, transcribed below, the board of the Tower Villas (3800 Fairfax Drive) condo community says that while the armed man didn’t violate any current rules, the gun “caused certain attendees of these meetings fear for their safety.”

Because trying to ban guns from the board meeting — held in the building lobby — would be a legal gray area, the board said it decided to move its meeting to Washington-Lee High School, where guns are prohibited by law, “until the Board receives assurances from this individual that they will no longer bring a firearm to future Board meetings.”

Reached by phone, a building manager declined to comment.

The full letter is below.

Dear residents:

It has been alleged that a member of the Tower Villas community has brought a firearm to the past two Board of Directors meetings. The Board has been made aware that this has caused certain attendees of these meetings fear for their safety. Members of the Board share these concerns. The Board reached out to this individual and respectfully requested that they confirm whether a firearm was in their possession during those meetings, and requested that the individual no longer bring the firearm to meetings if one was in their possession. While a response was received, the communication did not conclusively respond to either of the Board’s requests.

The Board has consulted with legal counsel and believes that the best course of action to address residents’ safety concerns is to conduct Board meetings at a location where firearms are prohibited by law. While the Board believes that it is within its right to prohibit members from bringing firearms to Board meetings held on the common elements, the enforcement of such a prohibition (should this individual choose to ignore it) could prove to be costly and time-consuming.

As such, the Board of Directors meetings will be held offsite at the Washington & Lee High School just a few blocks away until the Board receives assurances from this individual that they will no longer bring a firearm to future Board meetings. However, due to lack of availability, the Board’s June meeting has been postponed. We will keep all residents informed of the date and time of our next meeting.

We understand that this breaks from a longstanding Tower Villas tradition of conducting Board meetings in our lobby, but out of an abundance of caution, the Board believes that this is a reasonable and prudent course of action. It is our hope that this will be a temporary measure. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to attend our offsite meetings.

Thank you,

The Tower Villas Board of Directors

Photo via Google Maps

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At The Bower, you’ll never run out of things to do and explore.

Eclectic dining, live music, nights at the ball game, vibrant community events — it’s all here at The Yards, waiting to welcome you home.

Dine at local hot spots including Chloe, District Winery and Osteria Morini. Shop local favorites from Steadfast Supply to Willow and stock up on the essentials at Harris Teeter located just one block away from The Bower.

Buzzing nightlife, a humming social scene, outdoor concerts, the riverfront and more — it’s a city within a city, a world within a world. For those buying a condo in DC, The Bower is the place to find everything you need.

From studios and one-bedroom condos all the way up to penthouses, The Bower offers a variety of layouts to suit your lifestyle. These thoughtfully designed condos feature 9′ ceilings, wide-plank hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling glass, Bosch electric appliances and Italian cabinetry.

The Bower includes inviting community spaces from a rooftop residents’ lounge and terrace with wet bar and a fitness studio. With the ideal mix of energy, convenience and style, The Bower is the perfect transition from the energy of The Yards to the peace of home.

To learn more visit thebowerdc.com or call 202-869-5233.

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Trista Nealon and some of her neighbors thought they were doing the right thing when they forced their way into the neighborhood pool to rescue some wayward ducklings — but now, their condo association is threatening them with criminal charges for their efforts.

Nealon tells ARLnow that one of her fellow condo owners in Fairlington Glen noticed seven ducklings stuck in the neighborhood’s community pool back on May 10 and she decided to go ask the pool’s manager if she could get in and help them leave.

When Nealon was rebuffed, she and her neighbors tried contacting a member of the Wildlife Rescue League to come help — again, they had no luck. So a group went back over to the pool, unlocked its gate by reaching in through a well-positioned mail slot, and fished out the baby ducks.

Nealon says a woman accosted the group at the time and threatened to call the police, before storming off, but she otherwise didn’t think much of the encounter. Yet when last Thursday (May 31) rolled around, Nealon and a few other neighbors involved in the rescue effort received a letter from attorneys representing the Fairlington Glen Council of Co-Owners informing her that the group’s Board of Directors “is currently considering whether to press charges or take other enforcement action.”

“I am a [27-year] Glen resident owner, and it is ridiculous that I am being threatened with criminal charges for being a Good Samaritan and saving baby ducks,” Nealon wrote in an email. She shared a copy of the letter with ARLnow and also posted it to a Facebook group for Fairlington residents.

Kristen Buck, an associate with the firm Rees Broome, said in the letter that the condo board felt a lock around the pool was damaged in the process of this rescue effort, and she’s requesting the people involved to pay the board $100 each to help reimburse the cost of replacing it.

“Such a good faith payment may influence whether the Board decides to press charges or take other action,” Buck wrote.

Nealon insists that no one damaged any property over the course of this episode, and she finds Buck’s suggestion that the neighbors should have simply called the county’s animal control to be without merit, given the “imminent danger” she felt the ducklings were in at the time.

Buck declined comment on the matter, as did Thora Stanwood, president of the condo association’s Board of Directors.

But, in a newsletter distributed by the condo association, there is a reference to a “break in” at the Fairlington Glen pool.

The newsletter claims a police report was filed about the incident, and that condo association’s Board of Directors “consulted with legal counsel about the recovery of damage from the break in.” County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage says she has no record of any police report being filed from the area that day.

Nealon isn’t sure what she’ll do next, but she at least plans to attend the condo association’s next meeting to protest her treatment, and she doesn’t expect she’ll be alone.

Her post on the Fairlington Appreciation Society Facebook page about the incident already has 125 likes and dozens of supportive comments.

Photo courtesy of Trista Nealon

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