Mar 22, 2023 - Real Estate

D.C.'s apartment amenities arms race

The Silva's rooftop pool in Adams Morgan.

Views from the Silva's rooftop pool. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

D.C.’s luxury apartment buildings are tripping over each other to offer the best amenities in hopes of drawing in more residents.

Why it matters: As homeownership remains out of reach for many potential buyers, renting is an increasingly attractive option, with exclusive resident offerings from art galleries to private music studios.

Between the lines: The push to add hyper-luxury amenities inside D.C. apartment buildings started ramping up over the last 15 to 20 years, Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors former president Harrison Beacher tells Axios.

  • As the number of high-paying tech jobs increased in the area, the number of people who could afford buildings with top amenities also increased — sparking competition between buildings.

In recent years, our pandemic shift to spending more time at home has furthered the amenities arms race.

State of play: D.C. rents are rising, and residents have come to expect luxuries to match the price tag.

  • Building offerings like pet-grooming areas, co-working spaces, free coffee/tea bars and private kitchen and event spaces are all nice, but pretty standard in new and high-end apartment buildings.

We scoured the city looking for unique amenities that scream "indulgence."

The Silva's in-house art gallery.
A look at the Silva's art gallery by Latela Curatorial back in November 2021. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

🚘 Tesla rentals at NOVEL South Capitol: Through its onsite car share program, the Navy Yard residents are able to rent a Tesla for $27/hour.

🎨 Art gallery at the Silva: The Adams Morgan building features a public art gallery by Latela Curatorial, which means residents are surrounded by art and have the option to buy pieces for themselves.

🌱 Greenhouse at City Ridge: Located near Tenleytown in the same development as the city’s first Wegmans, residents across all four of City Ridge’s residential properties have access to a rooftop community greenhouse.

🎧 Creative studios at Crossing: The Navy Yard apartment building has a podcasting/music recording studio and two music practice rooms.

  • It also has a 6,000-square-foot spa that includes a lap pool with underwater speakers, a jacuzzi, steam room, and massage professionals available on Mondays and Fridays.

🖼 Museum at Gallery 64: The Southwest residents who are connected to the Rubell Museum through a public courtyard have access to a full, one-year complimentary membership to the museum, which also includes bookstore discounts and access to special events.

Zoom out: Community events are also part of what buildings use to compete for residents. Zillow rental trends expert Emily McDonald says there’s been an increase in free resident experiences in D.C. and beyond, like wine tastings and private chef dinners.

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