Apr 30, 2024 - Real Estate

CityCenter residents revolt over plan to pull doormen

Luxury designer stores at CityCenter

CityCenter in downtown D.C. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Shelling out big bucks for a CityCenter apartment gets you a lot: a rooftop pool, proximity to luxury shops, and what the website calls "carte blanche for exceptional living." But when management announced residents would lose their doormen, all hell broke loose.

The big picture: Tenants of 875 10th Street waged a D.C.-style lobbying campaign this month to keep their status as renters in one of the few buildings with doormen in the city. And Hines building management quickly backtracked.

Why it matters: It's a case study in tenant activism meets type-A Washington.

Catch up quick: CityCenter announced in mid-April that the doormen and concierge desk at 875 10th Street would be removed starting May 1. Instead, lockers would be installed for Amazon packages, food delivery, and dry cleaning. (Concierge would remain stationed in the second CityCenter apartment building at 825 10th Street.)

  • After a testy meeting between tenants and Hines building management on April 22, a group of residents fired off a letter to D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb.
  • They sought a stop work order on the dismantling of the front desk, arguing the service is guaranteed in their lease.
  • "We are all very concerned about a lack of security," the letter says, citing an incident at the nearby Chanel store where a security guard fired a shot during a shoplifting incident last December.

The intrigue: Last Friday, Hines paused their decision and said the doormen and 24/7 concierge would remain.

  • "We would like to apologize for moving quickly and failing to properly seek input," said a note to residents from Tara Geary, a vice president at Hines.
  • "We will be working on a new proposal to ensure that the right balance between our concierge services and new technology is reached," Hines said in a statement to Axios.

Two-bedroom units at CityCenter run about $4,500 or more.

What's next: Residents plan to form a tenants association with 150+ members.

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