I attended the grand opening of this condominium hotel or condotel, the Jamieson, sometime last week. For now, Jamieson has no competition because it is the only condotel in Alexandria City. It's conveniently located near the US Patent office (USPTO), two metro stations (Eisenhower and King St.), Wholefoods, Starbucks and all the shops in Carlyle district.
This is what condotel is. It is condo living with hotel privileges. A simple concept for those who want the convenience of living in a condo and the luxury that a hotel offered. It's a perfect sanctuary for people working out of a patent office or even for lawyers working out odd hours to camp out here. I mean, the Alexandria courthouse is a throw's stone from here! No kidding. Sort of having a bachelor's pad close to your work.
Jamieson condominium and Westin hotel is located in the same building. The residential part is above the hotel from the 10th floor to the 15th. Only 79 condo homes slated for this building. Sample of privileges that comes with owning a condo here:
There are different condo layouts from studio, one bedroom, two bedrooms to three bedrooms. Each unit features hardwood floors in the kitchen, granite countertops, tile baths, stainless steel appliances and almost floor-to-ceiling windows.
Condominiums are priced from the $300k (think this is for studio), to $700's and up for the three bedroom homes. From watching how condo owners in the Old Town proximity area priced their condos, their prices are definitely 'very competitive' for the area. There is at least 2 to 3 new condominiums in and around the City of Alexandria competing for the same pool of buyers. Competing on location, this one is located right on the outskirt of Old Town before it changes to Alexandria, Fairfax county. I remembered way back then when they first just getting started with the development, these same condos were priced a little bit out-of-range for that market (2005) but not for this market.
Westin did the right thing by adjusting the price to reflect current market conditions. Their 'now' price and luxury - are their 'competitive advantages.' I won't be surprised if they 'outsell' their competitions.
Posted at 05:40 PM in $1M and Over, $1M's & Under , $600's & Under , Alexandria Real Estate, Condominiums, Lifestyle, Old Town, Alexandria Urban Living, Real Estate, Real Estate Trends, Urban Living | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
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A while back, when I just get started tracking new homes for this blog, the first post was this.
It looks like new homes will be built on this site sometime soon. I don't know exactly how many acres of lot. There are a couple of houses next to this one that's been bought out in addition to this house.
The site is about a block away from Merrifield Metro. Wonder what type of homes will be constructed on this site. Condos? Townhomes? Single Family Homes? There's no information available yet as of now.
Merrifield is part of Fairfax County Revitalization project and one of the fastest growing condo communities in Fairfax. Easy access to Metro, the Beltway, I-66 and Tyson's Corner helps fuel the going condo trends over here.
Fast forward a few years, there are two communities across the street from each other, Dunn Loring Chase and Dunn Loring Glen. Both of these communities are within walking distance from Dunn Loring metro station. That's why they name it Dunn Loring - and - something. Two different developers, Brookfield Homes and Dittmar Company, working the area across from each other's site. The constructions for single homes is an unusual move by Dittmar, because their core of business is rentals. The last condo they built in Arlington was converted to rentals.
Brookfield had done clearing the bigger land and ready to build 18 new single homes on the site. Not sure how many homes sit on the land before it was bulldozed to build the community. Across the street from here, Dittmar has already subdivided their (smaller) land for 7 homes.
DUNN LORING CHASE (by Brookfield Homes)
image: Brookfield Homes
Over here, Brookfield plans to build 18 Craftsman-inspired homes that offers 3,400-7,900 s.f. of living space and up to 7 bedrooms and 7.5 baths. The standard is 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and 2 car garage. Nothing has been built there yet. According to the sales rep, it'll take anywhere from start to finish 6-8 months after contract data. There are five different models (with different elevations): Chadwick, Dudley, Edgemont, Halley, and Meridia. It seems that the Dudley model offers the largest living area among these five models.
Each home comes with fully equipped kitchen, luxurious baths and energy-saving features. Few of the things you'll find in the kitchen: GE Profile Energy Star appliances, granite or silestone countertops, 42-inch oak cabinet, butler's pantry, kitchen island, morning room and hardwood flooring. Some of the features in the bathroom: ceramic tile floors and bathtub surround in bathroom, garden soaking tub (not sure I have seen this before) and separate shower in the master bathroom, private water closet.
There's only a few communities in our area that have build 'truly green homes.' At the most, you'll find Energy-Savings features. Here is some of the 'good energy savings' features.
The insulation in roof, overhangs, ceilings, exterior walls and basement walls plus the low-e double glazed windows and vent system - would help you maintain a lower energy bills, keep the house warm in the winter and cool (comfortable) in the summer.
Homes are priced from the low-$1 million.
DUNN LORING GLEN (by Dittmar Company)
There are only 7 homes planned to be built in this community. One of them is already been completed, that's the house they use as a model home. Size of lots approximately 0.25 acre per home with finished homes from 3,600 to 6,500 s.f.
Each home features designer kitchen, luxurious bath finishes, and energy efficiency. Designer kitche features granite countertops, stainless steel GE appliances package, walk-in pantry, butler pantry with sink and wet bar. The energy-efficiency shares some similar features as Dunn Loring Chase even though not as comprehensive as what they have to offer here:
There are two models available: Albermarle and Brentwood.
Homes are priced from low-$1.3 million
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Cromley Lofts, is the first-and-only LEED certified condominium in Virginia. They received Gold Standard certification from U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit composed of leaders from every sector working to promote buildings that .."environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. USGBC awarded the certification using rating system for each project. It is a voluntary program for green building. They received the LEED Gold Standard.
At least for now, Cromley Lofts, can enjoy their Gold Standard status -- until the next LEED certified condominium -- come into the pipeline sometime in the future.
What it Means to Be a Green Condominium?
Though, when you look at the amenities, this building is a basic condominium, Cromley is not a typical condo you can find anywhere around our area. It is very 'different.' It carves out a niche. What makes it different is this: The green features. The building was originally a warehouse that was converted into NY Style lofts. What is lacking here is the high ceilings higher than 9' to 10' that commonly seen in NY lofts.
Bill Cromley, the builder of this lofts says that his goal in building Cromley as Virginia's first green condominium is "because he wants to bring good urban design and green to reality." The three important criterias that makes this building 'different' than the rest of new condominiums you commonly see.
When I asked him, how he thinks about the Gold certification, he says that "..the LEED System is holistic. It is not just one thing but a lot of things combined. And for this building we have 42 different things combined." The information on USGBC website, mentioned that LEED certification for existing buildings comes with four levels depending on how many points a project met its criteria: 1) Certified - counts for passing 32-39 points in the rating system, 2) Silver 40-47 points, 3) Gold 48-63 points, 4) Platinum, which is the highest level only awarded when a building get 64-85 points.
Most builders use only a little bit here and there to green their buildings or new homes, featuring mostly energy efficient appliances.. like, front-loading washer and dryer, radiant floor, Energy Star appliances, but not completely green. Sometime, it is because not economically feasible [read: profitable] or they don't have the expertise to manage big development. Cromley himself said that "the hardest challenge in converting this building is the management of the project itself."
This is a 'basic' condominium featuring: green living. So- don't look for pool, elevator, roof top, etc.. things that commonly associated with new constructions, instead focus on simplicity, urban design, and healthy living. You won't find underground parking here. Instead of underground parking, you have bike storage for your bike, especially when you live in Old Town. Old Town has plenty of places you can bike to. Instead of poor lighting, you have plenty of natural day-lighting, which is good. Because most people associate daylight with positive feelings.
There are only 8 unit of lofts in the building. Six of those are above ground and two units are below ground (lower level). All of the units feature a combination of energy efficiency design and products use come from natural and renewable sources.
image: flooring is beautiful recycle lumber [antique heart pine]
The renovation of the building is carefully designed by Mr. Cromley and his team. All the things you see inside, like bamboo cabinets (there is no bamboo cabinets on the market!), shoji screen, they are made in their shop. Cork tile installed in the laundry room act as sound insulator. They use recycle wood for flooring for units above and limestone floors for units below ground. One of the best features of this building - is the green roof or vegetated green roof.
image: Green Roof
Green roof is not common yet in our area. Despite the fact that Washington DC is the US capital around here -- buildings in our area are not there yet -- especially in residential buildings. There will be another condominium featuring green roof coming to the pipeline in 2008. However, when you look at Chicago. It is now the home to 200 green roofs covering 2.5 million square feet, more than any other U.S. city. Some of the benefits of green roofs include reduce heating and cooling loads, and reduce urban heat island effect. According to Bill Cromley, "..because the vegetation helps reduce the impact of direct sun, green roof actually helps extend the life span of the roof itself."
The lofts are listed from low-$535,000 to low-$600's for 2BR/ 2ba with 1200 s.f. of living space.
Westlee is recently completed mix-use TOD (transit-oriented-development) in East Falls Church. A low-rise building with first floor retail and condos from the second floor and up. Conveniently located -- minutes walk to East Falls Church metro station, easy access to DC via I-66, minutes to Tysons Corner and minutes walk to W&OD trail.
East Falls Church metro station will be the future transfer station for Orange line and Dulles Silver line metrorail system. The station will become sort of the "Metro Center" of Northern Virginia. That's why, there are plans for high-rises slated for around the station. [We'll talk more about this sometime].
All the units were sold out within days after opening a year ago before the trends shifted. Now twenty of these units are back on the market! Amenities and building features include, fitness center, social room/library with billiards table, fireplace, bar and catering kitchen. Controlled access to the building, parking garage.
Each unit comes modern living amenities: 9' ceilings, 10' ceilings and lofts on penthouse level, GE Profile stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, pre-wired for cable, satellite, high-speed Internet service, and multiple phone lines. Spacious kitchen with flex-track lighting and island workspaces. The one bedroom/ den starts from 855 to 875 s.f. The 2br and 2br+den has living area in the 1200 s.f to 1275 s.f. Even though, the living area not that big -- but, because it has 9' ceilings, it looks spacious.
The 1br/den homes, are priced from upper-$300's to low-$400's. The 2br, 2br+den homes, priced from mid-$500's to upper-500's. Two remaining units for 2br+den with 2.5 baths, priced in the low-$600's and low-$700's.
Mount Vernon Place, a transit-oriented and vertical urban communities in the mixed-use Mount Vernon Triangle area in DC. Build by the team of Quadrangle Development and the Wilkes Company. There will be a total of eleven buildings with a total of more than 2.1 million s.f. of office, residential and retail. The neighborhood is located off Massachusetts Avenue, where you see cranes everywhere.
THE BIG PICTURE
Via Mount Vernon Triangle.
Mount Vernon Triangle is the extraordinary mixed-use neighborhood now being developed in the heart of Washington, DC. It provides the rare opportunity to create a new 15-block neighborhood in the downtown area. New homes, offices and places to shop, eat and relax will arise from 30 acres of underutilized land. MVT is small enough for neighbors to get to know each other, yet large enough to have all of the shops and services which are essential to everyday living. It offers a friendly, small-town atmosphere in the center of one of the world's great cities.
The Sonata, is the first luxurious condominium for the neighborhood completed recently. Features include, 10'-6" ceilings, private roof decks, hardwood flooring. Granite countertops, stainless applliances in the kitchen.I haven't seen the actual units yet -- but, according to the sales rep, the view from here is amazing. It is overlooking the Capitol...
Condo Alert!! Only two (2) remaining residences for sale on the Penthouse level, 11th and 12th floors with stairs to roof deck. Priced from the-$800's.
Madrigal Lofts, is the second residential building in Mount Vernon Place under construction. This is a 12-story loft style condominium at the corner of Fourth and I Street, N.W. According to the information on the brochure, "this loft project designed by Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd., it has historical roots in the second half of the nineteenth century, when a design revolution took place, giving New York City its Cast Iron District..." Interesting.
The lofts features: 10' ceilings, exposed ductwork and open floor plan. You'll find granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring in the kitchen. Oversized closets, and bathroom feature ceramic tile, porcelain steel tubs and granite countertops.
There are different floor plans available. These homes priced from $365,900 to low-$400's for the one bedroom. The two bedroom homes starts from mid-$400's. Parking -- is available for purchase. In DC, you pay extra for a parking space. While in the burbs, parking is included. Delivery estimated around Nov/Dec of 2007.
Centerpointe is a new community of urban rowhomes in the heart of Fairfax. The project is under construction. It is one of new urban rowhomes or townhouses situated in the suburb of Washington DC. The location is close to -- shopping, dining, office parks and business centers. Easy access to major roads like I-66, Fairfax County Parkway, Route 50 and Route 29 (Lee Highway).
I think what's unique about this rowhomes is-- it has rooftop terrace and garage parking. Unlike many of the townhouses you see in town, most of them don't have rooftop terrace. Most likely it has a regular roof but not flat roof. A few development projects that I have seen lately, do offer rooftop terrace. All townhomes are three level with option to have a 4th level. All homes here will be modeled after Chicago rowhouse architectural style complete with alleys. Exterior features include concrete stoops with brick cheek walls and wrought-iron rails. On the interior, it's 9' ceilings throughout entry level, main level and upper level.
There are four model homes to choose from. Astor is on the low end of the price spectrum, while Colvin model is at the high end of the spectrum.
Astor (image: EYA)
Colvin (image: EYA)
Centerpointe is within minutes from Fairfax Corner (1 mi.), Fairfax Center (1.7 mi.), Fair Lakes Promenade (0.5 mi.), Fair Oaks Mall (0.5 mi.), East Market (1 mi.) and Fairfax Towne Center (0.2 mi.). The rowhomes are priced from mid-$500's to $1 million. First delivery is estimated in the Spring of 2007.
Turnberry Tower, one of the luxury condominium projects slated for Metropolitan Washington DC area, is about to begin construction. It looks like they have sold 25% of the units, because that is usually the requirement for a new development before they can even begin construction. There are only a handful of new condominiums in the price range in the area. Turnberry sits on the former Best Western hotel in Rosslyn. The hotel has been (partially) demolished. The tax record shows that the building was sold to 1881 Rosslyn Associates in 2002 for some $21.8 million, right after the original proposal for 176 luxury condos was approved in 2001, which later amended to its current position. That means, Turnberry has added more density to the project since its original approval.
Best Western demolition
Like the Watergate, this type of condominiums is not for the masses. Their market is people who are looking for the best of its class and don't mind
paying the price in exchange for convenience, luxury, security and
concierge services. The plan is to build 300ft. tall, 26 story of 337
condominium units that would include 4400 SF of retail.
The Tower offers one, two, three and four bedrooms. Floor plans depends on what floor the condos are. The higher the floor, the larger the condo units. There are three sections in the tower: Floor 2-18, floor 19-24 and Tower Suite and Penthouse Floor. The lower floors (2-18) has 12 condos from the smallest variation of 1BR/1.5ba (1500+ SF) and den to 2BR/ 2ba (2000+ SF) on each side of the wing. The larger units are the corner units. Floor 19-24 has 6 condos, while the higher floors gets 6 condos. It offers a mix of 2BRs to 3BRs above the 18th floor. Imagine this for a second... the largest 3BR/4.5ba has family room, great room, formal dining, and hobby room for a total area of 5,347 SF. That's like putting a single family home in one floor!
The condominiums at Turnberry, priced from low-$800's to over $4 million. Estimate delivery time early 2008.
Crossposted with Urban Trekker.
Take a look at Lorton Town Center. The Center is positioned well along I-95 and about a mile from the former prison.
Image: Lorton Town Center [Clark Realty]
According to Southeast Real Estate Business, [t]he development is comprised of two components -- 130,000 SF grocery anchored Lorton Marketplace Shopping Center and 124,000 SF lifestyle/ service oriented Lorton Town Center at the VRE station.
The lead developer in this case is KSI. Other developers like Engle Homes, Hovnanian are also working to build their homes in this center. A few of the new construction projects slated for the Town Center.
A new planned community of townhomes by KSI. The idea is to have residents live in a two-level townhomes (1221 SF-1372 SF) above of retail shops in Lorton Town Center. Okay, something different here. Features include 18' ceilings in living area and 9' ceilings throughout. Each home comes with granite countertops, ceramic tile in kitchen and baths, extra storage, WIC, a concierge service and two assigned parking spaces. Townhomes are priced from $400's.
Park Place at Lorton Town Center
A community of 251 condominiums right in the center of the Town Center. Each home offers unique features such as 9' ceilings, hardwood flooring and granite countertops. Community amenities include clubhouse, pool, fitness center, billiard room, business center, concierge and on-site manager. The homes are priced from upper-$200's to mid-$400's.
Condominiums at Laurel Highlands
What's unique about Laurel Highlands condos is the spaciousness of its living space. A 2 bedrooms/ 2 baths ranged from 1168 SF to 1361 SF. And a 2 bedrooms/ 2 baths with den ranged from 1500+ SF to 1700+ SF. Amenities include clubhouse, outdoor pool, 2 fitness centers, tot lots, walking trails and tennis courts. Homes are priced from the low-$300's to $400's.
The three communities are new constructions, if you are looking to check what's available on existing resale side, click here.
Midtown at Reston Town Center is the last residential development to rise squarely within the neighborhood. And it is the only development overlook the shops, restaurants, and park. The plan is to build eight mixed-use buildings around the square, of which one would be a high-rise rental. Conveniently located close to Dulles airport, within distance from the Town Center, near Dulles Tech corridor offices, and a short drive to Tysons Corner. The development is one of Silver Line hotspots. Reston Center will be so conveniently located near the proposed Silver Line station, Reston Parkway.
Sort of trendy these days to live above stores. In fact, Midtown East and West, are two mix use development with retails on the first floor and residential above the stores. Midtown Lofts is a 7-story lofts, another mixed-use. According to the source, these are true lofts with 11" ceilings, not two-level condominium loft. Though the option to live in a two-level lofts is available. I know it is confusing to you. Midtown East and West, a 21-story towers offer luxury residential living with services of a five star hotel, such as doorman and valet parking, elegant two-story lobby design with view to pool and patio, office service centeres, heated outdoor pool, two full-service guest suites when you have visiting family and friends in town, etc.
Delano 2BR/2BA Greatfalls 3BR/2BA
There are 145 residences in East, 148 residences in the West, 25 Penthouses and 78 lofts. East and West scheduled for completion August 2006, while delivery for Lofts in early 2007. About 90% of the Midtown East and West are sold. Midtown lofts still have some flexibility. In addition to these luxury condominiums, it also offers Penthouses of Midtown from 17-21floor with only five homes per floor. There are thirteen different floor plans to choose from. Home sizes ranging from approximately 850 to spacious 3000 SF (penthouses).
"Picture entering your home, with its dramatic 10' ceilings, tall window walls, and glass balconies with spectacular views of cityscapes and the Blue Ridge Mountains."
The advantages of living at Midtown is everything is within walking distance. Right now, you still need your car to get around town. There is no metro station around here yet. However, some years down the road when the second phase of Silver line finishes, you can ditch your vehicle (2015) by then :)
Developer will pay for first year membership dues to Midtown Club. The brochure says that it is an exclusive membership club with access to top golf and social clubs in the area and around the globe. Membership is your link in Miami, Austin, Hilton Head, Puerto Vallarta, Sydney and more.
Homes priced from $500's for one bedrooms, $600s for 2 bedrooms, and from $1.2 Million for Penthouses. Check for availability, here.