Buyers are downsizing but ramping up on luxury with high-end, custom spaces.
CityCenterDC features custom designs, including fantastic luxury outdoor amenities that offer city views
The Washington, DC, condo market has seen a resurgence in the past few years with demand increasing at some never-before-seen paces. Looking back to May—a peak selling month—prices were up 5.1 percent for condos compared to 2013, yet single-family detached houses only went up 2.3 percent, according to the local multiple-listing service MRIS. However, all this demand for less living space doesn’t mean sacrificing luxury. Rather, developers have found ways to bring fine living into the smallest of homes, like those of empty nesters who are downsizing.
The Q Street residences’ triple-glazing and insulation allow for views without the street noise
The latest crown jewel to be added to DC’s high-end condo market is CityCenterDC (9th St. NW between H and I Streets, 202-232-2022). Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Eric Holder have purchased multimillion-dollar condos in this building, where luxury is evident everywhere—despite the fact that plans for one-bedrooms start at only 690 square feet. One of the principal architects on the project, Kirsten Scott of Foster + Partners, explains that elegance isn’t about size—it’s about the unique features within. “People walk into these spaces and know that no one can go into the Molteni & C Dada showroom and buy these kitchens. That level of tailoring and design is what appeals to the clientele,” she says. In addition to the custom-made kitchens, the luxe details touch on every aspect of how buyers will live in the space—with dressing rooms instead of closets, home office areas with subtly incorporated shelving for printers, scanners, etc., and tall windows that let sunlight stream in.
The penthouse at 1401 Q Street NW boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that expand a home using natural light
Natural light is a coveted feature for most buyers, but it’s usually one of the most challenging aspects for developers working in DC—especially when converting existing row houses into condos. Theo Adamstein, an agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty (202-285-1177), who previously cofounded Adamstein & Demetriou Architects, says developers use different styles for different ends of the house. To stay consistent with nearby homes, they preserve the front façade but install floor-to-ceiling windows in the rear, and exclusive homes can have triple glazing and high-quality insulation so the interior stays quiet. A two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath in the Q14 building near Logan Circle shows how floor-to-ceiling windows let in views without the street noise (1401 Q St. NW, PH 605, $1,799,000, listing agent: Alexander Venditti, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, 202-550-8872).
Downsizing doesn’t mean giving up on having lavish living space. As Adamstein says, many buyers, “swap something larger for something that is much more luxurious.”