Real estate sources confirm that Uber has signed a 10-year lease for 72,905 square feet at 1717 Rhode Island Ave., NW. Much of the building next to St. Matthew's Cathedral has been vacant since its primary tenant, law firm Heller Ehrman, went under back in 2008 leaving behind more than 80,000 square feet.
The news is interesting for two reasons. First, that building has proven particularly tough to lease. A mix of historic townhouses and new construction, brokers say potential tenants found the space odd and had difficulty envisioning ways to reconfigure it. "Everybody had walked through that space," says one broker. "Your typical Washington tenant wants efficient floor plates and glass. I think a technology firm looks for funky. The typical Washington tenant does not."
Maybe it's a San Francisco thing. Like Heller Ehrman was, Uber is headquartered in the City by the Bay, where it's also apparently looking to expand.
The other interesting part of the news is that Uber only moved into its current offices at Connecticut and Florida avenues, NW last year. The company has yet to respond to requests for comment, so it's unclear at this point whether Uber will be leaving behind its current digs, or simply adding to them with the new space. We will update when we learn more.
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Ajah and Rajah (above) are both from Centreville. "Ajah is a four-year-old mix. Her father is a Staffordshire terrier, and her mama is a boxer/pit bull mix. Ajah is a lover and her name means 'come here' in Hindi as she was not listening to her [first] first name. Rajah means 'Prince' in Hindi. Raja was acquired to give Ajah company during the day while I am at work—literally a pet for my pet—little did I know he would be so cute."
"This is my guinea pig, Mr. Mustache. My wife and I adopted Mr. Mustache from the Washington Humane Society last December. Mr. Mustache lives with his humans on the border of the Adams Morgan/U Street neighborhoods. He loves catching sun in the safety of his pigaloo, munching on lettuce and carrots, and cuddling with humans."
Days on market: 1.
Bragging points: Six bedrooms, five baths, new eat-in kitchen, Brazilian hardwood floors.
Who: Bought by Stuart Barr, a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells.
Days on market: 16.
Style: Contemporary condo.
Bragging points: Four bedrooms, five baths, floor-to-ceiling windows, two private balconies; located just off the Potomac, with southern and western river views.
Who: Sold by socialite and philanthropist Susan Carmel Lehrman.
Days on market: 348.
Bragging points: Six bedrooms, nine baths, on more than 2½ acres; recently renovated, with swimming pool and home gym.
Who: Sold by Allan Holt, a managing director at the Carlyle Group.
Days on market: 60.
Bragging points: Seven bedrooms, nine baths, tennis court, pool; a 200-year-old log cabin is a part of the home.
Who: Bought by Gordon O’Brien,an executive at the investment firm American Capital.
Days on market: 12.
Bragging points: Six bedrooms, nine baths, home theater, gym, library.
Who: Sold by Teresa Gendron, chief financial officer of the holding company Leucadia National Corporation.
Days on market: 483.
Where: Aldie (in Loudoun County).
Style: French country.
Bragging points: Five bedrooms, seven baths, elevator, library, sunroom; in a gated community with concierge services.
Who: Bought by a trustee of Allen Wise, previously CEO of Coventry Health Care.
Some sales information provided by American City Business Leads and Diana Hart of TTR Sotheby International Realty. Sales listed were the most expensive of those with publicly available details.
This article appears in the March 2015 issue of Washingtonian.
It doesn't feel like it, but spring truly (hopefully?) is finally approaching—and we've got some wisdom on how to get your outdoor spaces ready. Chris Lambton, host of HGTV's Yard Crashers, is in town this weekend for the Capital Remodel & Garden Show at the Dulles Expo Center, where he'll make appearances today and tomorrow. But luckily for us, he took some time to share a little expert advice right here.
Washington is currently freezing—is there anything we should be doing to protect our yards from the elements?
I'm from Cape Cod. I think my house is under four feet of snow. The good news is Mother Nature is smarter than us. When it comes to protecting our plants, snow is the best thing. Snow acts as an insulation layer from the cold. It protects the plants, and protects the roots. And snow is the poor man's fertilizer because there's nitrogen in rain, like there is in fertilizer. All this snow will actually be beneficial for our plants.
The one thing that the cold and wind and snow do hurt are branches, but you should take care of that in the fall. Get your plants pruned properly and cut back the ornamental grasses, so they aren't damaged by wind.
Looking ahead to warmer weather—what are your favorite trends for outdoor spaces for 2015?
One of my favorite ones is edible gardens. This is one that works whether you're in a small condo or have a large backyard, whether you do it with potted plants or with a nice raised garden. A lot of my clients are even tearing up chunks of grass [to make room for edible gardens]. They'd rather use their water on rows of basil and lettuce, instead of wasting resources on just having a yard that looks green. You can still have some lawn, and then use the rest of the yard to basically become an urban farmer.
Another one is outdoor entertaining. You can use the backyard and double or even triple the size of your house. They make couches, rugs, pillows that you can leave outside. You can literally have everything from the indoors, outdoors. You can sit outside on the weekend on a couch in your backyard and really take advantage of the warm weather.
Where do you go for inspiration when you're dreaming up a design for a client's outdoor space?
That's a tough question. What I like to do is talk to the client. It's gotta be personal. It's your space. I'd ask what you like to do outside. You're big into cooking? Okay, let's do a big dining room table, lots of seating, and an outdoor kitchen. Whatever your style is inside—if you're very modern—we can pull from that and have it flow from inside to outside. I take my inspiration from the people I'm working for. At the end of the day, they're the ones living back there.
Since we can't all hire you, what are some quick and inexpensive ways that people can easily update their own yards?
One of the cheapest things that makes your yard look beautiful is mulch. If you do a nice edge between your lawn and planting beds, and put down a four-inch layer of mulch, it looks beautiful, it smells nice, and it acts as compost for your plants. I like to spread it before the perennials and flowers start popping up, so when you're walking through and spreading, you're not stepping on tulips. The plants will fight right through it, and pop up. The mulch keeps down weeds and helps keep your plants moist, so you won't have to water as much.
Are there any landscape trends that you really dislike or think have been overdone?
I don't like going into a backyard and having it closed in. When people renovate their houses now, they tend to go for open concept. They like to knock down walls and open things up. I don't like to then go into a backyard and have, like, a deck with railings all the way around it, or a patio with walls around it, so you feel enclosed in the space. I like walking into a yard that flows just like your house would flow. Think about that when you design your yard. If you need railings on your deck, maybe just put them on a couple sides, and maybe have deep steps on one side that can double as seating. There are tricks to keeping your area open.
Finally, for those of us who watch Yard Crashers and can't believe how quickly those transformations happen, what's it really like when you're doing a yard crash? How do you possibly get it all done in time?
Yard Crashers is two days of just craziness. I have a crew of 10 to 15 people. The homeowners have 10 to 15 people. If you can think about organized chaos in a backyard, that's what's happening. You have 25, 30 people dancing around each other, working on a multitude of projects all at once. Talk about a rush for two days. You start at 7 a.m., and that first night we go to 10 or 11. The next day, you're back at it at 6 a.m. working until 4 or 5. It does happen in two days, but it's insane.
There's a ton of planning that goes into it. When you only have two days, you gotta make sure the deliveries are right on time—when the demo dumpster leaves at 10:15, we need base rock delivery. At 1:15, concrete comes. Everything has to be planned out and orchestrated perfectly. If something is delayed, it's a domino affect. What goes along with that is the building permits. Wherever you go, there are different building permits and laws, so you have to do your research and make sure everyone knows that's going on. You don't want the building inspector to come by and say, "hey, wait, you can't build a pergola in this neighborhood." Some smooth talking goes into it as well—you definitely have to take some pictures with some people and invite them back for the party when it's all done!
At 4,314 square feet, this penthouse is on the petite side for being one of Washington’s most expensive listings. But its location at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown easily explains the price. Floor-to-ceiling windows that offer scenic views of the Potomac, massive walk-in closets, an in-home fitness center, and marble flooring all contribute to putting this condo a notch above the rest. It comes with a 24-hour concierge, too, so you could argue that you're also getting a personal butler for that nearly $7 million price tag—sort of.
3150 South St., NW #PH1D is listed at $6.795 million. Take a peek inside below, then go to TTR Sotheby’s International Realty for the complete listing.
Renovations to this four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Brightwood rowhouse have given it a modern look and feel. Light hardwood floors, coffered ceilings in the living room, an elegant gas fireplace, granite countertops, and designer tiles in the kitchen lend the place a hip, fresh-from-the-catalogue aesthetic, while the exposed brick and slanted ceilings on the upper floor nod to the home’s original character. Other perks: the wet bar in the basement, the gorgeous showers, and the dedicated parking space out back.
425 Marietta Pl., NW, is listed at $609,900. Take a peek inside below, then head over to Regenti Realty LLC for the complete listing.
The closest most of us will get to the Oscars is watching them on TV at home come Sunday. But some Washingtonians take that idea to new heights thanks to outrageous home theaters. From plush stadium seating to projector screens and surround sound, these in-house cinemas have our vote.
Kena (above) is a medium-energy American Staffordshire/Border Collie mix who's ready to find a lap to call her own. She may seem a little timid at first, but give her a minute to warm up and she'll turn on the affection. At three years old, Kena is a more mature lady, so you don't have to worry about dealing with a hyper puppy. She is part of the WHS PACK (People and Animals Cardio Klub) program and does enjoy going on runs, but she is also happy to just hang out by your side after a good walk. You can meet Kena at the Washington Humane Society's New York Avenue Adoption Center.
Addie is a mixed breed, most likely a boxer mixed with an Australian shepherd or retriever. She is about two years old and weighs 45 to 50 pounds. Addie is a very happy, loving girl. She loves other dogs and loves to play. She's fine with cats and seems like she would be great with small children. She is doing very well with leash training and has learned simple commands; she is very trainable. She's not a barker and is not rowdy. You can meet her through K-9 Lifesavers.
Studley is a little Chihahua/feist mix. He is quite small, under 25 pounds, and is somewhere between four and six years old. He is a very sweet boy who is a little shy at first, but when he warms up, he's fun and spunky He is great with other dogs and is currently in a foster home with cats and hasn't had any problems. He is a big snuggler and loves his people. Studley has Cushing's disease, but it is easily controlled with oral meds, and he's totally worth the extra bit of care! You can meet him through K-9 Lifesavers.
Culpepper Kitty is a handsome two-year-old boy. He's smart, outgoing, and loving, and his hobbies include exploring, climbing, playing with toys, and learning new tricks. He also enjoys cuddles on the couch and being petted. He’d love a family to entertain, and be entertained by. You can meet him at the Washington Animal Rescue League.
In honor of this week’s Westminster win by a beagle, the Washington Animal Rescue League has chosen Dolah as their pet of the week. She may not have a champion pedigree, but she certainly is cute. Although timid, Dolah is very sweet and just needs someone to shower her with love and boost her confidence. She likes other dogs and might benefit from the company of an easygoing canine companion. Because Dolah can get scared in new situations, she needs to be kept on a leash when out and about. And to be honest, she’d be just as happy hanging out on the sofa at home with you. At seven years old, Dolah qualifies as a “Boomers’ Buddy,” which means her adoption fee will be waived for adopters 50 years or older.
Peaches is an adorable beagle who weighs about 30 pounds and is about two years old. She loves getting petted, having her belly rubbed, and playing with sticks. She plays well with other dogs, too. She is mostly house-trained and working on her basic commands, but has already perfected "fetch." She's a sweet-natured dog, has the ideal appetite for both playtime and relaxing, and would be a lovely addition to any family. For more information, visit the Rural Dog Rescue website.
Lina is the sweetest hound mix who is quite possibly the perfect dog. She is very affectionate and calm, and is happiest snuggling on the bed or couch. She is house-trained, although, as with any dog, she may need a refresher in a new environment. She's very gentle, but also loves playing with other dogs. She would make the perfect addition to any family. For more information, visit the Rural Dog Rescue website.
This five-bedroom, six-bathroom home went on the market in May for the first time in 30 years. The 1933 residence may feel more suited to Snow White and her seven dwarves than a well-heeled Washington family, but fans of Tudor architecture will love the house’s hand-hewn beamed ceilings, large fireplaces, Gothic arched doorways, and ivy-covered brick exterior. Located just east of Embassy Row, the home overlooks Woodland-Normanstone Terrace Park and has plenty of sculpted green space out back, including a courtyard with a porte-cochère entrance. A home gym, a professional-grade kitchen, and a coffered ceiling in the library all add to the luxury of this supersize fairy tale cottage.
2728 32nd St., NW is listed at $7.5 million. Take a peek inside below, then head to Washington Fine Properties for the complete listing.