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It’s part of the development’s “wine programming.” By Michelle Thomas
A rendering of the Lauren's wine lounge.

Master Sommelier Jarad Slipp.

When the Lauren’s 29 luxury condos went on the market last fall, the Bethesda development raised eyebrows with a record-setting price tag of $10.5 million for its penthouse apartment. Of course, the pricey place offered a long list of lavish amenities—not least of which included a private, climate-controlled wine locker and access to the building’s shared wine lounge.

Clearly the development has its sights set on oenophiles. Last week, the Lauren appointed a Sommelier in Residence, which will complement the development’s “wine programming.” And the hire isn’t a no-name, either: It’s Jarad Slipp, one of only three Master Sommeliers in the DC area, and one of just 219 that have been inducted in 40 years worldwide. Currently the estate director at Fauquier county's RdV Vineyards, Slipp’s resume also includes a five-year stint at CityZen.

As Sommelier in Residence, Slipp will advise aficionados on growing their wine collections through custom consultations that will take into account personal taste, food pairing, and collection valuation, and he’ll be available quarterly for on-site tastings and workshops set to take place in the 1,500-square foot wine lounge.

Condo buyers will also snag a yearlong membership to the RdV Ambassadors program, which includes specialty vintages, invites to winery events, private tastings at the vineyard, and an assortment of limited releases that will await their arrival on move-in day.

Sound appealing? You'll have to shell out—the three condos currently on the market cost as much as $4.845 million.

Posted at 01:35 PM/ET, 05/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Enviable design in 600 square feet. By Michelle Thomas

Tiny apartments are notoriously hard to master when it comes to good interior design. But this 600-square-foot Dupont studio—in a historic Wardman building on 17th Street—makes the most of its compact footprint by loading up on cool details, including 10-foot ceilings, original hardwood floors and moldings, and a recently renovated modern kitchen, plus an enviable approach to small-space decor. Apparently the current owner is an architect, which perhaps explains the design cred and creative, clean-lined aesthetic.

1514 17th St NW #305 is listed for $249,900. Take a peek inside below, then go to DCRE Residential for more details.

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Posted at 01:31 PM/ET, 05/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Affordable-ish apartments in one of the city’s priciest neighborhoods. By Michelle Thomas
Live in this beautiful 1925 Beaux Arts building in Kalorama for $569,000.

Though Kalorama may be best known for some majorly luxe mansions—this $5.95 million stunner comes to mind—ambassador-worthy estates aren't the only way to get a place with the neighborhood's signature Beaux Arts beauty. Here, three under-$600,000 condos that feature plenty of historic charm:

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 05/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Pretty and petite. By Michelle Thomas

While this city has no shortage of beautiful million-dollar homes, finding a charming place for under $500,000 can prove a particular challenge. So this condo—a petite 600-square-foot one-bedroom in the historic Altamont building in Kalorama—stands out, combining gorgeous period detailing that includes high ceilings, decorative moldings, and large casement windows with thoughtfully chosen updates such as refinished white oak floors, a modern kitchen, and an especially chic bathroom designed with dramatic high-glossy black paint, white subway tiling, and shiny chrome fixtures. Bonus features: New in-unit laundry appliances installed last year, wifi-enabled AC, a parking spot, and access to the building’s rentable roof deck and historic reception room.

1901 Wyoming Ave. NW #26 is listed at $434,950. Take a look inside below, then go to Washington Fine Properties for the complete details.

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Posted at 12:44 PM/ET, 04/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Move over, schoolhouses. By Michelle Thomas
Georgetown's Alexander Hall.

In recent years, it seemed like every DC developer was busy converting an out-of-use historic schoolhouse into luxury condos. The Gage School turned into Parker Flats. Georgetown’s Wormley School became high-end Wormley Row. On Capitol Hill, the Edmonds, Pierce, and Lovejoy schoolhouses all were upcycled into chic apartments. And so on—at last count, there are at least ten of these transformations around town.

Perhaps they've run out of old schools, because we've moved into the next phase of repurposed real estate: Churches. Two weeks ago we showed you this old Howard County church that was rehabbed into the headquarters for an interior design firm. Last week this Georgetown Tudor, once a neighborhood chapel, hit the market in its new iteration as a multi-million-dollar residence. And then there are two new projects that are still in the works: In Capitol Hill, a former Art Deco church constructed in 1941 by the Salvation Army is part of a project dubbed Cambridge Row, which features petite condos—some as tiny as 264 square feet—outfitted with contemporary amenities such as wide-plank hardwoods, high-gloss cabinets, and quartz counters. Over in Georgetown is Alexander Hall, which will restore and convert the 1908 Alexander Memorial Baptist Church into a trio of über-luxe apartments set to deliver in the fall—and which will include such high-end detailing as open-tread staircases, whitewashed hardwood floors, top-of-the-line appliances, and Porcelanosa tiling. The three-bedroom condos start at $2.5 million. Still unknown is whether the developer will need divine intervention to snag those prices.

Capitol Hill's Cambridge Row.

Posted at 12:06 PM/ET, 03/31/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Lots of marble. Zero clutter. By Michelle Thomas

You’d have to be a pretty devoted minimalist to live in this Georgetown condo. Über-contemporary with a super-slick design and exacting viewpoint, this austere one-bedroom penthouse was renovated by Schlesinger Associate Architects for owner Bruno Lassus a few years back, and the finished product spotlights sleek, cool expanses of Calcutta marble, clear and frosted glass walls, and rare wood accents, combined with sculptural architecture that includes a striking marble staircase and impressive biofuel fireplace. Top-of-the-line contemporary finishes complement the modern feel—the condo is outfitted with a Bulthaup kitchen, Alessi and Waterworks bath fixtures, Lutron lighting, and Bang & Olufsen audio. Our favorite part: That incredible glass-enclosed soaking tub. Check your modesty at the door.

1045 31st St NW is listed at $2.5 million. Look inside below, then go to TTR Sotheby’s for more details.

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Posted at 11:27 AM/ET, 03/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Four levels—and lots of glass. By Michelle Thomas

At 4,500 square feet, with four levels, five bedrooms, and four and a half baths, this penthouse-level condo in the Ventana building at Penn Quarter’s Ninth and F streets, Northwest, easily dwarfs most of the city’s slender rowhouses. But sheer size isn’t the only draw. It’s also a high-style place, with a playful approach to contemporary design that’s surprising and striking, if perhaps unconcerned with privacy—the corner unit boasts walls of glass in most of its rooms, including the master bathroom. The condo’s cool glass perimeter and custom steel fireplace contrast with the touches of organic warmth from cerused-white-oak floors and cabinetry, a wood-paneled entryway wall, and a raw-edge oak dining table.

Other highlights include Caesarstone counters, high-end Miele appliances, and a built-in entertainment center on the first floor; on upper levels (accessed by the floating stairway with laser-cut decorative rails—or by the elevator), there’s a custom built-in floating desk in the office, a children’s playroom with a full-wall mural and retractable partition, an entertaining area with a wine bar and full-size wine refrigerator, a “green lounge,” and an outdoor terrace on the rooftop. The master suite’s crown jewel is the insanely spacious bathroom, with a spa-like feel and an enormous Calcutta marble soaking tub, plus dual vanities pushed up against the glass. 

The condo is listed at $4.5 million. Take a peek below, then go to Central Properties for the complete tour.

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Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 07/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What we’d buy with $1.345 million. By Michelle Thomas

Regardless of how you might feel about the recent trend toward splitting old Victorian rowhouses into multiple units, this one—on Riggs Place in Dupont—comes close to sophisticated perfection. Light and airy, with just the right touches of historic detail, this condo is the two-story penthouse in a four-story home that dates to 1916. Lock 7 Development transformed the place into its current iteration, featuring knockout design choices such as dark hardwood floors, elegant moldings and medallions along the walls and ceilings, big picture windows, and a gorgeously intricate (closed-off, but still!) fireplace mantel in the open-layout living area. Off the upstairs bedrooms—there are three—is a two-level private deck overlooking the city skyline. It’s listed at $1.345 million. Take a quick peek below, then go to Lindsay Reishman Real Estate for more (or check it out in person Saturday at the open house).

 

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Posted at 01:44 PM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The minimum cost of entry: $3 million. By Michelle Thomas
Renderings courtesy of EastBanc.

Another day, another über-luxe condo development: Sales for the seven residences in Georgetown’s still-under-construction, canal-facing condo development—dubbed 1055 High after the pre-1895 name of Wisconsin Avenue—started yesterday. Built with an eye toward evoking the historical architecture of the neighborhood while infusing the design with modern-industrial details, the building boasts some pretty lavish-looking amenities, such as a garden roof terrace with a 45-foot pool and a glass-enclosed rooftop fitness center. The private residences are huge—all three or four bedrooms units of up to 4,300 square feet—and feature private terraces or balconies, walls of windows that overlook the C&O Canal, Georgetown, and garden views, and two garage parking spots each. Naturally, the prices reflect the luxuries: The condos start at $3 million and range up to more than $5 million for the corner penthouse. They’re slated to be ready for a late fall move-in. Check out the just-released renderings below, then head to the development’s website for more details.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 05/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s the first riverfront residential project in Alexandria this century. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph by Thomas Arledge of thomasarledge.com.

Starting early next month, the newly minted residents of Old Town’s brand-new Oronoco development begin moving in to the waterfront building, which houses 60 high-end units, about 80 percent of which have already sold­—starting at $1.5 million and working all the way up to $4 million. Developed by Bethesda’s EYA and designed by architecture firm Shalom Baranes, the six-story construction is the renovation of a former office building, and the redo has created units of up to 3,500 square feet that include such luxe detailing as floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, fireplaces, wet bars and wine coolers, soaking tubs in the baths, and huge private terraces. As for the building amenities? They include the basics, such as round-the-clock concierge and security, plus bonus features like a pool, fitness center and yoga room, children’s playroom, meeting room, and dog-washing station. All of the condos include two garage spaces and a storage room. We snagged an exclusive first glimpse inside the new condos—click through the slideshow to scope it out.

A rendering of the finished Oronoco condo development along the Potomac in Alexandria.

Posted at 11:20 AM/ET, 05/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()