Real Estate

That Yoga Studio in Your High End Condo? It’ll Cost You Thousands.

Doggie spas, fitness studios, and other luxe apartment amenities don’t come cheap.
Photographs by Andrew Propp.

Practically every new apartment building in Washington touts posh amenities—dog parks, rooftop pools, fitness centers (never gyms!), even “tranquility gardens” (at Station House in the H Street corridor) and Apple-outfitted co-working space (at the Bartlett in Pentagon City). The apartments themselves can start to feel like an afterthought—but don’t assume those extra perks are included in the rent.

Photographs by Andrew Propp, Photograph of living room courtesy of The Hepburn.
Photograph of living room courtesy of The Hepburn. Photograph of yoga room by Andrew Propp.

Whether or not you’ll use the on-site spin studio, expect to pay extra for it. In most local buildings, says William Rich of the real-estate research firm Delta Associates, the annual amenity fee runs from $300 to $500.

Of course, not every building is typical. The Hepburn, a 195-unit development on the grounds of the Washington Hilton near Dupont Circle, charges $1,000. Tenants with pets also pay a nonrefundable $750 per animal. (Standard pet deposits are $250 to $500.)

A rooftop reflecting pool, photographs by Andrew Propp.

With monthly rents from $2,400 for a 450-square-foot studio to $15,500 for a 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom, the Hepburn is pushing into new territory for Washington’s rental market. Mark Rivers, senior vice president of its developer, Lowe Enterprises, says ultra-luxury apartments are largely untested in DC, but he anticipates attracting a mix of professional couples, foreign diplomats, and empty-nesters. The District’s most comparable building, the Woodley, opened two years ago with rents up to $12,000. It’s nearly full.

If residents can't fit their wine collections in their own kitchens, they can reserve one of the Hepburn's climate-controlled wine lockers.
If residents can’t fit their wine collections in their own kitchens, they can reserve one of the Hepburn’s climate-controlled wine lockers. Photographs courtesy of The Hepburn.

Since the Hepburn’s August 1 opening, 17 units have been leased. What will their occupants get for that amenity fee? A communal rooftop with fireplaces, grills, cabanas, shuffleboard, monument views—and the pleasure of looking at those vistas through a pair of vintage naval ship binoculars that cost $32,000. There’s also a fitness center, library, and dog-grooming room. A concierge can arrange services such as a vet who makes house calls, art and wine consultations, and catered picnic baskets, but all of those cost extra. As do access to private wine storage, an outdoor movie-watching lounge, and a pool you can swim in, because the “reflecting pool” on the roof is only a few inches deep. Taking a real dip requires going to the Hilton next door, where memberships cost $1,100 a season. But Rivers promises that a discount is being worked out for Hepburn residents.

The Price Tag on Perks

Not all amenity fees are created equal. Here’s what you’ll pay with a 12-month lease at five of Washington’s swankiest new buildings, each of which comes with the requisite pool, fitness center, and pet-friendly features.

tomatoplant

Pallas at Pike & Rose: $0

11550 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda

More perks: Soundproof music rooms, private garden plots.

pizzaoven

The Bartlett: $500

520 12th St. S., Arlington

More perks: Private Whole Foods entrance, outdoor pizza oven.

bocce

Station House: $600

701 Second St., NE

More perks: Tranquility garden, bocce court, giant Jenga.

lotusflower

The Woodley: $750

2700 Woodley Rd., NW

More perks: Meditation gardens, full-size outdoor kitchens.

pool_2

The Hepburn: $1,000

1901 Connecticut Ave., NW

More perks: Billiards room, wine bar, business center.

 This article appears in our September 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.