Real Estate

The Westlight Condos Are No Longer Making Buyers Line up Overnight

The Westlight. Rendering courtesy of Eastbanc.

You might remember the insanity that ensued in November when buyers camped out overnight to get first dibs on the Westlight condos under construction in DC’s West End. By instituting a first-come, first-served waitlist for the first units released for pre-sale, developer Eastbanc created a frenzy, with buyers’ agents paying line-standers up to $75 an hour to beat the competition. Daniel Heider, an agent with TTR Sotheby’s, ended up spending $2,000 on line-standers from Task Rabbit. (He won four of the condos.)

This week a second batch of 10 units was released for pre-sale, albeit much more quietly than the first round of 20. This time, there is no first-come, first-served rule. Buyers can simply make an offer and compete the usual way if there are multiple bidders. Westlight sales director Mei Mei Venners says the change in strategy is an effort to make the experience “more relaxed and enjoyable.” However, these 10 condos start at a significantly higher price point—$1.3 million and up— than the initial round, which started in the $600,000s. And some luxury buyers found the line-standing tactic gauche. Says TTR’s Heider: “They were turned off by that. They were like, ‘I’m not waiting in a line.'”

Nonetheless, Westlight has had no trouble selling. The building won’t be done until summer; there’s not even a model unit for potential buyers to to look at. But they can try on a pair of virtual reality goggles that immerses them in renderings of the building. Click here to virtually experience one of the condos, and here for the rooftop deck. (Videos by 18:25 Empreiteiros Digitais.)

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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.