There’s nothing groundbreaking about new, high-end DC apartments touting amenities you’d find in a luxury hotel. Rooftop pools, 24-hour concierge service, fitness centers, and coworking areas are all pretty standard these days. But maybe no rental building has come closer to blurring the hotel/apartment line than Novel South Capitol in Navy Yard, which was completed in October. The development has all the perks listed above, but in addition, its main lobby connects to restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang’s latest venture, ABC Pony—and there are plans to make room service from the restaurant available to building residents.
“We think that’s the future—the blending of residential and hospitality and office,” says Steve Etminani, principal of RCP Development, which co-developed Novel South Capitol with Crescent Communities. For the lobby, Etminani says he gleaned some inspiration from the Apollo, the H Street apartment complex whose lobby is attached to a Wydown coffee shop. “But that’s just coffee. We’re taking it to the next level.”
Etminani says there are also plans to implement a tab system, so residents can charge purchases at ABC Pony to their units, the way hotel guests can charge meals to their rooms. Because ABC Pony just opened last week, Novel is still working on setting up the tab and room-service options, according to a spokeswoman, though residents do already get a 10-percent discount at the restaurant.
The 539-unit, two-tower development has another hotel-like feature that Etminani hopes will set it apart: rentable indoor/outdoor event space. The rooftop venue has views of the Capitol dome, parties there will be catered by ABC Pony, and anyone—not just building residents—can rent it. Etminani says he envisions fundraisers, book signings, and other political events being held there, given the building’s proximity to the Hill. In hindsight, though, he says, “If we were staring this process today, I would try to get it to be a rooftop bar which would make the building even more hotel-like.”
Here’s a look inside the event space.
And here’s a look inside ABC Pony.