Real Estate

As Interest in Luxury DC Apartments Soars, Developers Are Competing to Offer the Most Extravagant Amenities Possible

Forget about rooftop pools. Some apartments are offering spas, sport simulators, and woodworking shops.

The exterior of 10K, with the Tesla that residents can rent. Photograph courtesy of 10K.

When moving to a luxury apartment building in the DC area, one already expects certain bougie accouterments: amenities like rooftop pools and dry cleaning services and peaceful yoga studios that maybe once seemed over-the-top are now just run-of-the-mill when you’re paying $2,000 for a studio.

So what’s a luxury apartment to do to set itself apart from all the other luxury apartments dotting the Washington horizon? Well, up the ante, of course. This has resulted in something of a high-end arms race between developers to see who can offer the most enticing perks for would-be residents.

All this comes as luxury apartments are seeing leasing numbers skyrocket in the DC area, according to a report from Delta Associates, an authority on local commercial real estate. This is after luxury apartments took a hit during Covid (and rethought amenities) as folks veered away from large buildings filled with people, leading to more vacancies, slashed rents, and discounts. But as people begin to feel more comfortable around others again (and as some likely return to DC from living elsewhere during Covid), the combination of lower rents and discounts—plus, you know, all the bougie stuff—has drawn them back to lux apartment life.

All this to say: Luxury apartments are in high demand again, and they’re trying to out-offer the competition. Here are some buildings in the area with especially bonkers amenities:

10K Hill South

This high-end apartment building officially launched last summer, where rent on a one-bedroom runs in the low $2,000s. All the 305 units come with oak floors, marble bathroom floors, and at least nine-foot ceilings, but the real selling point is the 40,000 square-feet of amenities: Of course, there’s a rooftop infinity pool with views of the Capitol and Washington monument, as well as plenty of lounge and event spaces. But, on the main floor, residents also have access to a large coworking area with soundproof phone booths, conference rooms, and office supplies. And off the coworking space is a speakeasy just for renters, where the building plans to host cocktail events with local bartenders (residents can also rent the space for events, and the building’s lifestyle director will help you secure glassware and booze).

10K’s coworking space. Photograph courtesy of 10K.
The speakeasy. Photograph courtesy of 10K.

On the club level, you’ll find a two-lane bowling alley (complete with bowling shoes), a karaoke area with a stage and piano, a photo booth, arcade games, a ping-pong table, and darts.

The bowling alley. Photograph courtesy of 10K.
The indoor lap pool and spa. Photograph courtesy of 10K.

The space also has an indoor lap pool and spa area with infrared, dry heat, and steam saunas, as well as a massage room where folks can either bring their personal masseuse or book one via the building. There’s also a full gym curated by Equinox, with SoulCycle bikes, workout classes, chilled towels, and a full-sized indoor basketball court. Oh, there’s also an in-house Tesla that you can rent, too.

Crossing

This lux spot also in, yep, Navy Yard, started leasing units in its phase one section last fall, and plans to have its phase two apartments ready to go by the end of the year. In the library off its entrance lobby, residents can push aside a hidden door to find a series of sound-proofed rooms with equipment to record music and podcasts. Also nearby are a soundproofed movie-screening room, a coworking area and conference rooms, riser-like seating for speaker series, and a gym with Pelotons where folks can take workout classes or book personal training.

The entrance to the gym. Photograph courtesy of Crossing.

The space also has a kids’ play room stocked with story books and toys; a meditation room; a club room with pool tables, foosball, and shuffleboard; a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Capitol; and a dog run and pet spa (the building also works with an outside partner to provide pet grooming and walking).

The children’s room. Photograph courtesy of Crossing.
The spa. Photograph courtesy of Crossing.
A treatment room in the spa. Photograph courtesy of Crossing.

But perhaps most striking is the full, 6,000 square-foot spa: Residents descend down a dramatic staircase to a heated lap pool with underwater speakers, with a nearby cold plunge pool and a jacuzzi. A wall of flickering candles leads to a fireplace at the end of the room. There’s also a sauna and treatment rooms, where folks can use the in-house hydro-massage bed or book a traditional massage. (The building is also thinking about bringing in a facialist, too.)

The Highlands

This development in Rosslyn consists of three separate residence towers: two apartment buildings, Aubrey and Evo, and the condominium tower Pierce. While Aubrey and Pierce are currently open, Evo is expected to be ready for move-ins next month. One-bedrooms at Pierce are on the market in the $900,00 range, while one-bedrooms at Aubrey and Evo start around $2,300 a month.

The treehouse-like kids’ room at Evo. Rendering courtesy of Penzance.
The aqua spa. Rendering courtesy of Penzance.
The sport simulator. Rendering courtesy of Penzance.
The rooftop pool, along with the two-story waterfall. Rendering courtesy of Penzance.

Aubrey has many of the amenities one would expect at a luxury apartment—a rooftop pool, an exhibition kitchen, a coworking area, a high-end gym—and Pierce has a two-story fitness center. But Evo’s amenities are especially bougie. Think a 65-foot-long rooftop pool flanked by a two-story waterfall (Evo shares this with Pierce), a rock-climbing wall, a multi-sport simulator where you can play virtual tennis or soccer, an “aqua spa” (developer-speak for lap pool), a treehouse-like playroom for kids, and a sports bar with a dart alley.

Faraday Park

This 407-unit Reston complex consists of two towers—the west tower began leasing to residents earlier this year, whereas the east tower (where the amenities are located) will be open to residents in a few weeks. A one-bedroom starts in the $1,800 range, and will get you many amenities similar to other luxury apartment buildings: a rooftop pool, a dog spa, and a high-end workout center.

The exterior of Faraday Park. Rendering courtesy of Faraday Park.
The DIY space. Rendering courtesy of Faraday Park.
The dog spa. Rendering courtesy of Faraday Park.

But, because this is 2021, Faraday will also offer residents a “makers’ space,” aka a DIY and woodworking shop with high-top seating, work stations, tool kits, power tools, and craft supplies. The building also has a lightbox room with studio-quality lighting, two commercial baking kitchens, and a bike repair room available to residents.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.