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thrownjunk t1_j6mopxs wrote

Look, there are plenty of older apts in Cleveland Park, Cathedral Heights, and even Kalorama that are bigger and cheaper than these new builds in Noma. They just don’t have fancy game rooms and in unit laundry (usually in the basement).


GenericReditAccount t1_j6mrv9r wrote

I haven’t looked at apartments in quite a while, but I remember those nice, big, older rentals on the market in NW. Way more character in those buildings too.

We were never “fancy” new building people, but once you taste in unit laundry, there’s no going back.


FreemanCantJump t1_j6mvpif wrote

You can probably tell by my Navy Yard flair, but in unit laundry is way up my list and character is way down it.


Docile_Doggo t1_j6nlnk9 wrote

Older buildings that have been renovated to include modern appliances/features are the best of both worlds


firewarner t1_j6ndujw wrote

Character is such an interesting euphemism for older. In 25 years all the newer apartments now will have "character"


GenericReditAccount t1_j6okgfm wrote

I’m not sure that’s true. Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it has character or is worth hanging onto. In 25 years, the paper mache apt buildings of this decade will likely be worse for wear and no more desirable than they are today.


CriticalStrawberry t1_j6pa6y2 wrote

DC isn't really building any of the 5 over 1 apartments that you're referring to by "paper mache". That's more of a suburban thing. The luxury apartments going up all around the city are concrete, brick, and steel and will likely stand the test of time just fine.

The 5 over 1 stick built complexes popping up along the fringes of downtowns across the US? Yeah those will be trash in less than a decade.


Snow_source t1_j6nee6l wrote

> We were never “fancy” new building people, but once you taste in unit laundry, there’s no going back.

It's not that hard to find a building that's older with in-unit laundry.

The last two apartments I've been in had them. They're in a laundry closet next to the HVAC system, which is just fine for a 1br.

I'll take 4 years of no rent increases over a shiny new building any day of the week.


GenericReditAccount t1_j6oj91a wrote

Agreed. We were in Camden Roosevelt for about a decade, which is a nice old building with in unit laundry, but didn’t have a modern vibe, a dog park, or a rooftop. The rent control was key to our survival for a long time!


OhHowIMeantTo t1_j6p4e7h wrote

Ah yeah without that rent control if you're a new resident, the rent is insanely expensive. It's also been completely remodeled if you haven't been there recently.


GenericReditAccount t1_j6pd1p1 wrote

We left right before the remodel began. We’ve been back once since, for a birthday party, and I’m not sure how I feel about the new vibe. I also understand I’m no longer the target demographic though. 🤷‍♂️


walkallover1991 t1_j6mz20t wrote

There always seems to be a lot less maintenance-related issues in the older buildings, as well.

I've lived in two different "luxury" buildings in NoMa and they both had the same alarms constantly would go off, HVAC would break, thin walls/noise issues, the in-unit washer flooded, "brand new" fridge broke, etc.

I live in an older building (that's like a tank) now in Dupont for less than any of those luxury buildings.


Majestic_Tennis4620 t1_j6nid7b wrote

yeah cause new buildings are built like shit, everything to the barest minimum of code and using the cheapest materials and methods possible

old buildings come with their own set of issues for sure but overall ill always take the older building if theres options


WealthyMarmot t1_j6p9b1z wrote

Yes and no. That might be true for some aspects of the structure, but modern HVAC, electrical and plumbing have improved dramatically from just a few decades ago. Especially with the last two, the "barest minimum of code" is a trillion times safer and more reliable than code and materials from 50-100 years ago.

All comes down to upkeep, renovations, and just luck of the draw.


GenericReditAccount t1_j6n2oez wrote

100%. Our old apt was so quiet and we barely ever had maintenance issues. Our current condo is in an old ass building, with the same benefits. So much of the new build stuff felt like paper mache.


Devastator1981 t1_j6oexj4 wrote

>and in unit laundry (usually in the basement).

Forget the game rooms and the concierges, but once you've had in-unit washer dryer it's really hard to go back from that.


NPRjunkieDC t1_j6n4p0p wrote

One bedroom condos in these pre-war buildings haven't gone up in price 350--450K. But a 3BR will cost 1M or more . Many have put laundry in closets .

I've done this a few times


jaypeg25 t1_j6ph9dm wrote

You’re still looking at $2500 + for a 2br minimum.


resdivinae t1_j6ms98e wrote

Y'all wanted density. This is how you get density.


medievalmachine t1_j6n1xx8 wrote

Yeah, like, what is the complaint?


throws_rocks_at_cars t1_j6n5xpj wrote

There is none. This is good.

Ideally, we would go even further and allow zoning changes to include dormitory-style or hostel-style apartments, for people that really don’t need their own private kitchen or bathroom. This type of apartment is being built all over major college campuses like UGA, but they’re excluded here because they don’t meet the minimum requirement to constitute a “bedroom” that can legally be listed. Before anyone gets mad and calls this tenement housing, I DO NOT THINK it should use the same advertising/lettering as a normal bedroom. I’m just saying that it should not be disallowed. When I was 18-22 this was fine. And it would have been fine for 22-25 for me, if it were legal to find.

Additionally DC should end tiered height limits. Currently, it works like this:

  • Residential: 90 feet
  • Commercial: 130 feet
  • Pennsylvania Avenue: 160 feet

This should be changed to make the limit for everything 160 feet. I want more height but we do not need to scrap the rule completely.


AsbestosIn0bstetrics t1_j6n78pn wrote

And if you REALLY want to maximize density, you move toward building barracks-style bunkhouses with rows of bunk beds in one large room, with shower facilities in a separate building. This would be a far more affordable solution for renters than 1BR or even studio apartments, as well.


throws_rocks_at_cars t1_j6n890j wrote

Unironically yes. If people want to pay $65 a month for a bunk in a hostel then that is ok for them to do so. This wouldn’t prevent other types of housing from being built. Luckily I am not at a place in my life where I need what you described, but I could absolutely use a dormitory-style room myself.


AsbestosIn0bstetrics t1_j6n8m2m wrote

There would certainly be a market for such barracks-style housing. But it would be interesting to see exactly where all the people demanding maximum density live. I'm guessing that some of them don't exactly practice what they preach.


greetedworm t1_j6nen70 wrote

I think chemotherapy should be free but I don't have cancer. I don't have to live in dorm housing to be an advocate for density.


AsbestosIn0bstetrics t1_j6njg0f wrote

Then you fit the profile. You believe that others should be forced to make sacrifices in order to achieve greater density, but at the same time you exempt yourself from such restrictions.


Docile_Doggo t1_j6nm7ek wrote

Creating a greater variety of options up and down the price and density scales is a lot different from “forcing” people into a specific style of living. In fact, it’s the exact opposite


Gumburcules t1_j6o0wlh wrote

> You believe that others should be forced to make sacrifices in order to achieve greater density

Who exactly is being forced to make sacrifices?

Did I miss the headline where Bowser is sending jackbooted thugs to grab you out of your home and throw you into a studio apartment and shooting those who don't comply?


KEVINMD15 t1_j6nimce wrote

I agree on all of this, but there are a bunch of dorm style apartments throughout dc. Their labeled as Co-Living, and it seems like there is a building in all the more popular neighborhoods


LuciusAurelian t1_j6nr797 wrote

Isn't the height limit based on the width of the street? Is there a separate standard from different uses?


SouthernBangerz t1_j6mzjdq wrote

Yeah there shouldn't be complaints, this is how you get dense housing. I'm a city utopian kind of person and people like me always glamorize Europe but the truth is, their housing is very dense and not every place looks like Emily in Paris unless you're wealthy.


Bitterfish t1_j6peg32 wrote

Well, partially this. But replacing single family homes with duplexes or small apartment buildings, or row homes (some, not all) with 5+ story apartment buildings goes a long way too.


InfestedRaynor t1_j6neqxx wrote

Agreed. With zoning limits and minimal available space to feed the massive housing shortage, this is the result. I would rather have more units that are in the small side than nice big units that only high-earners can afford.


dynospectrum7 t1_j6mzraa wrote

True, but I’d take a fedex box with in-unit laundry vs shared laundry and any chance of roaches. Hell no, fuck that.


OhHowIMeantTo t1_j6mm3og wrote

Oh it was driving me crazy when I was looking to move a couple of years ago. Pretty much every building built in the last five years or so was advertising "one bedrooms," that were essentially just studios. The kitchens, while nice, essentially have no counter space, and they put up a couple of walls in the living space with a window at the top of the wall and a sliding door to create what is technically a very tiny one bedroom. They were priced at market rate for one bedrooms, but if you wanted a bedroom with a window that actually looked outside and not just into the living room, you had to pay an extra $300 to $500 or so.


Heliordant t1_j6mqm5c wrote

"Chef inspired kitchens", yeah, inspired by a chef that wants you to eat out at a restaurant.


Brawldud t1_j6pft99 wrote

They meant inspired by the kitchens that the chefs have at home, where they keep their frozen pizza and Jack Daniels.


squuidlees t1_j6moou7 wrote

I’m a weirdo and love going to building websites and looking at their floor plans. I always thought the barn door rooms was a step up from a studio, but agree that renting that as a 1 bedroom, when there isn’t even a window, is lame.


giscard78 t1_j6mqzz7 wrote

> I always thought the barn door rooms was a step up from a studio

I’ve seen these referred to as a “junior one bedroom” sometimes (I don’t think it’s industry wide or standard). The name has always sounded kind of funny to me, like it’s someone working their way up to comprehending a bedroom with an out facing window, not the unit trying to downplay the shitty floor plan lol.


squuidlees t1_j6mujy7 wrote

Working their way up to a room with a window sounds on brand with DC at least.. I definitely like the ones where there’s the fogged glass barn door and the wall that stops before the ceiling, so at least natural light can sort of get through!


NPRjunkieDC t1_j6n59bl wrote

My mom had a junior one bedroom in NYC. No door cuz no closet and no space for closet. But it had a window


NPRjunkieDC t1_j6n529d wrote

A bedroom is not legally a bedroom unless it has a window and a closet . That's why there's a wall, but probably no door .


Gooner695 t1_j6ombna wrote

Nowhere in the article did it explain why so many new apartments in DC and across America are small studios/1BRs - because we require access to two stairwells (despite the fact that it doesn’t improve fire safety).

Have you ever noticed that all new buildings are like hotels in that all apartments open into a hallway, while in old, walk-up style buildings the door was basically in the stairwell? It’s this same regulation. It’s not like this in any other country, and it makes our housing much more expensive while also making it virtually impossible to build family-sized apartments.


mistersmiley318 t1_j6mtb0j wrote

I was kind of surprised when I saw the new Modo building at Georgia Ave Station has only three bedroom apartments. I guess everyone else is ignoring that market and there is a (small) niche.


Blide t1_j6o3y6y wrote

The other unique thing about that apartment is its completely modular construction. It's the first of its kind in DC.

I definitely wonder what, if any, cost savings there were for going with modular construction.


DC-DE t1_j6n7bc2 wrote

Years ago we were looking at condos ($550K+) at Chapman Stables and many units didn't have real kitchens. They had pseudo kitchens by our definition and the excuse from the realtor was, "Millennials don't cook." Well, my wife and I cook so we noped on out of that catastrophe. Talk about a $hit investment.

Once you visit enough places you can determine what has "good bones" and what is a money making scam designed to fleece you.

Chapman Stables


Gumburcules t1_j6o3mwj wrote

I just looked up one of the listings there. Holy shit, $600,000 for a railroad 1br apartment with a glorified closet for a bedroom. With condo fees you're paying over $4,000 a month for that trash.

But hey, what a location! You're close enough to hear the fights over dice games in front of Big Ben!


Devastator1981 t1_j6oelmy wrote

This is why I rent. Because I don't want to have to move to Laurel or Fredericksburg to find a lower priced mortgage. I like the city, and like waking up in the city and taking a walk on the mall and tidal basin. So if I'm not meant to be a homeowner on this earth, ce la vita.


Gumburcules t1_j6okpxi wrote

I mean, nobody's forcing you to buy this particular shitbox of a condo.

There are similar sized condos in the city for half the cost. I personally think that one has a much more livable layout anyway.

You could buy a rowhouse for the same price and actually pay less since there's no condo fee.

Shit, you could even buy a single family house with a yard if you don't mind the appliances being a little dated.

No need to go to Laurel or Fredericksburg, there's plenty of stuff in DC more affordable than $600,000 "one bedrooms" that are actually studios.


Knowaa t1_j6n5b2m wrote

This is density. Fill those things up.


AwesomeAndy t1_j6mz5l5 wrote

Yeah, I think anyone who's been apartment hunting in the past decade or more has noticed this.


Kief- t1_j6oegud wrote

They say apts are 751 sq on average, but I think they aggregated studio-3 bedrooms. There’s no way the average one bedroom is 751 sq in DC.


medievalmachine t1_j6n23uh wrote

I think the key is that larger places are being sold as luxury condos, not rented.


ActuaryPersonal2378 t1_j6o2r00 wrote

"'(T)he rent-income ratio is not concerning,' Ressler said."

Well that's the dumbest thing I read all day


stache_twista t1_j6nm0ld wrote

DC proper is geographically limited and also limited in terms of construction height so this makes sense. BTW DC's population technically peaked in the 1950 census at ~800K so there's room for more people here. The population in the 2020 census was 689K but trending up.


Altruistic-Risk-2223 t1_j6no7rj wrote

As of December 2022 DC’s population was 671,803.


stache_twista t1_j6ntm5e wrote

Makes sense (the 2020 Census was April 2020 figures; I'm sure a lot of people left many cities since then). I meant trending up from the 2010 census


NPRjunkieDC t1_j6n4bhu wrote

Before the pandemic, I remember a few were built almost like a hotel. Basically, it's a studio with a microwave + W/D

Restaurants, lounge , game room, movie room . Maybe lounges each floor .

Kinda like a club. They thought this was a good model for people living alone.

My son lives in a coop in Boston with 9-10 bedrooms and just 2 bathrooms! Everything is shared .


InfestedRaynor t1_j6nhqm8 wrote

Not for everybody, but a certain percentage of the population would love the opportunity to live in a building like this and save a bunch on rent.


Devastator1981 t1_j6oesk0 wrote

Keep in mind those are in luxury buildings in prime locations, so I wouldn't say "save", but agree that the building/rooms appeal to some. And there's nothing wrong with that per se.


arkenteron t1_j6n46nv wrote

Not some many married couples, so it is normal. I live alone, 1 bedroom is enough.


GlobalWild t1_j6o4d3g wrote

Apartments aren’t solving the housing crisis. Build something people can buy, not rent.


35chambers t1_j6ohlhx wrote

how is building housing not solving the housing crisis


GlobalWild t1_j6oioj3 wrote

It's a temporary solution to a long term problem. The main issue is poverty and inequity. Apartments can often be seen as a catch-all, but keeping people in the rent cycle instead of offering affordable ownership opportunities is prolonging the issue.


35chambers t1_j6opxhk wrote

as long as everyone can afford a place to live it doesn’t matter who’s renting or owning


GlobalWild t1_j6or5le wrote

I very much disagree


35chambers t1_j6orv3z wrote



GlobalWild t1_j6os4zo wrote

I literally stated why


35chambers t1_j6oubfq wrote

No you didn’t, all you said was that not providing ownership opportunities is prolonging the housing crisis, you did not substantiate that claim whatsoever


GlobalWild t1_j6ovik0 wrote

And neither did you substantiate your argument


35chambers t1_j6ox6ja wrote

building housing fixes the housing crisis by increasing housing supply and therefore lowering prices. ok your turn!!


LuciusAurelian t1_j6ou3bq wrote

The two are self evidently substitute goods. Cheaper rent drives down the price to buy because it offers an alternative.

Also condos exist? I'm not sure what your point is