Condo building in McLean was designed with Virginia heritage in mind

The Signet, a 121-unit condominium in McLean, Va., has sold more than 90 units. Remaining units are for sale at prices ranging from $800,000 to $2.4 million. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

By Audrey Hoffer

June 4 at 6:30 AM

Jill Norton and daughter Sarah, 17 this week, moved from Vienna, Va., into the Signet, in nearby McLean, in January.

“I love the building and location,” said Norton, who grew up about a mile away. “Sarah got to design her own closet. For a teenager, it doesn’t get better than that.” Sarah had her pre-prom dinner with 10 friends in the family condo this year, Norton said, and she wants to rent the Signet’s lounge and catering kitchen next year for a graduation party and invite the whole class.

The Signet is a seven-story, red brick condominium building with 121 units on almost four acres in downtown McLean. The Jeffersonian-inspired architecture is redolent of the University of Virginia.

“We wanted the building to be authentic and look like it’s been there forever,” said Greg Trimmer, executive vice president of JBG Smith, who is the developer and a U-Va. graduate. Franck & Lohsen Architects designed the building, and Bill Rooney was the interior designer. McWilliams Ballard is handling sales and marketing.

The seven-story condominium building contains 121 units, and prices of those still for sale range from $800,000 to $2.4 million.

“We knew locals are passionate about the neighborhood,” Trimmer said. “We thought the heart of downtown McLean was a great place for residential development.”

Trimmer said his team gave a lot of thought to what a typical “downsize buyer” — someone looking for a smaller home — was looking for. They decided, he said, that “it wouldn’t be a small unit. So our average size is 1,800 square feet. Also, we anticipated that people would want their own outdoors space. They’d think, ‘It’d be nice to have a cup of coffee in the morning outside my home.’ So all our units have a balcony or patio.”

“We have nearly 90 floor plans,” Trimmer said. “We ask prospective buyers, ‘What’s important to you? What features are you looking for?” Based on what the buyer says, a specific unit can be suggested.

“There are no cookie-cutter units,” said Nicholas Rocks, who moved to the Signet in December.

Kitchens have Thermador appliances, Kohler faucets, stone counters, an island with waterfall edges and wood cabinets in white or espresso. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Rocks said that he and an older brother met with the sales team just as construction was starting and that they each bought a new home. His brother, he said, “chose a duplex [a unit on two levels] because he has four kids. I bought a two-bedroom and converted it to a one-bedroom. My view is beautiful. At night, I see the Capitol One building and watch the colors change.”

Model unit 306, with a 2,142 square feet of living space, has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a den and a 175-square-foot balcony that can be reached from the living room and the nearby den.

The unit entrance opens to a foyer and a diagonal hallway that heads into the living room. The kitchen, with a 12-foot island, faces the living room. To one side of the island is an alcove with room for a dining table.

Off the entry hallway, other corridors lead, on one side, to the master bedroom suite, with its bathroom and walk-in closet, and, on the other, to a laundry room, a smaller bedroom and a shared bathroom. There is a powder room near the unit entrance.

The landscaped courtyard has couches and armchairs, a fountain, a fire pit, two grilling stations, two rectangular tables and dining chairs. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Amenities: The U-shaped building surrounds the Signet’s landscaped courtyard, which has couches and armchairs, a fountain, a fire pit, two grilling stations, two rectangular tables and dining chairs.

A 2,500-square-foot residents’ lounge and catering kitchen can be rented for private parties.

The fitness center has a yoga room and sauna, steam and massage rooms.

The front desk is always staffed, and the building has a full-service concierge. All floors are served by four elevators. The mailroom has a wall-mounted resident-information center screen that displays weather information, elevator reservations and package notifications.

The neighborhood: Giant Food, Safeway and Balducci’s stores and the McLean and Langley shopping centers are nearby. Fairfax County’s Dolley Madison Library is a couple of blocks away. Many restaurants are within walking distance.

Schools: Franklin Sherman Elementary, Longfellow Middle, McLean High.

Transit: The Signet is close to the intersection of Dolley Madison Boulevard and Old Dominion Drive. The Capital Beltway (I-495) and the Dulles Toll Road are also close by. Fairfax Connector buses stop outside the building and take passengers to the McLean Metro station on the Silver line, two miles away, and to Tysons Corner, four miles away.

All units have a balcony or patio. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

The Signet

6900 Fleetwood Rd., McLean, Va.

The building has 121 condominium units. More than 90 have been sold. Remaining units are for sale at prices ranging from $800,000 to $2.4 million.

Builder: JBG Smith

Features: Ceilings are nine-feet high. Floors are walnut-stained solid oak. Doors are solid wood. Lutron shades are installed on the windows. Kitchens have Thermador appliances, Kohler faucets, stone counters, an island with waterfall edges and wood cabinets in white or espresso. The units are wired for home-automation controls. Two parking spaces are assigned to most units.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 to 3 / 1 to 4

Square-footage: 1,100 to 3,500

Condominium association fee: $570 to $1,300 per month.

View models: By appointment.

Contact: Anne Coleman at 703-348-1575 or thesignetvaresidences.com

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