Shuttered hotel gives way to luxury homes in Alexandria,VA
by Audrey Hoffer | October 20, 2020
Stephen Oparka, an avid cyclist, owns five bikes and often takes long rides on the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail in Northern Virginia.
One such outing took him past the shuttered Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alexandria. A fence had gone up, and a sign announced the coming of Venue, a luxury high-rise condominium overlooking the Potomac River. A couple gazed at the old hotel and buzzed with excitement about the development plans. “They told me: ‘We just got out of the sales center. You should get in there,’ ” Oparka said.
As a renter in Crystal City, Oparka had been worrying about the effect of Seattle-based Amazon’s opening a second headquarters in that Arlington, Va., neighborhood. (Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post). He later recalled thinking, “Those changes will be exciting, but in 10 years’ time, what will it be like to live here?” He had already started looking around at new residential construction.
So he followed the couple’s advice, and then he purchased a one-bedroom corner unit on the ninth floor of the 13-story building.
Carr Cos. bought the property and has been redeveloping it, replacing the hotel with 119 condominium units, flanked on two sides by a total of 41 townhouses. The 13-story condominium project is exempted from a height limit for new construction because it is replacing the hotel.
Nearly half of the condo units and townhouses have been sold. Base prices for the remaining condos range from $500,000 to $3 million; for the remaining townhouses, from $1.5 million to $2.6 million. Buyers are expected to begin moving in next fall.
Floor-to-ceiling windows: A furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom model unit is on view at the sales office across the street from the property. For prospective buyers, a tour is like walking through a real condo.
The entry door opens into the kitchen, which adjoins a living and dining space with a balcony outside. Flanking the open-plan living area are two bedrooms, one on each side. One bedroom has an en suite bathroom; the other has a bathroom steps away. A washer and dryer are in a closet between the bathroom and the second bedroom. The unit has floor-to-ceiling windows.
Oparka described some of the choices involved in buying his one-bedroom unit. “I traded a water view for space and price,” he said. “If I want to look at the river I can go to the rooftop.” The rooftop is where there’ll be grill stations, fire pits, outdoor TVs and a lounge that residents can reserve for parties.
Oparka also snagged storage space for some of his bikes and assorted gear. “The two I ride the most I’ll keep inside my home,” he said. “The other three I’ll put into either my storage spot area or the building’s bike storage area.”
Other amenities include front-desk concierge service, a pet spa and a fitness center.
WCS Construction is the general contractor. Lessard Design provided the architects and designers. McWilliams Ballard is handling sales.
Nearby: The Potomac River is one block from Venue. Old Town Alexandria has an abundance of shops, galleries, dining options and historical sites. Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter are a couple of blocks away. Montgomery Park is a two-acre retreat with picnic tables, a playground, a dog park, tennis courts and grass fields. Mount Vernon Trail runs by the development. From Venue, it’s a short drive to Crystal City, Pentagon City, Reagan National Airport and Potomac Yard, all in Virginia, and, across the Potomac, to downtown Washington, Georgetown, the Mall and many of the museums in D.C.
Schools: Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy (elementary), George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High.
Transit: Venue is three blocks from George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Capital Beltway (I-495) and Route 1 are nearby. The King Street-Old Town Metro station, with 42 bike racks, is on the Blue and Yellow lines. Alexandria is served by the city’s DASH buses and by Metrobus. Water taxis travel to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia; Georgetown, Navy Yard and the Wharf in D.C.; and National Harbor in Maryland.
314 Montgomery St., Alexandria, Va.
There will be 119 condominium units and 41 townhouses. Fifty-two condos and 20 townhouses have been sold. The remainder are for sale at prices ranging from $500,000 to $3 million for condos and $1.5 million to $2.6 million for townhouses.
Builder: Carr Cos.
Features: Condos have floor-to-ceiling windows, open floor plans and white oak floors. Kitchens are outfitted with Bosch appliances, quartz counters and custom cabinets. Bathrooms have Calacatta tile walls and floors and walk-in showers. At least one parking space in the underground garage is included with each unit. Townhouses have a roof terrace and a two-car garage. Some have an elevator.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: Condos, 1 to 3 / 3; townhouses, 3 to 4 / 3 to 6.
Square-footage: Condos, 500 to 2,300; townhouses, 2,300 to 4,400.
Association fees: Condos, $415 to $1,660 a month; townhouses, $202 a month.
See model: By appointment.
Contacts: Anne Coleman or Hillary Curtin, 703-214-9841 or VenueOldTown.com