Developers of new Tysons Corner apartment high-rises have begun marketing the cool features of their new buildings: soaring views, rooftop pools, floor-to-ceiling windows, quartz counter tops, fire pits, pet grooming services, a bocce court and 24-hour concierge services.
They are pitching the buildings as a chance for luxury urban living. And they are charging like it too.
Leasing agents at three of the new buildings are frequently asking $3 per square foot or more per month for the new units, rents on par with new buildings in Clarendon and Ballston, some of the most popular neighborhoods for renters in the region.
For instance the Ascent at Spring Hill Station, a project under construction at 8421 Broad Street, lists a 707-square-foot one-bedroom for up to $2,670 a month ($3.77 per square foot) and a 1,081-square-foot one-bedroom for $2,975 a month ($2.75 per square foot).
Ovation at Park Crest, which opened near the end of last year, lists a 605-square-foot studio for $2,085 a month ($3.44 per square foot), an 800-square-foot one-bedroom unit for $2,395 ($2.99 per square foot) and a 1,125-square-foot two-bedroom unit for $2,935 ($2.60 per square foot).
A third building, VITA, is under construction next to the Tysons Corner Center mall and expected to begin leasing soon at similar rates.
“That’s at the same price as Clarendon, if you’ve got something new in Clarendon,” said Grant Montgomery, a senior vice president at the Alexandria research firm Delta Associates. Montgomery pointed to one of the newer buildings in Clarendon, the Lyon Place at Clarendon Center, where a 758-square-foot one-bedroom is listed for $2,575 ($3.39 per square foot) and a 615-square-foot one-bedroom is listed for $2,235 ($3.63 per square foot).
At around $3 per square foot monthly, the new Tysons units cost $36 per square foot annually, which is actually higher than in some popular Arlington neighborhoods, according to some estimates. Navid Roshan-Afshar, who runs the Web site thetysonscorner.com, did a rough estimate using Zillow data on what it will cost annually to live in some of the areas with which the Tysons projects will compete:
Needless to say, there are some major differences between living in Clarendon and living in Tysons. For one thing, the Silver Line has not begun operating. The Tysons buildings are near car dealerships, parking lots, office parks and strip malls. Tysons’ Ovation at Park Crest, at 8231 Crestwood Heights Drive, is near a Harris Teeter grocery store but not adjacent to any of the Silver Line stations. By comparison, Clarendon’s Lyon Place is on top of Trader Joe’s, the restaurant Circa and the sports lounge Bracket Room.
Why are Tysons developers betting they can get the same rents as some of the more established, walkable neighborhoods?
“They think there is a subset of renter that works in that market and that will be attracted to the proximity there,” Montgomery said. “Tysons is going to be different than anything we’ve ever had in D.C. You’re going to have 26-story buildings with amazing views. Yeah, you’re going to have traffic all around you and all that, but we haven’t had that type of construction in D.C. before.”
Montgomery said that with high-rise prices such as they are other companies might build shorter buildings nearby aimed at more budget-conscious renters.
The market for high-rise projects in Tysons continues to boom. Last week Tysons-based Kettler, which is developing VITA and handling leasing for Ovation, proposed plans to build another building at 7915 Jones Branch Drive, of between 275 and 400 units. The project could break ground as early as late 2015, pending approval by Fairfax County.
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