Coming to Rosslyn, The Height of Luxury

By Sandra Fleishman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 4, 2006

So what do Arlington and Las Vegas have in common, you ask?

Why, an ultra-luxury condo tower being built by South Florida developer Turnberry Ltd., of course.

Never heard of Turnberry? You're probably not traveling in the right circles. Think Miami condos, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club and Aventura Mall in South Florida, a planned redevelopment of the iconic Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, an earlier Vegas condo project that was the first on the Strip, a joint Vegas hotel-condo venture to connect to the MGM Grand casino, and resorts in the Bahamas and Orlando.

There are some differences, though, as you might expect, between what's happening in Sin City and right here in Rosslyn.

At Turnberry Towers Las Vegas, the dual 45-story towers are a three-minute walk from the Strip. The apartments cost from $500,000 to more than $1.3 million. The project is right across the street from the company's first ultra-expensive Vegas project, Turnberry Place -- and from the showgirls at the Sahara.

Turnberry Tower Arlington, to be built on the site of what's now a Best Western hotel near Key Bridge, will be just 26 stories. But that's enough to qualify it as the tallest condo building in Rosslyn or Arlington and maybe even in the region, according to Turnberry and Arlington County planners who approved the tower by different names in 2001 and 2004.

The high-rise at 1881 N. Nash St., scheduled to be finished in the spring of '08, will have 247 units, ranging in size from 1,312 square feet for one bedroom and 1 1/2 baths to 5,304 square feet for the tower suite -- three bedrooms, a formal dining room, a library, a lounge, a staff suite and 5 1/2 baths.

The units here are pricier than in Vegas. They range from $800,000 to a little more than $6 million for the penthouse, according to Jim Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing of Turnberry Ltd. in Miami.

Turnberry Tower Arlington won't have access to casinos; the 176-room Best Western sits next door to a Holiday Inn. But it will have those Rosslyn views of Georgetown, the monuments and the Potomac.

And it will have amenities including private elevators, a spa and fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, Italian cabinets, Miele appliances, Jacuzzi tubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Plus, it will be "green" building certified, for environmentalists with a lot of green.

But aren't both ventures big gambles in two overheated condo markets?

After all, Arlington and Fairfax counties have 14,000 condo units under construction and 28,000 more planned or proposed, but only 4,000 units there sold last year, according to Kenneth Wenhold, director of the Virginia-Maryland division of MetroStudy, a Houston-based market research firm.

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