A Short-Term-Housing Haven in Downtown D.C.

Korman Communities is using its building at 1710 H St. for short-term rentals, mainly to traveling professionals.
Korman Communities is using its building at 1710 H St. for short-term rentals, mainly to traveling professionals. (By Sarah Abruzzese For The Washington Post)

By Sarah Abruzzese
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, April 22, 2006

Plenty of apartment buildings have transient tenants -- but not as transient as those at 1710 H St. NW.

The building, which is blocks from the White House and the World Bank, rents furnished apartments for terms as short as 30 days. Many residents are here on work assignments.

The 141-unit building was originally designed as a condominium, but Korman Communities bought it last year, while it was still under construction, and switched it to short-term rentals.

The company, which is based in the Philadelphia suburbs, also runs similar high-end short-term rental buildings in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina.

The H Street building has been open to tenants for almost a year. While most construction is complete, there are still a few projects underway, such as the installation of a rooftop deck with a retractable canopy.

Residents say that, like many other short-term visitors to Washington, they don't spend a lot of time in their rooms. Still, they praised the spacious apartments, well-designed living space, friendly staff and convenient location.

"I love it," said Jerry Alex, 24, an accountant who was sent here from Ohio for a six-month work assignment. He has lived at the Korman Communities building for three months.

"It is very luxurious," he said, adding that the people who work in the building are kind. "These guys hook me up with everything," he said.

With the exception of room service, all the services offered at hotels are available, including maid service. Mark Signorelli, 46, a trial consultant, spent two weeks living in a one-bedroom apartment. "Seems like they didn't cut many corners," he said about the building.

His client chose the building for him and arranged for daily maid service instead of the standard weekly service. Even though he wasn't home often, he said, it was "more economical to do this than spend $250 a night for a hotel."

The furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments also include more than most hotel rooms. Each is outfitted with a flat-screen television and DVD player in the living room and each bedroom. There are a stereo system, high-speed Internet access, and a front-loading washer and dryer.

All the apartments share the elegant but simple decor: There are dark wood floors, high ceilings, marble countertops, steel appliances in the kitchen, and spacious bedrooms and living rooms. The interior designer has created open spaces with strong, clean lines, without superfluous decoration.

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