Construction can breed obstruction -- tall buildings erected one practically on top of the next have the potential to block out vistas and natural light.
That's why the folks at the Metropolitan at Pentagon Row think the 18-floor high-rise is so special, even in the midst of many recently constructed apartment buildings in its uber-developed Arlington residential/commercial neighborhood.
"This is the one of the greatest views in Pentagon City, and there's no chance for it to be blocked," said Karen Kossow, sales and marketing manager of KSI Management Corp., the Centreville company that owns and manages the building.
By luck of geography, residents living on the 10 highest floors on the northeast side of the building have clear views of the monuments in downtown Washington. And no developer is likely to change that, because there is no more room to build. The expanse between the building and the Potomac includes the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Interstate 395 and the Pentagon.
Like many of its competitors in the neighborhood apartment market, including its affiliated building, the Metropolitan at Pentagon City, the Pentagon Row complex caters to luxurious living.
Even those residents who don't have a monumental view have access to the top level of the 326-unit building, where there's a rooftop pool and patio, and a great room area with a fireplace, a giant flat screen television and a billiards table. The top two floors boast 30 penthouse apartments, with upgraded finishes that include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, high ceilings, crown molding and bamboo flooring.
On the lobby level, there's a cyber cafe with high-speed Internet access, a conference room and a fitness center with a fancy locker area, a sauna and massage therapy room full of candles and other relaxing accoutrements reminiscent of a spa. A massage therapist, a nutritionist and a personal trainer are on call.
At the front desk, which is staffed 24 hours, there are dog treats for canine residents, who live there because of the building's open pet policy. Eighty percent of tenants -- people whose budgets give them plenty of options when it comes to finding souped-up, conveniently located abodes -- own pets. They say that's what sealed the deal for Metropolitan at Pentagon Row.
It was even a major factor for Karl Leopold, 32, whose non-live-in girlfriend owns two large dogs. Leopold said the Arlington location is more convenient for them than the D.C. neighborhood, where he used to own a house.
"In D.C., it was a pain to walk the dogs. Here there are parks nearby, it's nice and quiet and comfortable," said the contractor, who does a lot of work from home.
Because the building opened in May, all apartments have fresh, thick Berber rugs, ceramic flooring in kitchens and bathrooms, big closets, soaking bathtubs, fireplaces, balconies, built-in shelving for televisions, two-tone paint, individual washers and dryers and maple cabinets.
"Convenience was also important," Leopold said. Besides being close to I-395 and the Pentagon City Metro station, the building is only two blocks from a 24-hour grocery store, Harris Teeter, where he sometimes makes late-night trips.
There's lots of other retail within a short walk: the shops, restaurants and skating rink of Pentagon Row, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall and a strip shopping center that includes a Costco and Best Buy.
"It's real convenient here with the Metro close by. I have a car, but if I didn't, it would still be good because you've got a supermarket across the parking lot and shops all around," said Steve Kacmarik, a government worker who relocated from Southern California three months ago.
"Everything is centrally located. There's a mall right there, a couple little bars nearby and restaurants. I don't cook as much as I should cook because of all the restaurants," he said.
Underground, reserved garage parking also makes Kacmarik's life less complicated; so does the fact that his apartment is an elevator ride to a work-out room that he uses regularly. Even though he has Internet access in his unit, he often takes advantage of the faster connection in the business center downstairs.
Looking at photos of the business center, business room and fitness center online from his house in Colorado grabbed the attention of Robert Sanford, 38. He leased sight-unseen based on the way the amenities looked on his computer screen.
"Whenever you see something of quality on a Web site, you kind of can tell," Sanford said. "And when I got here, it was even greater than it looked online."