One entrance to Andover House sits on a quiet, tree-lined residential street, the other on busy 14th Street NW, where cars whiz south toward the office buildings of downtown Washington just blocks away.
Andover House allows for a car-free life, with all the amenities of a new luxury high-rise, convenient to downtown businesses. That's a major selling point for tenants of the 171-unit building.
"Everything I do is within a half-an-hour walk from where I live," said Brent Dorig, 33. The photographer, who pays his bills by working for a nonprofit and as a waiter, has lived in his studio apartment since March.
Tracey Durand, 33, has lived in the building since January. She works for a nonprofit downtown and chose the building mostly for the location. "I think it is fabulous. It is really cosmopolitan living," she said.
John McLean, 33, a consultant, used to walk just two blocks to work but now commutes to Rosslyn. Either way, Andover House's location means that after work, he can head home, change and walk back out to meet friends for dinner. "That was the number-one reason that brought me to the area," he said.
Residents also praised their units -- Durand said she liked "the way the apartments have been styled, the use of tile and granite." The kitchens have granite countertops, maple cabinets and electric appliances.
"There is a lot of sunlight, and there is a balcony. It was open; it was spacious. The ceilings were quite high," Durand said. The ceilings measure a bit over eight feet.
"It's great," Dorig said, "very well built, all the amenities of home."
Work isn't the only thing nearby. There's a Whole Foods grocery two blocks north; plenty of restaurants and bars are also close. "I don't need to leave the area to do a lot of shopping. If I want to go to a Nordstrom, I can hop on the Metro," Durand said.
"To sum up the neighborhood and the building," Dorig said, "it's very diverse, it's ethnically diverse. You have everything you could need to live in D.C."
Durand said: "I think the staff is one of the great benefits. I think they are really outstanding." The concierge service can arrange for a personal chef, nutritionist or trainer, as well as the standard package-pickup nd dry-cleaning services. Residents also have pool privileges around the corner at the newly renovated Washington Plaza hotel.
"It's almost like living in a hotel," Dorig said.
A fitness center, a business center and a large conference room are available, as well as an automated teller machine. There is a loaner program through which residents can borrow whatever tools the concierge service has available. That includes an iron.
"That is new for me, the concierge. I really like that. The concierge works out really well," said McLean, who uses the dry-cleaning service. "They are really good about packages. It is also really nice from the security standpoint."
Dorig recommends the building for people who are new to the city because the concierge is equivalent to hotel staff in terms of services and knowledge of the city.
The newness of Andover House adds to its allure. McLean moved from an older building, where he had gotten tired of things breaking down. "No one had lived in the apartment before," he said of his new apartment. He said he liked the view of Thomas Circle from his ninth-floor apartment.
Views from the apartment include the National City Christian Church next door, which was designed by famed architect John Russell Pope in the 1920s. Andover House's owner and manager, LCOR Inc., has a 99-year ground lease for the building from the church. The land used to be a parking lot; now LCOR provides parking for churchgoers and apartment residents.
Timothy D. Smith, an LCOR senior vice president, said the company was chosen because the church leadership thought it had the architectural sensitivity to design the new building in keeping with the church's architecture.
"Go down 14th Street and look up -- it fits, and yet it has great character," Smith said.