(Sky House)

Adaptive re-use, one of the tenets of green building, is visible in full force in Southwest Washington at Sky House, where the former Environmental Protection Agency headquarters have been transformed into two apartment buildings.

The towers at Sky House, one of the first LEED-certified re-use projects in the city, will be the tallest residential structures in Southwest. Residents will have unobstructed views of the Potomac, the monuments and the Capitol.

Sky House East, which opened for leasing last week, will have 266 homes, including studio and one- and two-bedroom units.

Community amenities include a rooftop swimming pool, an observation deck with panoramic skyline and river views, an outdoor patio with seating, water features, a grill and a gas fireplace. The indoor amenities include a game room, a fitness center with a personal trainer, a conference room, a party room, a club room, an Internet lounge and concierge services. The pet-friendly building has an on-site grooming space.

Garage parking is available and residents are steps from the Southwest Waterfront Metro, shops and restaurants.

Rents at Sky House will range from the $1,600s to the $3,200s.

Visit www.skyhousedc.com for more information or call (202) 488-1900.

Tool helps buyers find homes close to work 

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has added a new tool to its CBMove.com Web site. Known as “Spokes,” the tool works by showing the distance between a potential new home and locations where the buyer might commute, such as work, schools or place of worship.

Buyers start by setting up their home search criteria; once they’ve gone to the property search results page, the Spokes section will appear on the left side of the screen. Buyers can enter up to three addresses on their HomeBase InBox where they can save searches and sign up for e-mailed updates based on their search criteria.

The program uses Google’s mapping system to estimate the distance and drive time between a prospective property and the locations entered by buyers. Buyers can also opt to set the Spokes according to the time it would take to walk or bike the distance.


(Sean Shanahan)

Most expensive condo sale of 2013

A penthouse in the super-luxurious Ritz-Carlton Residences in Georgetown sold for $5.2 million in December, the highest price for any D.C.- area condo for 2013 — more than $1 million above the previous top condo sale of $4.1 million in the same building.

Located at 3150 South St. NW, Penthouse 1F has windows on three sides, two balconies with Potomac River views, three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a den and 10-foot high ceilings. Residents of the building enjoy the perks of living in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, including a 24-hour concierge, valet parking, housekeeping and room service, as well as a spa and exercise facilities.

Christopher Ritzert and Christie Weiss of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty represented the sellers in this transaction and also listed and sold the previous record-holding condo, Penthouse 1E.

D.C. rents rank high on least affordability list

Recent data from ApartmentList.com‘s 2013 Rentonomics Report shows that Washington rents this year rose 3.65 percent for one-bedroom apartments and 2.51 percent for two-bedroom apartments.

According to the survey, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment of $2,234 makes D.C. the fifth most expensive city in the country for apartment rentals.

D.C. ranks eighth in the list of least affordable cities based on a comparison of rents and income, with residents spending an average of 43 percent of their household income on rent, compared with a national average of 25 percent for the top 99 cities. Financial planners recommend spending no more than 30 percent of household income on housing costs.

 Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “Town Square” in the subject line.