The Washington Post

Town Square | Luxury apartments rise from Wheaton office building

(John Cole)

A 45-year-old office building in downtown Wheaton has been reborn into a hip and trendy apartment building targeting people who want to be in walking distance to shopping and entertainment and who want to hang out regularly with their neighbors.

The 12-story, 194-unit George, at 11141 Georgia Ave., is designed for people who want to be in the center of the action, say officials at Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, which developed the property.

Nearby attractions include Target, Costco, Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, Elevation Burger, Buffalo Wings and Beer as well as Irish pubs and Thai and Latin food.

The building will have a resident services coordinator who will plan activities for tenants — including movie nights, watching sporting events on TV, game nights and food and wine tastings — in the club room. The club connects to a rooftop deck, where residents can grill, dine, lounge and enjoy a water feature with a fire element.

Lowe’s $44 million renovation included the construction of a seven-story addition to the five-story office building. The building contains studio as well as one- and two-story units, all of which have wood plank floors, stainless steel appliances and washers and dryers. Rents range from $1,314 for a studio to $2,063 for a two-bedroom unit.

For more information, go to

New condos coming to 14th Street

More condos are on their way to 14th Street NW — one of D.C.’s most sought-after areas.

The Lumen, at 2200 14th St. NW, will be developed by Community Three Development, built by UIP General Contracting and marketed by Urban Pace.

The six-story 22,000 square foot building will include 18 condos and 2,200 square feet of ground level retail space and a restored historic façade. The homes are anticipated to have upscale finishes and the penthouse will have direct elevator access and a private patio. The building is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015.

For more information, visit

Agent recommendation service launches in D.C.

Finding the right real estate agent can make or break your experience buying or selling a home, but relying on recommendations from friends or co-workers doesn’t always yield the results you want.

Agent Ace, a real estate matching service that’s free to consumers, was launched in May 2013 in Los Angeles and recently expanded to more than 75 metro areas, including Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.

Agent Ace analyzes historical sales of agents and makes recommendations to buyers and sellers based on agent performance within the client’s criteria. Agent Ace founder Mazen Fawaz says the service doesn’t accept any advertising dollars from agents and doesn’t have a preferred agent group, so consumers can trust that the recommendations are unbiased.

Real estate agents receive leads for buyer and seller clients that are tailored to the agents’ demonstrated areas of strength. Agents who follow through with a lead generated by the service pay a commission based on a percentage of the sales price to Agent Ace at the closing. If no transaction takes place, the agents pay nothing. For more information, visit

New app helps consumers find trustworthy contractors

While online user reviews have become a common way to gather insight into local contractors and services, the reviews are occasionally criticized as being biased by relationships between reviewers and providers or simply false.

A new app, called “WhoDoYou” converts conversations between people on Facebook to searchable recommendations for businesses.

For example, a public Facebook conversation that starts with the question “Does anyone know a good plumber in D.C.?” can be turned into a review that users of the app can check before hiring someone.

The app retrieves the most relevant content and lets users search by category and location. Each referral can be traced to its original source. Users who opt to log in with their Facebook account will access more personalized results pulled from private conversations between their own Facebook friends and groups. WhoDoYou, available for free for Apple and Android devices, can also be accessed online at

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



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