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Town Square | New apartment with artistic elements leasing in Alexandria

(Courtesy of Sam Kittner)

A new luxury apartment developed and owned by Insight Property Group and managed by Bozzuto Management Company, a subsidiary of the Bozzuto Group, is open for leasing at 6200 Kings Highway in Alexandria, less than one-half mile from the Huntington Metro station.

The building offers a wide range of amenities for its residents, including more than 100 works of art and installations from 40 local artists and craftsmen that were commissioned by Insight.

The Shelby, which has 240 apartments ranging from a junior one-bedroom to a large two-bedroom home with a den, offers more than 10,000 square feet of amenities such as a lobby with a fireplace, a communal table and WiFi, a lounge with a kitchen, a gaming room and a study with iMac computers.

Outdoor spaces include a swimming pool, an outdoor movie theater and pavilion with grills, a bar, a fireplace and a dining table.

The building also has 24-hour gym, a dog park, a dog grooming station, bike storage and a bike repair station and private parking with an electric car charging station.

The apartments, which rent from $1,463 to $2,876 per month, have wood plank flooring, stainless-steel appliances, white rose granite counters, keyless entry, high ceilings, large closets and a full-size washer and dryer.

For more information, go to

Alternative mortgage lender arrives in D.C.-area market

Potential borrowers who don’t fit inside the box of standard loan guidelines provided by conventional or government-insured mortgage programs may have the opportunity to qualify for a loan with a new alternative lender.

Privlo, based in Southern California, is now offering loans in Maryland and Virginia to borrowers with complex income or credit issues. The company plans to expand into D.C. in the future, but no exact date has been announced. As a private lender Privlo doesn’t have to follow the stringent “Qualified Mortgage” standards — requiring certain income-debt ratios — set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“There’s a large population of underserved but creditworthy borrowers in Maryland and Virginia who are high-quality borrowers but get turned down by banks because of today’s strict guidelines,” Michael Slavin, CEO of Privlo, said in an interview.

Slavin says Privlo specifically aims to help borrowers in four categories:

 • Small business owners: Slavin says these borrowers use the tax codes for legitimate deductions, but then their tax records don’t provide an accurate reflection of the loan these borrowers can really afford.

 • Self-employed individuals: “This is a growing demographic that includes contract workers and millennials who are not following a traditional career path but can still become responsible homeowners,” says Slavin.

 • Fallen angels: Slavin says people who faced a one-time issue such as a foreclosure or medical bankruptcy deserve a second chance. He said Privlo will approve otherwise qualified borrowers with a past bankruptcy as long as it is older than one year.

 • Real estate investors: While other lenders limit their exposure to investors, Privlo will make up to 20 loans to an individual real estate investor.

“All of our loan decisions are extremely individualized, so in some cases we can approve someone with a credit score as low as 550,” says Slavin. “We’ll make loans as large $3 million, but of course that would require a higher credit score.”

For more information, go to

Arlington luxury rental offers unique amenity

Luxury rentals in the D.C. area compete for tenants with over-the-top amenities such as a rooftop pool, concierge services and wine cellars.

As amenities go, Instrata at Pentagon City has an unusual one: membership in ClubCorp, which provides special offers and upgrades at more than 700 hotels, resorts and entertainment venues as well as entrance to more than 400 private clubs around the world.

Hotel-like concierge services are part of the resident experience at Instrata at Pentagon City, 901 S. 15th St. in Arlington.

Building amenities include a swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool tub, a sports center with a massage room and personal trainers, a business center, a great room, a media room, a billiards room, storage and a furnished guest suite. It is within walking distance of the Pentagon City Metro station, Pentagon Row and the Fashion Center at Pentagon City.

The apartments have private balconies with views of Washington, high ceilings, extensive closet space, soaking tubs and ceramic tile flooring in the baths, cherry cabinets and ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen and a washer and dryer. Some apartments include a fireplace. House-size penthouse apartments are also available with fireplaces with marble surrounds, wet bars, whirlpool tubs, large curved balconies and crown moldings.

The apartments rent for $2,078 for a one-bedroom, one-bath home to $6,359 for a three-bedroom, three-bath home with 2,621 square feet.

For more information, go to or call 888-904-8751.

PenFed Realty joins Berkshire Hathaway

PenFed Realty, which has 30 offices and more than 1,100 realty agents in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia, has joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affliates family of real estate brokerage franchise networks which include two other companies in the D.C. market: Real Living Real Estate and Prudential Real Estate.

The new local company will be known as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty. Since its launch in fall 2013, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has grown to include more than 1,000 offices in 47 states with more than 34,000 agents.

PenFed Realty, a wholly owned subsidiary of PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union), serves the general public as well as PenFed members and has an annual sales volume of nearly $2 billion.

For more information, go to

CORRECTION: A previous version of this blogpost, in the Privlo item, incorrectly said the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rules set minimum credit score requirements. The QM rules do not set minimum credit score requirements.

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.