Andy Levitt said he and his wife knew what they were looking for when the pair of empty nesters decided to move from suburban Darnestown, Md.
“My wife wanted to be on the water and ‘a rooftop something.’ I wanted restaurants and walkability,” Levitt said. “When we found the Bower, we put down a deposit because it hit the check boxes we sought.”
The Bower is an 11-story condominium, with ground-floor retail space, at Fourth and Tingey streets in Southeast Washington. The building is within walking distance of dozens of restaurants, as well as the Nationals Park baseball stadium. It has a rooftop lounge and a terrace. The Anacostia River is a block away.
The Bower, designed by Handel Architects, is also the first condominium building in the District’s sprawling Yards development, said Michelle Giannini, executive vice president of residential sales and leasing for PN Hoffman, the builder. Other residential buildings in the mixed-use waterfront development have rental units.
The red brick exterior of the building’s first three floors reflects the industrial look of nearby buildings. The structure is glass-and-steel above, with balconies set in an angular pattern, a look that “confers a modern industrial aesthetic and is designed to mimic waves and connection to the water,” Giannini said.
A recurring design element is the horizontal black-framed window, which is repeated on all sides of the building. In the lobby, a tall window with horizontal black panes is built into one wall, framing an illuminated photograph that is on view behind the glass.
WDG Interiors designed the Bower’s common areas.
The building has 137 units, including studios, one- and two-bedroom units, and three penthouses. More than 100 units, including the penthouses, have been sold. The units have open-concept floor plans, with the kitchen, dining and living areas in one continuous space. Some units have balconies.
Kathy Dalby, CEO of the Pacers Running specialty stores, moved into a second-floor unit with a balcony. “That’s what drew me to the home. I wanted outdoor space,” she said.
Two color combinations are offered for the kitchens: a light floor with dark gray cabinets or a dark floor with white cabinets. Backsplashes are subway tile. Some windows push out to open. Roller shades are installed on the windows.
Easier commutes: BJ Taylor and his husband, Kris Wilhelm, moved from a five-bedroom house in suburban Laurel, Md., into a two-bedroom condo. “It’ll take a little adjustment,” Taylor said.
But Taylor’s commute went from a matter of hours to 40 minutes by Metro. “I’d been commuting into D.C. for 20 years. I wanted to get more of my life back and not be on the train a couple hours every day,” he said.
Levitt is also saving commuting time. “I’m avoiding an hour travel each way. Now I walk to the Metro and get two hours more sleep,” he said.
Dalby who moved from Rosslyn, in Arlington County, Va., lives around the corner from her office. Well kind of. With five area Pacers Running locations, she runs from one to the other, but when checking out Pacers Navy Yard, at least, she’s steps from home.
The Yards: The Yards is a mixed-use development by Brookfield Properties. It will eventually have 3,400 residences, additional retail and dining establishments, a Thompson hotel, office space and a waterfront park. With the park, the Yards covers about 48 acres. The Bower site was sold to PN Hoffman.
Nationals Park is about a half-mile away, and Levitt was enthusiastic about the area’s many eating and drinking establishments. “It’s tempting to go out every night,” he said. “Our first week here seemed to be a happy hour special every night. But we have a good kitchen, and I enjoy cooking and baking bread so I do that often.”
Amenities: The reception desk in the lobby — an airy space with decorative elements in wood and stone — is staffed 24/7. A fitness studio is on the second floor.
The rooftop lounge is enclosed, in part, by a glass brick wall and glass doors that open to the terrace. Indoor and outdoor spaces share a double-sided gas fireplace. Outside, there are seating areas, a grill and a zigzag glass railing around the terrace. The lounge has a wall-mounted TV, couches, and a mini-kitchen with a microwave, a wine bar and a dishwasher.
Select units come with an option to buy a parking space for $40,000.
Schools: Van Ness Elementary, Jefferson Middle School Academy, Eastern High.
Transit: Navy Yard-Ballpark, on the Green Line, is the closest Metro station. The station has 12 bike racks. The 11th Street Bridge — actually a complex of three spans that carry local and through traffic cross the Anacostia River — is close by and links Interstate 695 to I-295 and D.C. 295.
1300 Fourth St. SE, Washington
There are 137 condominium units. About 30 units, including studios and one- and two-bedroom units, are still for sale at prices ranging from $375,000 to $975,000.
Builder: PN Hoffman
Features: Ceilings are about nine feet high. Wide-plank engineered-wood floors run through the units. In the kitchen, there are Bosch appliances, L’Arte Della Cucina cabinets, soft-close drawers and under-cabinet lighting. Bedroom closets have Elfa shelving systems. Stacked washer-dryers are behind a closet door.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: Studios to 2 / 1 or 2
Square-footage: 575 to 1,320
Condominium association fee: $481 to $1,110
View model: By appointment.
Contact: 202-869-5233 or http://www.thebowerdc.com/contact-us/