Chris VanArsdale was single and didn’t have any children when he began searching for a house nearly 20 years ago.
But that didn’t stop him from fixating on a particular park — with its playground and blacktop — in Kalorama Triangle in Northwest Washington and dreaming about its many possibilities, he said.
A diamond in the rough, the park, according to VanArsdale, wasn’t “super fancy,” but the real estate developer envisioned a place that could serve as an ideal location to teach his future children how to ride a bike or play on the swings.
That was 17 years ago.
Today, the married father of two middle-schoolers lives in a 3,300-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom rowhouse on 19th Street NW. His vision, he said, proved correct, and the park serves as “a great, great resource for the whole neighborhood.”
Adjacent to Kalorama and Rock Creek Park, Kalorama Triangle offers access and peace to potential residents who “want to feel like they’re close to the bustle of an urban environment but cherish the calm and serenity of a neighborhood,” said Michael Rankin, managing partner of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. “You can be so close to the bars and restaurants along 18th Street NW and downtown without having the commotion of a commercial street in your neighborhood.”
A short walk away from Metro stations, Kalorama Triangle offers easy access to cultural attractions, Rankin added.
In addition to offering a mix of retail options, Kalorama Triangle is home to a vibrant international community that drew Alma Kanani, an employee at the World Bank, to the neighborhood in 1997.
“Kalorama Triangle offers a very international environment,” said Kanani, who lives in a semidetached, 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom Victorian. “In a matter of two or three blocks I can run into neighbors from Turkey, Italy, France and Ethiopia. It’s great,” she said.
Bilingual education: Julie Lopez, who was pregnant at the time, moved to Kalorama Triangle in 2003 primarily because of the highly rated Oyster-Adams Bilingual School. She said she and her husband both speak Spanish, and they liked the idea of enrolling their daughter in the school’s bilingual program.
After settling on a 4,400-square-foot, eight-bedroom, five-bathroom rowhouse, the couple quickly discovered that the neighborhood had much more to offer.
“We feel like we can do almost anything on foot here,” Lopez said.
During a recent stroll to nearby Woodley Park, Lopez said that her 13-year-old daughter talked about how much she loves Kalorama Triangle and that she “wouldn’t want to live any other place.”
And Lopez said she feels the same.
There are three grocery stores within walking distance, several coffee shops and a dog park. “We can walk to the zoo, which is cool because my kids like to visit multiple times a week,” she said.
Nevertheless, VanArsdale said there are a few downsides to living in Kalorama Triangle.
“Parking can be a hassle, if you have a car,” he says with a chuckle. “And a lot of people complain about the affordability of houses in the neighborhood,” some of which list for more than $2 million, he said. “It’s kind of out of hand here and I know that deters a lot of people.”
“But it’s also a signal that it’s a pretty desirable place to live,” he added.
Living there: The neighborhood is bordered by Calvert Street to the north, Columbia Road to the east and southeast and Connecticut Avenue to the south and southwest.
In the past 12 months, 69 properties have sold in Kalorama Triangle, ranging from a 454-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $210,000 to a 3,420-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom condominium for $1,965,000, said Rankin, the agent with Sotheby’s.
There are 16 homes for sale in Kalorama Triangle, ranging from a 465-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium for $265,000 to a 3,196-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom rowhouse for $2,240,000, Rankin said.
Schools: Oyster-Adams Bilingual School campus, Alice Deal Middle and Woodrow Wilson High.
Transit: Kalorama Triangle is a short distance to the Dupont Circle and Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stations on Metro’s Red Line. The community is also served by Metrobus’s 42, 43, 96, H1 and L2 lines.
Crime: In the past 12 months, there have been 29 burglaries, 14 robberies and 11 assaults reported in the police service area that covers Kalorama Triangle, according to D.C. police.