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Old 04-22-2012, 10:21 AM
 
51 posts, read 103,093 times
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I just figured if anyone else was planning on touring the area, I took a peak at some stuff the past few weeks and offered my opinion on the spots:

Crystal City / Pentagon City

The Buchanan - fairly dated buildling. I didn't like their parquet style floors in certain floor plans and I don't like how you don't have a washer/dryer in your unit. Seemed like the reception staff was very very nice. You'll be paying more for a premium location rather than a premium apartment, though it's not like the apartment condition is horrible either. If you're all about location, this is the place for you as there's a lot of stuff to do around you.

Post Pentagon Row - the Post properties in general are VERY expensive, though quite nice. The units at Pentagon Row....I think they included the balcony space into the floor plan sq ft because they felt small for studios. Very nice location near shopping BUT it might be a zoo getting in and out of there with your car. I would say your budget is the main key issue here, as the pricing is on another level than just about anything I've listed here.

North Tract Lofts - didn't have a chance to actually tour the units as they were booked on studios, but on the outside they seemed nice though there seemed to be some construction going on around. Location not as good as the Buchanan, but might be a good way to stretch your dollar for the Crystal City area.

Huntington

Midtown Alexandria - only saw the outside. Looked quite nice, surrounding area down the road past the intersection though might be questionable (saw a shady apartment complex on opposite side of street a couple hundred of feet away). Good news is you're right near the metro station so I don't think safety should be a major concern unless you're a big night time jogger. Didn't take a tour of the actual units because I found a roommate. Worth a look IMO.

Carlyle District / Eisenhower Avenue

Overall: Carlyle District felt very nice. I really like the eateries and options they have. Some really beautiful areas.

Cameron Court - surprisingly nice garden style apartments for what I'm used to. But the location is not mind blowing. It's both close and far away from where you want to be. You'd have probably a 10 minute walk to the Eisenhower metro and 15-25 minute walk to the USPTO from here though they do offer a shuttle to the metro. Parking might be an issue on certain nights depending on whether the other tenants have a lot of visitors. First year deals are really good, but the rent may sky rocket after those specials expire. Good choice for a cheaper option to do a 1 year and move out, but I'd question it for anything long term when that rent hike occurs unless you really really like garden style apartments.

Carlyle Mill - decent apartments. Seems to be a wear-and-tear feel to the place a little bit. Had a neat concept of putting tennis and basketball courts on top of a parking garage and probably more affordable than other places if you want to reserve the club house or media room for an event. Good location when it comes to convenience and getting to the Eisenhower metro as it's probably 10 minutes. Kind of has that feel of Cameron Court though....maybe a one and done type of thing because their first year deal is almost too good to be true and a lot of former tenants complain about rent hikes. There's some sort of correctional facility nearby, which shouldn't be a deal breaker, but just pointing it out.

800 Carlyle - from my LIMITED observations, this place does not deserve the bad rap it gets on apartmentratings. It really feels underrated. Its location isn't optimal as it might be close to a 20 minute walk to the metro and there's a cement factory getting replaced nearby. But if you're working at the USPTO, this is a very convenient walk. The units themselves are very nice, better than Carlyle Mill and probably Cameron Court. Very nice courtyard/pool/fitness center, though the fitness center and pool seemed a little small. I saw some spiders on the floor floor windows, but nothing to indicate a major infestation like the reviews said. My biggest beef with the place was the dogs though. This was a legit gripe by the reviewers. I was getting barked at by someone's dog when going down the hallway, and a dog barking from behind a closed door can set off a chain reaction down the hallway. Made it difficult to hear the leasing agent at one point. But this complex could be a potential gem for people who a) don't need to be a 5 minute walk to the metro and b) can tolerate the bow wows. The units themselves seemed really really nice.

Meridian at Eisenhower / Carlyle Place / Meridian at Carllyle - these 3 places seemed to blur for me as I think they're all owned by the same company. Luxurious high rise is the name of the game here. What distinguished them.....Meridian at Carlyle is fairly older, being built in 2001 while the other two are like 2007 or 2008ish, though their units are still fairly updated. Carlyle Place, I didn't like their pool though, as it's surrounded by buildings. Also at Carlyle Place, police sirens and stuff seem to bounce off the buildings and echo throughout though that's gonna hinge on what unit you're looking at. The first two are smack dab near the Eisenhower metro and the AMC complex, while the Meridian at Carlyle is better situated to walk to Old Town. Floor plans would also be a factor, but that's getting really specific. I would say of the 3, Meridian at Eisenhower is probably the best quality because of its awesome views. Meridian at Carlyle would be the cheapest option, especially if you get a 5% discount if you work at a preferred employer. Carlyle Place is a nice compromise.

In the end though, none of them are dirt cheap and they're all very nice. I ended up signing a lease with the Meridian at Eisenhower as I really liked the views and being near the metro.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing your opinions on these apartment complexes as they will be useful for others.

Regarding the "shady" apartment complex next to the Huntington Metro, that is actually a very old condo community. While it could definitely use some sprucing up, I don't think the condition of the buildings is necessarily a reflection of the homeowners that live there.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Part of the nature of Pre-2000s condos. Same thing gets said about the Rotonda condos in Tysons. The fact is curb appeal is something that effects price/thoughts on a place. The homeowners of those buildings shouldn't be treated with kid gloves if this is an honest opinion. Re-facading a building but if it raises the worth of the units for the owners it might be worth their while.

Typically updating/renovating costs around 10% of the buildings construction costs (if it were built today). For most building that would require a 10 to 20k investment from all owners, it can be more with certain types of high rises. But if it raises the worth of the building equivalently it can be a smart, though politically difficult, process.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Central Virginia
6,174 posts, read 7,371,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post

Regarding the "shady" apartment complex next to the Huntington Metro, that is actually a very old condo community. While it could definitely use some sprucing up, I don't think the condition of the buildings is necessarily a reflection of the homeowners that live there.
Agree. I have a couple of friends who in live in the shady apartment complex. The apartments are definitely dated and are not luxurious but it's a suitable place to live if you aren't too picky. I can't speak for the other occupants but my friends aren't shady.

I believe they pay $1400 including utilities for a 1 bed/1 bath.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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To the original poster...I looked at many of the same apartments in the Carlyle area and ended up signing a lease at Carlyle Place. I think the Eisenhower Meridian and Carlyle Place were almost identical, but we went with Carlyle based purely on the specific unit we looked at. Slightly better layout for our needs and great view of the Potomac! I'm working at the PTO starting in May so you really can't beat the location for work and play. When are you moving down?
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:51 AM
 
51 posts, read 103,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNguy View Post
To the original poster...I looked at many of the same apartments in the Carlyle area and ended up signing a lease at Carlyle Place. I think the Eisenhower Meridian and Carlyle Place were almost identical, but we went with Carlyle based purely on the specific unit we looked at. Slightly better layout for our needs and great view of the Potomac! I'm working at the PTO starting in May so you really can't beat the location for work and play. When are you moving down?

No doubt that these two places are money and were what I perceive to be the best quality. Out of all the Carlyle spots I looked at, I probably thought least highly of the Carlyle Mill complex because in addition to feeling a little older it also felt like the parking garage was dominating the place, but even then, that place would have probably qualified as being the second nicest apartment complex I've ever lived in, so it's all a matter of relativity of where you come from.

There is definitely a culture shock to moving to NOVA. Everything being more expensive....yes, that's the most prominent thing, but it just feels so much nicer too. Not too long ago I was living in northern Delaware near Wilmington where a lot of areas were run down strip malls. Feels good to spoil myself.

Last edited by darth254; 04-23-2012 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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oh, I forgot to answer your question. I'll be moving in the first week of May.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by darth254 View Post
oh, I forgot to answer your question. I'll be moving in the first week of May.
Yea, me too. I looked at Carlyle Mill and although it was a nice place, I thought it was rough around the edges and out of date for the price they were charging. I'll pay a little more to have new appliances, new building, new everything basically. I'm moving from a house so the shock will be in downsizing to a 750sq ft apartment and paying more in rent than our mortgage was. It will be a lifestyle change, that's for sure, but I'm really looking forward to it. Plus, I've always wanted to be walking distance to work.
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