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Old 07-24-2009, 12:36 PM
Location: Fairfax, VA
30 posts, read 119,778 times
Reputation: 19


We may be relocating from northwest Indiana to the DC Metro area in the next month or so, pending a job offer for my boyfriend. We spent most of the day this past Wednesday looking at apartments all over Arlington, and were very happy with what we saw of London Park Towers.

I saw that they're 48% recommended on apartmentratings.com, but I don't really take it too seriously - I loved my last luxury apartment in Indianapolis, and it's only 35% recommended on that site.

However, one of my boyfriend's best friends, who works for IBM in the DC metro area and has lived in Fairfax for several years, says that the Landmark area isn't particularly stellar, although it's not too bad.

London Park was the only place that really gave us what we want and need - I want to live in a quality high-rise (I'm about as not-suburban as you can get), we're limiting our monthly rent to about $1600 in case I don't find a job for awhile after we move, and we have three cats. That last one is a kicker - most places limit you to two pets and refuse to budge on that policy, plus they charge astronomical fees to have pets at all (like a $900 non-refundable pet deposit plus $130 monthly pet rent), whereas London Park has no pet rent or pet deposit.

Any input or advice from anyone? I'm not terribly concerned about safety in the apartment; the interior seemed nice (hallways weren't littered, the tenants I did see during our tour didn't appear particularly threatening), and my boyfriend's a pretty big guy who isn't afraid to whoop some ass if necessary.

I'm more concerned about outside safety and the possibility of my car getting broken into. I've spent my whole life in Indiana and have accidentally left my apartment or my car unlocked all day without anything bad happening, so living in even a somewhat risky area is a bit foreign to me.

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:18 PM
3,307 posts, read 9,385,047 times
Reputation: 2429
Car break-ins are probably the biggest problem in that area. You definitely need to remember to lock your car and not leave stuff in plain sight. Other that that, it's a safe area. Muggings happen occasionally, but they are rare. I wouldn't worry much about walking fom the parking lot to your apartment. Just be aware of your surroundings. I know one person who lives in that complex and he's never had a probelm.

I'm surprised you liked that place since you said "I'm about as not-suburban as you can get". Landmark, to me, is pretty suburban. It's very car-oriented.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:01 PM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 31,095,161 times
Reputation: 42988
Welcome to Virginia! I don't know much about that building, but I'll give you a few general thoughts.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by not-suburban, or how strong these feelings are. But if you really hate suburbs, Arlington might not be "city-like" enough for you. You can find luxury highrises in that area, but it's not like Manhattan or anything. The neighborhood's pretty suburban. In fact, NOVA is suburbia through and through. If you really hate suburbs, you might want to try DC.

Landmark is a pretty safe area, IMO, but I would lose the habit of leaving your car unlocked. Leave yourself a post-it note reminder or something else to help you remember, but leaving a car unlocked is a bad idea around here.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:34 PM
330 posts, read 878,584 times
Reputation: 213
I have a freind that lives in London Park Towers. But the Lond Park I'm talking about is in Alexandria. I doubt that there is another place called London Towers in Arlington.

I've been to my buddies place and it's actually pretty nice. The aprtments are pretty spacious compared to a lot of other aprtments that I have been to. The only negative that I can think about it is that there is a fire station a block away and it can be noisy.

The location is very convenient. Easy to many bus routes into DC, and a couple of miles to a metro station. Old Town Alexandria is about 5 or 10 minutes and DC is 15 minutes by car in no traffic.

It's a great apartment for a beginner in the area. It's not that shady at all. Most of the people that live there are family immigrants from all over the world. If you don't like immigrants than I would not suggest it. Other than that you can't beat the price and space it provides compare to a lot of other apartments. Oh - each apartment has huge balconies which is nice. Good luck.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:56 AM
5,391 posts, read 7,232,888 times
Reputation: 2857
I agree with others that a non-suburban life and Landmark don't go hand in hand. Maybe coming from Indiana you will feel that way initially, but it will quickly become apparent that it's not really similar to a city environment or even much of an urban environment (except for dense traffic). True, it's not cul-de-sac living, but that's about it. Also, my search on London Park Tower apartments shows that they are on Duke Street, which is Alexandria (in Landmark) and not Arlington.

The Landmark area ("west end" as it's called in Alexandria) is very car-oriented and you won't have a lot to do in the immediate vicinity (good library, though). The nearby shopping mall is nothing to write home about. You'll be driving a lot, and walking around the area won't give you that vibrant city feeling. There's always a city plan to "turn Landmark (and West End) around" but it never happens.

The area has a concentration of lower-income immigrants since housing is cheaper than in other parts of Alexandria and neighboring Fairfax County. I believe there are many from the Middle East, South Asia, and Central America.

One hint on the Alexandria Crime Report search site: it appears you should leave off things like "st", "street", etc. I searched on "Duke St" and got zero results, but a search on "Duke" got results.

Over the years, I haven't had any crime problems in (non-West End) Alexandria, yet I had my car broken into in Rossyln and Clarendon (both Arlington).
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:47 PM
Location: Fairfax, VA
30 posts, read 119,778 times
Reputation: 19
My mistake on the location; I thought that London Park was in Arlington. Whoops!

WRT urban vs suburban: coming from Indiana, pretty much anything that isn't crappy garden apartments and/or subdivisions full of identical houses is enough for me at this point. I'd love to live somewhere alive and kicking eventually, but we just can't afford that right now for the square footage we need.

I live in a small college town right now and previously lived in downtown Indianapolis. I'm definitely not looking to jump right into Chicago/Manhattan-style urban living. Being a metro ride from DC and other areas is enough for me at this point.

I am pretty concerned about car break-ins. Does anyone have advice on how to effectively prevent this? I mean, I can take out my GPS and whatnot when I'm not driving my car, but I'm not too keen on having it damaged or something. I'm pretty sure my insurance company wouldn't be too thrilled, either.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:49 PM
3,307 posts, read 9,385,047 times
Reputation: 2429
Criminals usually go for the easy targets- break a window, grab a GPS, repeat.

If you're not leaving valuables in your car, you're probably safer than half the people in your parking lot. I live in the West End and it's shocking to me how many people still leave their GPS's on their windshields even after all the police reports about break-ins.
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