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Old 09-18-2009, 02:59 PM
 
6 posts, read 35,045 times
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I'm considering buying a 1 bedroom condo at Jenkin's Row (1391 Pennsylvania Ave SE), and I'm wondering what people's opinions of the area are for now and the future in terms of safety and investment. I really like the complex and the fact that it has the Harris Teeter on the ground floor plus garage parking.

I've read differing opinions on the area and when I've visited there myself it seemed perfectly fine, albeit both times were during the daylight hours. Google mapping all the surrounding blocks using google street view revealed nothing jarring (although looks can be deceiving I suppose).

I work on Capitol Hill so the commute would be great. I just want to get some other opinions on the area. If anyone has a suggestion for a similar place they'd recommend more, have at it! And thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 2,022,687 times
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It's a fine area. Now that the condos and grocery are up, I'd have no reservations about living there at all, particularly as compared to other comparably convenient and fun neighborhoods in DC.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
65 posts, read 188,427 times
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Has Jenkins Row let up on the condo fees? My girlfriend and I went for a tour; the finishes were very superficial and the condo fees were absolutely outrageous. $600+ for a small two-bedroom, which basically only covered master insurance and the building. Other than the grocery stores there isn't much right there. I'd make sure to do a lot of research about the building's finances before committing, for sure.

As far as the area goes, I have my reservations about it.

We had been told by my girlfriend's roommate who's been there for 4 years that the crime was non-existent. However, about a month after my girlfriend moved in, her two roommates were mugged at gunpoint while walking down Penn. Ave at night. Granted they probably weren't paying attention and could have been making themselves targets, but there is an element there that hasn't been uprooted yet. Common sense and awareness usually keeps you out of situations like the aforementioned one. That being said, the neighbors are all very nice and there are quite a few rowhouses up for sale in the area that have been nicely renovated, a few even that might be a better substitute for a condo...
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 2,022,687 times
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I like the information included in your post.

With regards to the mugging, however, I feel like I should put it in perspective. Outside of upper northwest, muggings in DC are an unfortunate reality. They are not overly common, but they happen in nearly every neighborhood. Perennially popular Dupont Circle and Logan Circle have been positively plagued by them this summer. Yet row homes still sell for over $1 million, and people are happy to live here. I don't know that Potomac Avenue is doing an worse in terms of crime than other areas of the city where new condo developments have gone up in the past five years.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:39 PM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,755,371 times
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The rub against Jenkins Row from a crime standpoint is just up the street, at about 12th and Penn extending down a few blocks is one of the last 'big' public housing projects left in the Capitol Hill area. Folks from these apartment building will walk up to Potomac Avenue metro (past Jenkins Row) and there have been occasional incidents. A glance at a DC Crime map will give you a more accurate reading on the surroundings.

My only other comment is that I've been on the mailing list for Jenkins Row for about 2 years. I'm a bit shocked they are still selling units. That might be a bad sign...
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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Thanks for the comments.

As for condo fees, they were $350 for the 1 bedrooms, $40 more for the 1 bed/den/2 bath models. They included all the standard stuff that comes with most new condos these days, sans a pool. (concierge, gym, pub/game room, other common areas, master insurance, reserve fund, sewers, trash, snow removal, etc.) Looking at the price sheet quickly the 2 bedroom condo fees shot up into the $400's and adding a den to those brings some of them into the 500's. So they do get pretty high but $350 for a 1 bedroom isn't so bad compared to other new condos I've looked at.

I was just there again this weekend with my agent and was asking all sorts of questions. The home owners association has been formed and they have taken over the reserve fund. There's about 20 of the 247 units left now, but some of them are real stinkers -- staring at huge industrial air conditioners out your window, or one particular ground floor unit with windows right on the street in which they understandably installed an alarm system to go with the unit.

What has attracted me to it the most is the space you get for their current prices in a location with such convenience to the metro. They are some of the larger 1 bedrooms I've seen in the last couple months I've been looking.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
65 posts, read 188,427 times
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All good points, Mrs 14th and Penguin. While muggings are indeed a fact of life in the city, it's very easy to eschew them when it hasn't happened to you or someone close to you which puts them in a much different perspective. Especially when the targets were held up with a shotgun! Amateurs, but still scary.

On the Jenkins Row front, I can't get off their mailing list. Annoying, but eventually they'll stop marketing them I guess. I can't say for sure why they're not selling, but the condo fees and perceived location may be factors. When I toured in March, at the height of the recession, I was told they were 80% sold and when I said I wasn't looking to buy until mid-summer, they said good luck, they wouldn't have any units left then. Not a very nice attitude, for sure.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:49 PM
 
6 posts, read 35,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinSix View Post
The rub against Jenkins Row from a crime standpoint is just up the street, at about 12th and Penn extending down a few blocks is one of the last 'big' public housing projects left in the Capitol Hill area. Folks from these apartment building will walk up to Potomac Avenue metro (past Jenkins Row) and there have been occasional incidents. A glance at a DC Crime map will give you a more accurate reading on the surroundings.

My only other comment is that I've been on the mailing list for Jenkins Row for about 2 years. I'm a bit shocked they are still selling units. That might be a bad sign...
From what I understand in my research of the place, they originally sold the place out in a few days when they announced it. But between that time and their delivery date of late 2007, the market started to tank and they basically had to start over. Everyone wanted out of their contract at the prices they were locked in at fearing they were overpaying and were probably very justified in doing so. Now there's about 20 units left since they "relaunched" last year. Seems about par for the course for other new condos and rennovations I've visited in the city (CityVista, Yale Steam Lofts, Capitol Hill Tower, Parker Flats)

Last edited by ctishue; 09-21-2009 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:55 PM
 
6 posts, read 35,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarksonknight View Post
All good points, Mrs 14th and Penguin. While muggings are indeed a fact of life in the city, it's very easy to eschew them when it hasn't happened to you or someone close to you which puts them in a much different perspective. Especially when the targets were held up with a shotgun! Amateurs, but still scary.

On the Jenkins Row front, I can't get off their mailing list. Annoying, but eventually they'll stop marketing them I guess. I can't say for sure why they're not selling, but the condo fees and perceived location may be factors. When I toured in March, at the height of the recession, I was told they were 80% sold and when I said I wasn't looking to buy until mid-summer, they said good luck, they wouldn't have any units left then. Not a very nice attitude, for sure.

Haha yeah now the tale is that their best deals during the height of the recession are past and they are starting to sell units again. So you won't be getting the deal you could have gotten in March but it is still a great deal! ...or something like that... To their credit though, since I started looking at Jenkins, 3 of the units I've looked at have gone under contract.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
65 posts, read 188,427 times
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Yeah Jenkins Row was the nail in the condo-coffin for me. I can't stomach the escalation of condo fees in this area, so I've since turned my interests to saving up for a house that has maintenance costs instead of condo fees. At least I have some control over those costs! Good luck with Jenkins Row though, it sounds like you're on the right track with your research.
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