City Desk

D.C. Apartments, Now Without Windows

Washington's high rental rates should make packing as many $1,600 studios into a building as possible an easy proposition for developers. But until now, people have wanted windows in their apartments, which has limited the number of apartments that can be built in the center of a building. The solution: get rid of the windows.

This novel solution comes from Citadel Apartments, set to be built in a former roller rink on top of the Adams Morgan Harris Teeter. While 31 of the apartments in the dome-shaped space will have windows, eight in the center of the building won't. Instead, they'll have a skylight.

Now, anyone who's had a skylight knows that they're the side salads to windows' steaks: nice to have, but not interchangeable with the main course. You also can't see anything out of them, and with Washington's tendency for gray skies half of the year, they don't even provide much light. Still, they're rooms in D.C., and for now that seems to be enough for renters.

Photo by Capital Pixel's Lori Steenhoek.

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  • Tom M

    Developer GREED cannot be bounded by simple windows of glass and wood. Let the money grubbing spirit SOAR! Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and the market will punish such avarice. Is this fire code legal??

  • Cherries on Top

    This is a Jim Graham deal I'll bet money on it. This will be like the 20M tax abatement he maneuvered for the "boys"(read the old Moodonna crowd) at View14 when they found themselves in over their heads because having never developed anything before they thought they should go for 10 stories. Oh, and then having switched it out from condos to rentals they sold the building for 104M, with the "abatement" still in place.

    A cynic might suggest that with all this money sloshing around some part of it might, maybe, have found its way to Montevideo. But Mendelson needs clear directions on what to do. No wonder Graham has that smug smirk on her face.

  • Dee Veloper

    No, this will not pass muster unless Graham gets greased.

  • ABC

    Some people might be willing to take an apartment without windows if the price is low enough, especially if they travel frequently or otherwise aren't home much. (After all, people take inside cabins on cruise ships, but don't spend much time in them.) But the fire safety issue is real. Building codes usually require two exits from sleeping spaces, usually a door and a window. Will these units have two exit doors, maybe one going directly to a stairwell? If not, they are deathtraps.

  • Anonymous

    No windows and yet all that wasted space. This isn't about greed as much as bad design. Why with such limited space would you cut the space in half to affect some phoney loft. If the whole building is this poorly done no wonder they ended up with 8 apartments with no windows. Who is the developer proposing this mess?
    Who is the architect? My bet would be on Eric Colbert.

    This hasn't been approved has it? Only in Ward 1!

  • Sancho

    @ Anonymous. The half loft is because the light from the skylight would not reach the lower level floor if the top level stretched all the way across.

  • noodlez


  • Will Sommer

    I never said it didn't have a name. Thanks for the pics, looks cool.

  • Alberto

    Looks kind of nice!

    I love all the outrage and that this is what passes for a shitty apartment in DC. Makes me not miss Manhattan.

  • Yum

    Graham has probably already casually mentioned to the developer a tidbit about something that caught his eye in a Sotheby's catalogue or in the estate jewelry case at Tiny Jewel Box. Loose diamonds always make a nice gift for the girl on the go.

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