Housing Complex

Some Say “Kent” Is a Real D.C. Neighborhood

Susan Rice, a Kentian?

In the grand hierarchy of elite D.C. neighborhoods, The Palisades is certainly among the top tier. It's close to downtown, but quiet and green. Its property values frequently climb beyond the $1 million mark. If you're looking for a decent club scene, this area will disappoint—but apparently, there's a "kickass wine shop" nearby for nightlife emergencies.

Yes, it doesn't get much better than The Palisades, unless of course you know about nearby Kent since the two areas often get lumped in together under The Palisades moniker. Kent appears to be the area's pricier, and thus more esteemed, neighborhood. The question is: how many people know the distinction?

Last week, I wrote a short post about Kent. I'd never heard about it until unexpectedly coming across the name in Washingtonian magazine. Soon, I determined I was not the only one in the dark. Several of my go-to neighborhood experts here at the Washington City Paper were also unfamiliar with Kent.

I put out a call for information. One individual sent me a personal message saying that the DC  Real Property Assessment Database includes Kent. The database lists 964 properties, and a number of V.I.P.s. These include Vanity Fair National Editor Todd Purdum, who is married to Dee Dee Myers, also a Vanity Fair contributor and former press secretary for Bill Clinton. Just scrolling through the Kent database, I noticed one more familiar name: Newly appointed United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, listed as living on Millwood Lane.

"Kent has upper bracket homes," says (hilariously coincidentally named) Kent Madsen of Long & Foster Foxhall. "A lot of houses in Kent are your center hall colonials—where Palisades could be anything: bungalows, townhouses, newer bigger homes that people have built."

Madsen says Kent lies roughly between Loughboro Road, MacArthur Boulevard, and Arizona Avenue. One commenter on my earlier blog post agreed with me that "Kent" wasn't an oft-used designation: "Since most people outside the neighborhood refer to the general area as Palisades, it’s safe to say that most people, especially those moving in now, probably don’t know it’s called Kent."

Madsen disagreed: "Do a lot of people know about it? I mean, I think they do," he said.

Photo by New America Foundation licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

  • B

    It seems google maps notes that area of DC as being known as Kent.

  • Tania

    Puh-leeze . . . there are tons of neighborhoods and neighborhood names that are known to the people who live there (Manor Park is a good example-- often wrongly described as Brightwood or Takoma). There are others that people refer to incorrectly (um, Columbia Heights does NOT extend to Georgia Avenue, the next neighborhood over is Pleasant Plains). There are also "new" neighborhood names (people seem to think they can add a street name and put "Heights" after it and everyone will agree to add $100k to the sales price). Kent is well known to the neighborhood, and when I was growing up in Palisades in the 80's, I certainly knew the distinction.

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