This is another recycled post but since we’ve been diving into micro-markets lately, and it came to mind today I wanted to share the concept on at a luxury level. I was speaking with a friend last night, Incredibly smart guy who just purchased a condo in DC. And having supreme intelligence, he chose to work with me 🙂 We spoke at length about the micro-market during the process, and now, a month removed, we revisited the topic.

“Just Econ 101”, he told me…and that’s precisely the point…

From November 14th, 2009

The Rise of The Hotel Residence in DC & Greater Bethesda

Well not in reality…yet. And yes, with so many Greater Bethesda condos in the pipeline, do we need…can we absorb another? — that always always depends on timing and location. A boutique hotel with a few residential condo units would be a perfect match for Downtown Bethesda. Whatever, whenever is the W’s slogan right? Well now we have the “wherever”… whenever you’re ready!

Washington DC isn’t “W Hotel free” — situated at 515 15th Street NW, President Obama could take a few minute stroll to Washington DC’s W. But I’m talking about W Hotel and Residences.

My argument (and I’m right!):  Every area has slightly different housing needs — and if there’s one type of property the Greater Bethesda area is begging for, it’s the 2000 sq. ft.+ luxury condo. In this particular case, I picture a Boutique W, with approximately 40 hotels rooms and 30 residences…all 2000-5000+ square foot units (the residences, that is). The upscale Hotel / Residence is the opitome of the “lock and leave” convenience, with the “resort style” living many are asking for.

Just Look At Residences at The Ritz in Georgetown

The only other comparable Hotel/Residence in the DC Metro area is The Georgetown, DC Residences at Ritz Carlton …and what did we learn from those 28 units?….

When you actually build products that the public is demanding (think baby boomers with money), they sell…regardless of the market. This past March wasn’t a wonderful time for Washinton DC real estate –!but that didn’t stop one of the Penthouse units at the Georgetown Ritz to sell for over $7M…a record for a DC condo.

I know the prices and condo fees that would come with a Residence/Hotel would stretch most Washingtonian’s pocket book. But if you built it in Downtown Bethesda (and many areas in DC, Northern Virginia…) they would most certainly come…

I look at this in retrospect, and now, with developers still pushing  “the density model”.  That is, a “just stuff as many 1 bedrooms as you can into a square box mentality”, I just want to know who’s actually doing some research?

Greater Bethesda / DC Developers — Just Ask Yourselves, “where’s the demand”?…You Figure That Out, and You’ll Sell in ANY Market

I respectfully ask Polinger Development (not picking on you guys, you just happen to be doing a lot of the immediate work in Downtown Bethesda), to give me 10 minutes. Better yet, let me design your next development — I’m not an architects but I’m great with a Pen and a napkin.   You all seem h#ll heck bent on making the same mind numbing mistakes over…and over again.

  • Get your eyes away from that very narrow lens
  • Do some market research…
  • Call me if you’d like (seriously) – 301-254-6576.

I hope you’d learn that it’s not if you build it, they will come” rather if you build what they want, they will come.”