Condos, Not iPhones, Caused Overnight Lines In DC's West End
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Many DC residents spent Tuesday morning waiting in line at the polls, but some condo-seekers waited in line early on Monday for a different reason.
Eastbanc unveiled the first 20 contracts for its high-end Westlight Condo building at noon on Monday, and potential tenants were eager to make the cut. A line began forming at 9:30pm on Sunday and 10 people stayed overnight to make an appointment for the chance to sign one of the 20 contracts. Eastbanc served refreshments and hand warmers to those waiting and roughly 35 stood in line by the time the doors opened.
Sales director Mei-Mei Venners says Eastbanc anticipated the intense interest in the condos. She says the company had considered giving out the appointment slots to the first people to call or e-mail in, but realized the fairest way to make sure the most committed people got the first appointments was by forming a line. After marketing the similarly frenzied sale for Eastbanc's 1055 High condos last year, Mei-Mei says some brokers felt they missed out on a chance to vie for the buildings, so the company wanted to be as transparent as possible this time around.
"We reverted to the old-fashioned, stand-in-line method and we moved the time back to noon, hoping people wouldn't start lining up until the morning," Mei-Mei says. "But that didn’t happen."
The Westlight condo building, rendered above, includes 71 of the most expensive condos in DC per square foot. The units range from $625k to $4.5M. Most are closer to the upper range as the building includes 34 three-bedroom condos and just eight one-bedrooms.
Mei-Mei says she has not seen such passionate interest in condos at this price point since the '90s. She attributes it partly to Eastbanc's reputation as a quality developer with a strong following, and partly to the lack of newly built condos in the West End.
The 325k SF building at 1111 24th St NW is slated to deliver in the spring. Mei-Mei says the appointments are all booked and she expects the first 20 contracts to be signed within the next 10 days. They will take a break for the holidays after that and release the next batch of contracts after the inauguration.