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New Short-Term Rental Concept Debuts In JBG Smith-Owned Shaw Building

One of JBG Smith's new apartment buildings in Shaw will soon be fully occupied by the first location of a new short-term, furnished rental concept. 

The central walkway connecting JBG Smith's 901 W and 900 W buildings in Shaw, photographed in April 2020.

Method Co., a Philadelphia-based real estate management and design firm, announced Tuesday it launched a new short-term rental concept called Whyle. The first location of the Whyle concept opened this month in JBG Smith's 900 W St. NW apartment building.

The Whyle brand offers furnished apartments that can be rented for as little as 30 days or as long as 12 months. Method Co. CEO Randall Cook said he expects the average stay will be between three and four months.

Cook said the presence of the federal government was a primary reason it chose D.C. as the debut market for the Whyle brand. 

"There's a large need for furnished housing in D.C.," Cook said. "It's great for people who are coming into town for the change in administration or the typical government-related needs, whether embassies or lobbyists or government agencies that bring people to Washington."

The concept will fill all 95 units in 900 W St. NW, one of two connected multifamily buildings that JBG Smith delivered in 2019. The one- and two-bedroom units range from 573 SF to 1,077 SF. 

Cook said Method has been working with JBG Smith since 2016, before the developer began construction on the project. He said the deal is structured as a management agreement. 

JBG Smith Executive Vice President of Residential and Retail Management Tiffany Butcher, in a statement emailed to Bisnow, said the developer is excited to have the Whyle concept in its building.

"Whyle offers a complementary option for furnished apartments and flexible stays that is not currently available in the Shaw neighborhood," Butcher said. "Residents are able to step into a beautifully furnished apartment immediately, and we know that in a city like D.C., where people come and go often, that will be attractive to certain renters who might need that instant comfort and convenience that Whyle provides."

The rooftop pool at the 900 W St. NW building.

Several other short-term housing operators have expanded in the D.C. market, including Zeus Living, Blueground, WhyHotel and Oakwood Worldwide.

"A lot of the businesses in our space are just coming into a completed project and quickly putting furniture together, where this whole building was designed with this end use in mind," Cook said. "We feel that's a pretty significant differentiator."

Morris Adjmi Architects designed the project, which also includes 23K SF of retail and a woonerf-style street in between the two buildings. Its amenities include a rooftop lounge and pool, a fitness center with Peloton bikes and a yoga studio, and a 24-hour concierge. 

The two-building project, planned as Parcel C of the Atlantic Plumbing development, also includes 161 apartments at 901 W St. NW. That building was 47.7% leased as of Dec. 31, according to JBG Smith's Q4 investor filing. One block north, JBG Smith and MRP Realty last year delivered the Whole Foods-anchored apartment building The Wren, which was 55.6% leased at year-end. 

Cook said he was drawn to the Shaw neighborhood because of its entertainment venues, bars and restaurants, plus its proximity to public transit. The project is less than a half-mile from the Shaw and U Street Metro stations. 

"Since our guests are staying there usually for over three months, it's not in a central business district where it clears out on the weekends," Cook said. "It has the neighborhood amenities that people are looking for in an urban environment today."

A model unit for Method Co.'s Whyle short-term rental concept.

The Whyle apartments will come fully furnished with kitchen appliances, dressers, beds with headboards, rugs, sofas, armchairs, nightstands, televisions, and washers and dryers. The units will also be designed with a range of vintage and modern artwork.

Method is partnering on the Whyle concept with Brooklyn-based Poritz & Studio, Copenhagen-based MENU, New York art gallery Lumas and design studio Workstead. Method also owns extended-stay hospitality brand Roost, Philadelphia restaurant-and-hotel concept Wm. Mulherin's Sons and Philadelphia Japanese restaurant Hiroki

Cook said Method could potentially add two more Whyle locations in the D.C. market, but he said he doesn't have any other projects currently in the works. He is also looking at other major U.S. cities. 

"Our goal would be to have one or several of these in multiple big cities throughout the U.S.," Cook said. "This is our first to open, but we're pretty bullish on this concept and expect it to be rolled out in several cities."