Judging Buildings – The Metropole


We judged the actual building, located at 1515 15th Street, NW (by P Street), back in October 2008. But the Metropole has recently come under new management and I was invited to tour the inside. Since I never took a tour last time, I thought I’d snap some photos. There are 90 units in the building and the prices have been adjusted when McWilliams Ballard took over in mid-May. Prices range anywhere from $399,900 to $1,499,900. There are 1 bedrooms, 1 bedrooms with dens, 2 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms with dens, and penthouses with terraces.

I took tons of photos which I’ll post after the jump but what I think is of particular note is that many of these units are two levels with huge windows and a very open feel. Also the kitchens and bathrooms were really high end. I’m told they are in the process of updating their Web site which you can find here. If you’ve been curious what the units look like you can check them out after the jump.








Not all the bathrooms are painted like this:





40 Comment

  • Some people in this city are really living it up!

  • Vonstallin

    thats pretty hot….
    I mean damn…thats a nice pad.

  • Living it up until the bill collector comes on the first of the month. This building is the Bagdad of condo projects in DC. Lot’s of problems with potential owners and their down payments.

  • These places are like the anti-Petworth. Definitely not my style, but I do understand that those are some nice digs.

  • Not my style per se, but I certainly wouldn’t kick this condo outta bed for eatin’ crackers.
    Hey PoP, any idea of the price tag/sq footage on the unit featured?

  • Wow, I’ve never seen something so new look so dated. Welcome back to 2006 ya’ll.

  • It’s very, um, mod. Post-mod? Neo-mod? Definitely took a risk with trendy designs that are already looking out of place.

  • I must have no design sense. What is wrong with this condo? What am I missing?

  • How functional is that kitchen really? I know some people that make the entire living space into a kitchen and have a tini tiny living room but this is the complete opposite. Outside of the standing pantry all of the drawers and storage are up by the ceiling. I hope you can fit a step ladder in the pantry. The rest is very nice and very modern.

    This last comment has nothing to do with the place, but are those lights in the closet? The mannequin looking objects?

  • If you can afford one of these, you can afford to eat at a restaurant every night, too. The kitchen doesn’t *need* to be functional =)

  • It may just be the lighting or the white balance setting on the camera that took the photos, but the place looks very very cold. The bathroom in particular (the room with the dual sinks in it anyway), as well as the kitchen corner w/ faux-concerte(?) cabinets. Also agree that the kitchen looks really pointless.

    The actual space looks great, I just don’t like the decisions that the person that built-out the space made (especially considering this is / these are probably the more expensive unit(s)). I would have tried to conceal the “loft design” as much as possible; it was overdone a few years ago (not this building’s fault necessarily, seeing as they ran into construction problems that delayed completion by a few years, but it certainly looks dated now).

  • I’d assume that if you moved into one of these places that you’d want to entertain a lot. If so, that kitchen makes ZERO sense.

  • Compared to most other new/renovated construction in this city, this project looks much more modern and interesting. I just get really tired of the same dark wood cabinets with cream granite countertops with mid-range stainless appliances.

    If this place is 2006, then most the rest of DC is stuck in 1996.

  • The kitchen cabinets don’t bother me–I wouldn’t store anything up that high myself, but I’d rather have cabinet doors up there than air space and the top of the cabinets getting dusty.

    What bothers me are the wonky floor plans, looking at their website. The smallest units (202-206) have spiral staircases to the lofts, and the kitchen cabinets take up a whole wall of the unit. No space for even a decent living room seating area. Some of the larger units (426, 423, etc) call a staircase landing a ‘bedroom’–and yet there are three bathrooms. They should have laid it out better as a two bedroom, with the two rooms actually being rooms (with walls). Overall it definitely feels like they were running down the checklist of ‘guaranteed items sure to increase the selling value’ and just made sure they crammed everything into each unit.

  • These are pretty nice, but I think they start at about $700,000 for the smallest units…maybe prices have come down a bit now given all of the building’s problem. My concern would be mostly with the exposed duct work. I think that’s going to seem really really old in about 5 years and covering it up may not be an option or would likely be prohibitively expensive. Plus you’d lose about 2ft of ceiling height, I guess. Have you ever tried to dust on top of one of those exposed air ducts…that can’t be fun.

  • not telling mentions the key problem with these units — there is no privacy in the bedrooms. they are all lofts without walls that go to the ceiling. so, if you have an overnight guest, just hope that no one snores or has sex, or things could be a little more communal than you would like. i showed one of these to a client who could have afforded a 2 bedroom — she dismissed it after realizing there were no private spaces.

  • jeez… i feel like you all are looking at a picture of Gisele and saying things like “her hair isnt quite the right shade” and “her nose should be smaller.” goodness.

  • Goodness? At prices around $700/sq ft, you’ve gotta expect tough scrutiny.

  • TonyS, you just summed up the thought process of 90 percent of the commenters here when it comes to judging any sort of real estate.

  • Such high ceilings. How many people does it take to change those lightbulbs in the chandelier.

    If I lived here, I’d buy a big basket of those toy superballs that you get out of gumball machines.

  • And I often find the comments here making it a place of sanity. I don’t understand why people do pay the amount they pay for something that will look so dated. So you really look at these places and see them as Gisele-like? Really? I see them as Fergie-like, unable to comprehend the attraction.

  • The developer is in a lot of hot water with its own builders, and there are almost a billion leans on the building. Its not worth the headache…

  • AA hit it on the head. don’t buy until the building is 90 percent sold. you could end up with a mortgage and no condo.

  • Don’t buy, the builder has defaulted on several buyers, what a scam. This is Bernie Madof number two. Also the floor plans are very Ikea like. Basic Junk, Fed Sanford would say ” You BIG dummy”

  • Re ^^^^

    Maybe I’m in the dark, but exactly how does a builder default on a buyer? That’s a new one to me.

  • How do the larger units compare to Union Row?
    I think Metropole has higher end finishes in baths but considering $$$ per sq ft what is the better deal? Parking? I would take either

    Love this unit..
    Listing #: DC7039886
    2125 14 ST NW #307W
    Washington DC 20009


  • I’d have to agree about the kitchen. Definitely not functional. Are the glass doors above the counter also cupboards? If they’re not, you have serious problems, where do you put your dishes? Everyother space you’d need a step stool or to climb on the counter to access. And where is the silverware drawer? I never understand why people build kitchens without a place for silverware. It’s kind of a necessity.

  • I’ve taken a few clients few the building since the sales team changed over. My understanding is that Metropole was recently taken back from the original developer by the bank. The bankruptcy process has eliminated any of the leins/debts that were on the property. The bank now wants to get as much of their remaining principle out of building, so the prices have been reduced substantially to spur sales. I’ve been through most of the new buildings in the area and this stands above them in terms of quality. You can nit-pick all you want, but in terms of location/design/uniqueness/quality, Metropole beats out the other crappy standard condos out there hands down. If this building is Fergie, then I hate to think what all the other standard fare would be compared to…

  • I have a really visceral hatred of this building, and that whole block. I don’t really care about the units inside — I live nearby it and yeah, we can see right into every unit and there is zero privacy. But what I really object to is the Clarendonization of the neighborhood, and the great white wave of yoga zombies that came with it. I realize I sound like an old crank, but whatevs.

    This crap building and its horrible karma chap me. I am noticing there has been no progress on plans to tear down the McCormick Paint store across P Street and slap up another yuppie gulag. One blessing from the recession.

  • I agree with jules, the entire block is being Clarendonized. This building will be filled with want to be urbanites. People who walk their dogs and they don’t honor the poper scooper laws. Hope the recession slows down a lot of these plastic people from moving into DC.

  • I heart the term “yuppie gulag!” This place is the perfect reminder that ghettos aren’t just for poor people.

  • JoeEsq– I’d go with the Warehouses for layout and location. Only a few left though, and they don’t seem to be budging much on price. IMO, CityScape was an even better deal, but most of the comparable units are gone now (sweet penthouses left though).

    As for those complaining about the “Clarendonization”: get over it. DC isn’t going to remain stuck in the 90s. There will be progress, and for better or worse (better IMO), that is going to attract wealthier people and better services and amenities. Besides, there are far worse places than Clarendon. From an urban planning perspective, it’s actually quite nice.

  • can i get a liar loan for one of these fancy places? i got 5,000 to put down. maybe all you tax payers could kindly bail, i mean, help me out with the balance…i do appreciate it.

  • I have only been to Clarendon once or twice. I do know that I would take a Clarendon in the city over where I live now. Most of you on this board would too. If I could afford Metropole or anywhere near this location, I’d take it over PW/CH.

  • I’m beginning to feel that uncomfortable tightening of my stomach as I read comments that drip with close-mindedness and judgmentalism. Not about the condo, or the kitchens, or the developer. But about the people who live in the neighborhood. “Great white wave of yoga zombies,” “yuppie gulag,” “wannabe urbanites,” “plastic people,” “Clarendonization” like it’s a violent crime wave.

    I’m not sure what to make of these comments, but I think their tone reflects poorly on those posting them; a certain insecurity or something, like they feel threatened by the wave of younger people moving in and patronizing bustling stores and restaurants (most of which, I would add, are locally owned, unlike those in the Clarendon town center). Perhaps unspoken, a hint of homophobia: the neighborhood has a highly visible gay population. But then again, also lots of single young women too. All of whom are enjoying their neighborhood very much. More so than Jules, apparently.

  • Pooperpole.

  • Sorry for the nasty comments, guys. My life sucks and I had a crappy weekend.

  • The condo fees are crazy high as well. Also, the sale people are very rude. On the tour that I took (with about 8 other people-all couples of varying ages) we were told that this was a building for people who don’t have children and want to be able to experience life.

    Also, the 2nd bedroom in most of them is really a walk-through space and not a legal 2nd bedroom by DC law.

  • This building sucks. The units are only for people whose condo is meant to represent their personal style, not any sort of livable functionality whatsoever. The bedrooms are all either smaller or completely open to below. The kitchens look nice, but aren’t functional. Maybe it’s just me, but the wife likes to go read a book in the bedroom while I watch tv in the living room and just about every unit in the Metropole makes this impossible. If you like to show off, buy one of these, but if you like your own bedrooms with a door to close, then go somewhere else.

  • I own a 2br+den (1500 sqft) in the Metropole, and it’s one of the most functional units I’ve ever owned or rented. And the finishes are great–granted, we picked them and they’re certainly not for everyone, but they’re high quality, unique, and functional. One exception, as someone noted, is that some of the high spaces have lightbulbs that are tough to access.

    In our unit, the master bedroom is large and has solid-wood shutters to shut it off from the 20-foot high living room. They work really well. The kitchen with island is practical and everyone from contractors to poker buddies comment on how good the whole place seems for living and entertaining. Plus, the location is the best in the city IMO.

    So, while some of the smaller units – which have had their prices reduced recently – aren’t ideal in terms of functionality, most units I’ve seen are a good balance of creative design and practical space planning. Be careful about generalizing because there are a lot of really great units in the building.

    As for “financial issues”, they haven’t impacted me at all. As someone said above, I think the original lender now owns the building. Whoever does recently brought in McWilliams-Ballard, which is a top-tier sales operation and has been doing a really good job judging by the number of new move-ins I’m seeing (sorry to the person who felt they were rude–you should let them know). Overall I’m very pleased with the purchase, especially because my $/sqft, adjusted for my parking space, is comparable with realistic prices at other buildings in the area that don’t offer the design, quality, and convenience (concierge, gym, salon, spa) that the Metropole does.

    Oh, and I echo Mark’s comment–the posters hating on ALL people who are moving into Logan need to do some yoga or smoke some to lighten up. I have at least as much right to be here as you do… :\

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