Tues. Afternoon Rental Option – Columbia Heights

2906 13th Street Northwest

This rental is located at 2906 13th Street, Northwest. The listing says:

“The Red Elephant – Boutique Studios in Columbia Heights- Total Rehab- 5 studios with kitchenettes, plus a dinner party room with a full kitchen and gas range.- Indoor bicycle parking.- Beautiful natural light.- Exposed brick, recessed LED lighting, granite countertops – all condo level finishes.- Selected units have private balconies, private entrances, and cathedral ceilings.”

You can see more photos here.

This studio is going for $1,450/Mo.

24 Comment

  • SusanRH

    So if you want to cook a real meal or use an oven you have to go to the dinner party room?

  • Interesting micro-unit concept. These investors are probably going to make a mint.
    Though, it probably cost a pretty penny to run full plumbing and electric to each individual unit when this was originally set up as a house.
    Do the studios even have a stove top? I can’t tell – the photos are poorly framed. Invest in a fisheye, folks!

  • west_egg

    Kinda hard to get a feel for what’s going on here. I was going to say “deal” based on the gas range + nice fridge, but then those morphed into a minifridge and glorified hot plate. I’m guessing that’s the studio. It’s also hard to tell what the bathroom situation is like — the one photo makes it look like there’s a glass door leading from the kitchen directly into the shower. Lastly, to the agent: At most we need only one photo of the staircase.

  • Yeah, what? This is so confusing. I think I need a couple more close-up photos of the stairs at artistic angles in order to come form a better opinion.

  • So I looked and didn’t see a BZA variance for this property, which they’d need for five units as the lot area is only 1900 sq. feet. Huh, interesting.

    • Oh ho ho! Verrrry interesting.

    • My totally unverified guess – they claimed that the “common” kitchen was actually part of the same unit as one or two of the studios. So it was basically one big apartment, plus the other studios upstairs. I’m sure they did something creative. How would they Certificates of Occupancy for the place? That would require a final inspection by the city, yes?

      • They don’t have one. Check PIVS – the only license on file is for a single family rental. I’m sure there’s a loophole that’s being exploited here, but I don’t know what it is.

        • Nice sleuthing, Sherlock. 😀
          This looks like a pretty high quality renovation for something they’re trying to slip under the radar of the RACD. You’d usually see a cheaper/crappier renovation that this. Do you think this might actually be legal?
          If anything, as a tenant you’d probably have some really good leverage over your landlord.

  • $1450 for a dorm room? Not a freaking chance, man.

  • Rather misleading of them to lead with the photo of what I think must be the communal “dinner party room with a full kitchen and gas range.”
    Are the bathrooms shared?? There’s a photo of what looks like a shower next to a kitchen counter, but no photos of any toilets.
    Also, I thought studios were supposed to be listed as “0 BD, 1 BA,” not “1 BD, 1 BA.”
    Does “Selected units have . . . private entrances” just mean that most of the residents would enter via the front door that appears to lead directly into the communal dining room? I’m hoping it’s not set up so that anyone would have to walk through someone else’s studio to get to his/her own.

    • Yeah, it looks like most of the people would go through the communal dining room to get to their units. The “Selected units” are probably…the basement.

      • Yeah, that was my suspicion too… but then I thought the basement must be too big for just one unit. Maybe the basement has one unit that has its own private entrance from the back yard, as well as a shared entrance via the basement front door/?

  • If the entrance to the communal room is in the basement and to other units through the basement, that means the main stairs go to a unit, plus a rear entrance to another unit.

    Developer should share a floor plan, because those photos are terrible.

  • I wouldn’t live there if you paid me. Not because the units don’t have a real kitchen (love Popeof13th’s comment about a dorm room!) but because the ad & photos are so deceptive. They’re designed to hide information, not share it: weird close ups, prominent photo of shared room, barely a photo of the bathroom, etc. Thus I conclude the management is untrustworthy. Not the sort of management I want to have.

    The rooms + the common kitchen, without clear cleaning SOP + common entrance? Takes me back to college and not in a good way.

    • Found the Craigslist ad – the photos are much clearer there, they’ve been cropped strangely on Popville. The ad is more explanatory too. Surely it’s in the owner/developer’s best interest to be as clear as possible as no one will sign a lease sight unseen anyway. Why waste time showing the unit to people who don’t understand what they are getting.

  • I cannot even imagine the size of these “studios” – I used to live a few doors down at 2914, in an identical rowhouse, and that only fit three apartments including the basement.

    I think I like micro-units in concept, but not at the expense of ANY personal space.

  • I guess I must be the only person of the target demographic on this thread. As a mid-20s professional who would love to have their own place but can’t afford it, this seems ideal! I have limited possessions and eat out a lot so I don’t need a big kitchen, but I want the option of having people over now and then. I suspect this housing model would appeal to a lot of folks in a similar position.

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