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First Look Inside The Shay in Shaw

by Prince Of Petworth September 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm 87 Comments


From an email:

“I’m writing from Hudson & Crane, DC’s newest furniture, design, and lifestyle brand, in the heart of adams morgan/ u st corridor. You may have seen ads introducing The Shay luxury apartment community that has gone in at 9th and U st NW. We designed and installed the model apartment for them (as well as their lobby), which can be seen from The Brixton as well as Nellies.

The Shay has dozens of floorplans and hundreds of rooms to choose from in this interesting and asymmetrical building.  Likewise, having done design work for The Shay we are extending a promotion to all lessees at The Shay of 10% off of all furniture, lighting, and rugs with a signed lease through 2015 as well as 15% off of our design services through 2016 should a client wish to book those services with us. Attached are a few shots of our work in the model. The graffiti wall art was done by local artist Kelly Towles.

We just finalized a deal today to open up our SECOND location. It will actually be on the ground level in the retail space that is opening up under The Shay. Our spot will be facing 8th st, around the corner from the Lobby with a great line up of other restaurants and shops as well. Also, while our main showroom in Adams Morgan deals in furniture, decor, gifts, and interior design services, this new location will offer primarily gift and decor options to holiday shoppers.”





  • It’s smart they used the lowest level units facing U street as the model apartments, because no one will want to live there Thur/Fri/Sat. nights when there are thousands of people roaming the bars. Hope there is some amazing soundproofing!

    • emvee

      You can see right into the units from the DC9 rooftop, fishbowl style.

  • jumpingjack

    I don’t think they can build a window soundproofed enough to make me willing to live at that intersection, let alone pay $2600-4000 for a 1BD there.

  • MtP

    A lot of the new “luxury” buildings are doing it, but I HATE the one wall “kitchen” like this. Clearly designed for someone who never cooks. You have any sort of mess in the kitchen and there is no escaping it. I don’t hate some open plan, but this is really too far.

    • jumpingjack

      Totally agree. It makes the entire living room part of the kitchen. Even worse in the studios. It seems like such a lazy design choice.

      • MtP

        Exactly! The kitchen wall becomes the focal point and dominates the entire living room

    • Emmaleigh504

      +1 exactly! I’m a messy cook, I need a door!

    • mcd

      Agree- bolting appliances to a wall doesn’t make it a kitchen, but it is pretty clear they are trying to maximize the “natural light” in each unit’s living area, and maximize the number of units per floor. The thing I don’t understand is how most of the “bedrooms” don’t have a window- I thought that was a violation of code? Don’t all “bedrooms” need a window?

    • Anonymouse

      I actually have a kitchen like that. It’s not as bad as you’d think. I cook meals for 2 most days of the week. You just have to be judicious with how you prep food, and you wash things or put them in the dishwasher as you’re cooking … I’d love a bigger kitchen or even an island but you work with what you have. I’ve also arrayed my floor plan so that all the furniture faces away from the kitchen. That way I’m not looking at dirty dishes all the time.

    • DM

      I don’t mind it being open, but one wall would be absolutely awful to cook in. If they put a big center island with a breakfast bar where you could both cook and have people sit, instead of that flimsy little table, the kitchen would be great.

      • Yeah I think the useless table is more offensive than the kitchen wall. If anything it just gets in the way while you’re walking while adding zero extra functionality. For just a bit more floorspace they could have put in actual useful islands.

  • Those stripes across the ceiling/wall remind me of the set of the 80s show Too Close for Comfort. Where’s Jim J Bullock?

    • SinSA

      That’s what that was!! I was trying to figure out what that reminded me of — thanks!

  • truxie


  • This all looks so… uncomfortable….

  • Emmaleigh504

    I WANT that rhino!!

    • Emmaleigh504

      I like the star-burst and the dresser too!

    • wpk_dc

      +1 That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it!!

  • 7thStTechGuy

    I cannot imagine living in those lower level units. Terrible design choices by putting people’s living spaces at eye level to bar rooftops. That would suck.

    • annonny

      clearly marketed for narcissistic millennials with a lot of money and a mean exhibitionist streak…

    • They’ve got built in retractable drapes.

  • ParkViewRes

    Woah, those are some expensive rental prices! I also agree with others–wouldn’t want to live in this location on the weekends.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    I hate almost every single thing about this decor. UGH!

    • textdoc


    • It actually kind of makes me want to paint something black. But my bedroom doesn’t have crazy huge windows to offset the darkness.

      • LittleBluePenguin

        Yeah, I don’t hate the dark walls of the bedroom, with bright windows to offset the darkness it’d be ok, but I feel like once you close the shades, I’d have to immediately go to sleep to avoid feeling a tiny bit claustrophobic. And you can’t NOT close the shade because holy crap there’s everybody looking at you otherwise.

  • shaw

    Better hope those windows are soundproof! Otherwise, the turnover in the corner units facing both Brixton AND Nellies will be pretty consistent. Nice looking apartments if you’re a deaf billionaire, though.

    • ash

      Maybe the people that choose to live there are the same people that will be out and about at said bars, so the noise won’t actually bother them? Only thing I can think of.
      I love my conveniently located apartment that ‘s also conveniently 2 blocks from most of the bustle of the neighborhood.

      • Emmaleigh504

        “I love my conveniently located apartment that ‘s also conveniently 2 blocks from most of the bustle of the neighborhood.” same

      • 7thStTechGuy

        This is literally on top of it…not two blocks.

        • ash

          Oh, I know. I don’t live here. Maybe that was clear in my first comment and I should have added that qualifier.

  • One of those studio floor plans doesn’t even include a bed. And it costs $2,268.
    “Check out our cool asymmetrical building. The one where we made crap floor plans and charged people comical prices for them!”

    • jumpingjack

      That triangular floorplan is also available for $2,498! You’d basically be renting a kitchen, bathroom, washer/dryer, and a balcony.

      • ***

        Perfect for the 20-something workaholic OR the 20-something that plans on sleeping at his/her place every night.

  • AG

    I wouldn’t even care about the sound. I would just hate to live in a fishbowl, and I love having loads of natural light. It’s one thing if you’re in a high rise, distanced from humanity, but no way at nearly street level.

    • ash

      Wait, so there are NO window coverings at all? So people that move in there won’t even be able to put of some of those shade thingies that you sometimes see on buildings like this (provide privacy without messing with the external aesthetics)?
      Oh heck nah!

      • The OP Anon

        I really do hope that the building is providing custom window treatments for these apartments. The developer could easily have received a bulk discount.
        Every place I’ve rented in DC has included shades or blinds (2 houses and 2 apartments).

        • Nick

          I’ve seen the units at night from across the street while the shades were drawn and the interior lights were on.

          Given how thin the rolling shades are, let’s just say you’ll be giving passers by quite the shadow puppet show should you decide to have sex in your bedroom with the lights on…

      • HaileUnlikely

        I believe the white things that appear to hang down about 6 inches at the top of the windows are shades. The cords on pulleys alongside them are a clue to that effect.

        • ash

          Now I see. Totally overlooked them before.

        • AG

          What’s the point of having huge windows if you have to have them covered all the time? And it looks like they don’t have the kind of shades that go from the floor up to at least give a little more privacy.

          • Exactly! Unless you have shades that close from the bottom up, you are either in an aquarium or a prison cell.

          • You don’t have to have them covered all the time, just the times when you don’t want someone seeing what you’re doing. This is not really a concept any different than someone in a house with windows would experience.

          • ash

            Come on now, these windows are quite a bit different than traditional windows on a house/condo/apartment. The concept may not be really any different, I guess. But at least with traditional windows, you can have blinds that allow in light while providing a bit of privacy. Shades that close from the bottom up would be more ideal.

  • Animaled

    I kind of love that horse lamp for being so ridiculously tacky.

  • mail

    love it. nicely decorated. the criticism is ridiculous.

    • ash

      One person’s criticism is another person’s opinion. Or something like that.

      • Anonymouse

        Both are opinions. I actually like the design as a showpiece. Some interesting things going on here compared to most staging in DC which is just horribly bland.

        • I agree. It’s totally not my style, but I do respect that the style works as a cohesively staged design and there are many people that it would appeal to (although I don’t know that as many of them live in DC).

  • Peter Eeps

    not a lot of privacy! reminder folks don’t have sex by the windows, you’ll draw a crowd.

    • I find it hilarious that people are acting as if sex in front of an open window is something that this building has somehow monopolized a lack of privacy on.

  • LoganRes

    floorplan S3-E is a joke! A 519 sq ft TRIANGLE SHAPED studio for $2,200+ with absolutely no space for a bed!

    • Anon

      And you know it’s going to be more like $3000. When are luxury apartments ever the price they advertise?

    • DM

      Is that apartment *really* 519 square feet? My current studio is advertised at 540 square feet, and it’s easily 100-150 square feet larger than that triangular Shay apartment. And has, you know, four walls instead of three.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Mine is 360sq ft and looks bigger! My building also has a semi triangular 500 something sq ft apt that easily fits a bed and sofa. Why couldn’t they fit a bed in the floor plan?!

    • ***

      Hahahaha. Wow that is some terrible planning. The deck, which nice on a larger unit, removed all of the functional space in this studio. You’re either sleeping on the deck or turning on of those closets into a bed.

  • TX2DC

    I remember seeing these during construction and they were made of almost 100% wood. I bet you’d hear every step the neighbor makes in the unit above yours. And I agree, it would be awful to have patrons peering into your place from at least 3 bars.

    • The OP Anon

      My guess is that you’re going to hear a lot of “intimate moments” in this place. It screams expensive first-year Big Law associate dormitory.
      And, of course, someone will be dumb enough to move into here with a newborn baby and then proceed to complain about the noise and party atmosphere.

      • *while being oblivious to how obnoxious their baby screaming is to everyone else.

    • anon

      there is a lot of wood frame construction going up in dc, but i thought this one was concrete.

      • jim_ed

        No, this building is wood frame on a single level concrete podium.

  • cdan

    Where’s the flat screen TV go? Or, at least, where’s the cable connection? What’s with the trailer-park-motor-home “kitchens?” Why, in new construction, have floor plans with bathrooms opening into eating areas? And those “black” walls better be white when you move out. Many of us have stood on Nellie’s roof deck howling at the stunningly horrendous staging while wondering who the owner’s target market is. And the prices! Really? She may have “arrived” but she ain’t ready.

    • eggs

      “Trailer-park-motor-home ‘kitchens'” – this is 100% spot on.

  • mvexplorer

    I would have loved to live here back when I was 22 and in my dream world where someone else was paying my rent.

  • Honest Abe

    I predict 40-50% of these units will have signed leases by Christmas.

  • wpk_dc

    Sounds like a great addition to my U Street neighborhood!

  • GBinCh

    Is it just me or do a lot of the one and two bedroom apartments lack any windows in the bedrooms?!

  • Finitor

    So, who is the market for all these luxury buildings?

    They seem to appeal, design-wise, to 20-somethings, and that’s who I generally see in them, but where are they getting so much money?

    Don’t they have student loans and have to work their way up? I just don’t understand the economics.

    • JoDa

      My housekeeper (I know, I know…I am both a big girl who is fairly senior at work and she only comes every other week) tells me that she believes mommy and daddy are still paying the bills for a lot of these folks…I guess at least a few of them are set up for auto-pay for housekeeping from the folks’ account. I had a friend in my 20’s whose parents floated her to the tune of $1000/month, which was a decent chunk of money back then (more than my rent). If she had a more power-player job (she was a preschool worker at some fancy-pants place that charged a ton and paid their staff (all of them with MA’s) nothing), that extra money probably could have put her into a place like this…$2200-1000 = $1200, a reasonable rent for someone starting out making ~$50K. And then the other half are biglaw and consultants, who make $100K+ right out of the gate.
      I mean, I think it’s stupid…if I’m in this situation and going to shell out that kind of money, I’m going to buy a $500,000 house (yes, $500,000 houses totally still exist in the city). If I’m Mr. Trust Fund, I get mommy and daddy to make the down payment and rent out the other bedrooms; biglaw/consultant, I buy something I hope to make enough on to get into a “company appropriate” townhouse in some new planned community in VA in a few years. Never understood they “money to burn” mentality, even if it’s someone else’s money.

      • Finitor

        I was with ya til the end. I don’t see any need to decamp out to Virginia and subject oneself to those horrible commutes and fewer cultural amenities just to fit in with a company. If people can live within walking or biking distance to work, their quality of life skyrockets. It’s just unfortunate that our market is being propped up so falsely by wealthy parents, because that affects us all.

        My friends in the consulting business always get bothered when I call out how overpaid they are for doing the same work as the rest of us. They claim there’s less stability, which is true for someone on their own but at these huge companies they have plenty of cover between projects to get settled again.

        • anon

          your consultant friends probably drank the blue and green cool aid long ago and probably actually believe what they say, too.

    • The OP Anon

      Early to mid 30s, single, 6 figure income.
      DINKs, late 20s to mid 30s.
      There’s an emerging line of thinking among major real estate investors and I-banks that a large chunk of white collar Millennials will never be able to save for a down payment due to student loans. Yet they are still able to afford the monthly rent on a “grown up” apartment like this.
      Immediate gratification vs. long term investment – the economic story of this century, IMHO.

      • Anon

        The evil side of this is that they intentionally created that scenario by pumping student loans. “Affluent” people with no real wealth are a very obedient workforce/electorate.

    • The old saying “40 is the new 30”, “30 is the new 20” etc really applies to places like this. If you go out in the area, it’s a lot more 30-somethings than 20-somethings. And if you’re in your 30s in this city, with the average salaries being so high, you definitely have the earning potential to rent a place like this without needing parental assistance. And you probably went to school in an era before tuition rates were as astronomical as they are today. The notion that so much of the city’s housing market is propped up only because someone else is paying for it is rather insulting to those of us who’ve actually earned our way here, and given the amount of professional careers that exist in and around DC, it’s not hard to imagine just how many people that could potentially be.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Why is the notion that much of the housing market is propped up by others paying for it insulting to somebody who earned their own way? I didn’t see any implication in any of the above that you, I, or any other specific individual did not earn their own way. If the notion that many of those in the $3K/month apartments are getting outside help is true (I have no special insight regarding whether or not it is), it would suggest that those who earned our own way are relatively more exceptional, which I’d find the opposite of insulting.

        • textdoc


          • Anonymous

            NYC’s real estate is propped up by tons of outside (often foreign) money. I’m sure others read the NY Times article a few months back that some buildings in NYC sit 40% empty because they are only used part time. At least the people receiving their parent’s help in DC are here spending money. working etc. In Martha’s Vineyard some locals rent houses 9 months of the year and camp out during summer vacation season. All highly desirable locales are impacted by outside money. It can be great if you already own and are building equity (in some case more equity than you ever hoped for) tough if you are trying to break into a market and have to compete with that outside money whether from parents, empty nesters in Potomac who want a downtown apartment for weekends or wealthy diplomats.

  • anonymous

    Ok. I’ve just been reading the comments and was wondering why so many people that “aren’t” interested in living here care as to whom will be renting them etc….. But I just looked at the floor plans- and this is NOTHING but absolute greed. Those floor plans are horrible, horrible horrible.. Seriously, they could have make some of those units larger 1 bedrooms/den vs having a stupid triangle shape studio. I hope they sit empty and years to come.

  • wow makes me feel better about the price I’m listing my condo if this is what rents get (a mortgage would be half what these studios are going for – sheesh).

  • figby

    A real crime by these developers is the ugly, off-putting street-level design of the building. Vented, unappealing, recessed spaces, nothing green anywhere. Unattractive and a total waste — it looks like a parking garage. What’s going in there?

  • Anon2

    Their 2 bed & 2 bath unit is about 50 sq ft smaller than my unit at city market and $700 more expensive…. suddenly I feel about better.

    • Anon2

      *a lot


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