According to an article in the August 4th issue of the Washington Business Journal (WBJ), the lease-up pace of Class A apartments in the Washington DC Metro area has decreased to 14 units per month. There were a record 81 projects in active lease-up at the end of June 2015, compared to 68 a year ago. The WBJ says the number of projects in lease-up will continue to grow in the second half 2015 and likely continue to put pressure on the per-project lease-up pace.
These projects are leasing-up or could be in the next few years in Falls Church:
|Development||Number of Units||Stage||Lease-up Period|
|Mason Row||340 Apartments||Planning Stage||24 months|
|Washington & Broad||324 Apartments||Planning Stage||23 months|
|Northgate||94 Apartments/THs||Leasing-up now||Still at ½ capacity|
|High School Land||350? Apartments||RFP released||25 months|
Can so many projects coming on line in a relatively short period of time with overlapping lease-up periods, that are geographically so close to each other, in a general slowing rental market, achieve the 14 unit per month lease up rate?
Should we be concerned?
These numbers and the slowdown in apartment leasing generally raise a concern that the lease-up period for extant new and planned apartment developments in FC could be even slower than today’s rate. Query, with all those potentially empty apartments awaiting increasingly scarce tenants, who will shop at our impending glut of grocery stores?
Y’all might want to fact-check the Northgate data. Last I heard, the building’s units are over 90 percent occupied. And there are only about 20 school-age kids in the Northgate — a tad fewer than The City had forecasted before it opened. Buildings such as the Northgate, with apartments that are smaller in square footage, tend not to attract many children. The apartments coming online in the WestBroad (Harris Teeter) and in Lincoln at Tinner Hill (Fresh Market) also are smaller in square footage, so they too are likely to attract only a modest number of chidren. Data show that, taken together, all the school-age kids in all the City’s mixed-use buildings constructed in the past dozen years (Broadway, Byron, Pearson Square, Spectrum, Read, Northgate) amount to less than 8 percent of the total schools enrollment.
Authorized and paid for by Phil Duncan for City Council; Susie Larcamp, Treasurer.
Y’all might also consider the location of Northgate in relation to Metro. As well, y’all should be aware that in addition to the 2 high rises nearing completion within city limits, a new, very large and attractive mid-rise rental apartment complex just opened up in the county on Cherry Street but within walking distance of both new city high rises and will be competing for tenants, along with another huge planned development on Roosevelt St, just over the city line. And y’all might worry at least a little that adding hundreds more rental units at Rtes 7 and Washington St and at 7 and West St could saturate and depress the rental market. Y’all might note that these considerations and worries also implicate the construction of hundreds more rental units at the schools site. And after y’all wrap your pretty little heads around all that, y’all might be asking yourselves “What in the dickens could those folks at city hall be thinkin’?”
My lands, Ms. Linda, I didn’t know you were from down South like me! Actually, where my parents grew up, in the Cumberland Mountains, the proper plural collective term is “you’uns.”
A doomsday depression of the City’s rental market is, of course, possible. On this, as with so many other issues on Council, I try to weigh the facts and carefully assess risk vs. potential reward. Others may not share my degree of realistic optimism about The City’s future. That’s why we have elections — so voters can choose officeholders who are most closely in step with the community’s majority. I welcome your perspective. I disagree with it, but I do want to encourage the discussion, so the public knows what it’s voting for.
Actually, Phil, I am a Washington DC native, but I come by my fake Southern accent honestly from my deep South belle of a mother. You are correct that we have our differences, all thoughtfully considered but certainly leading to different conclusions, about the city’s helter-skelter, damn the torpedos full speed ahead approach to development. I think it is disengenuous to think our presently fine schools and our already sorely challenged infrastructure and roads can absorb this scope and timing of large-scale rental apartment development, and equally questionable to think that fashioning our fair city into a grocery ghetto will enhance our quality of life. So, I shall hitch up my hoopskirt and, as you suggest, vote my convictions.
Phil, your Southern “gentlemen” civility routine just rings of dissonance. You use this method as a salve to assuage residents who may dissent with your willfully blind optimism. And to make sure everyone just loves you because you are such a nice guy. You might be in some ways, but until you are capable of holding a real discussion about the issues, I will always believe otherwise, based on your profound disinterest (while feigning interest) in what anyone is telling you if it’s not what you want to hear. You have this habit of tsk tsking everything people have been objecting to about development in the city as it stands today. Your pat answers always convey either “oh, that won’t ever change cuz that’s the way it is”, or more typically “I am so glad you contacted me with your concerns, and here is what I want to see happen (completely averting the topic of why someone believes otherwise)”. I sent the city clerk my letter of opposition and request for another first reading. I have communicated so many times with the council about objections to this project and other issues that I am just sick of trying. The only thing you had to say in your reply (which of course was dripping with honey and a full sugar hard coating) was that you hope the project will go forward to the next stage. You could not aknowledge what I was saying. You would not utter the words. All you conveyed was what you hope will happen. And that’s how you roll. You may think you are a great communicator Phil, but I am here to inform you otherwise. Real communication is a back and forth of understanding another’s point of view by saying it back to them so they feel heard, understood and validated. Until the day I see you display that kind of empathy I will continue to think you are not a public official anyone shouldever vote for.
As a middle-aged renter, I would love to have a glut so that I could afford to continue living in Falls Church and NOT adding to the school population.
I live in an old complex that has jacked up rents to nearly $1500 a month and I can only dread the next rent increase because apparently SR Management hasn’t heard about the glut (though apartments have been empty for months).
If there were more AFFORDABLE apartments available to folks like me, we’d stick around and help out with limiting school-age children.