Greystar’s Washington, D.C. apartment building Anthology wins NAA Excel Awards’ 2018 Community of the Year.
When residents enter the Anthology Apartments in Washington D.C.’s historic H Street corridor, one of the first things they see is a jukebox that displays images and videos from local artists.
As they move into the leasing area and lounge spaces, they get a vibrant, upbeat feel.
“The spaces throughout this community are always active with residents, guests, events and pets, which creates a next level experience,” says Noelle Sharbaugh, Managing Director of Real Estate for Greystar. “Anyone who visits this property can feel the energy and passion from the team and the residents.”
Shipping crates in the front lobby create the package room and the exposed concrete provides an industrial look and feel. Pencil markings from the people who constructed the building remain visible. And there is art… lots of art.
“The art that fills the walls are original paintings, prints, sculptures and videos that bring the independent aesthetic from the neighborhood into every space,” Sharbaugh says. “Walking through the front door, you smell the signature scent, hear mellow-hip beats and you will be able to enjoy a cup of the curated local brew and the overall experience will inspire you to stay and mingle with residents and guests.”
This experience, which includes unique design, state-of-the-art amenities and strong customer service, is a big reason why Anthology won NAA’s 2018 Excel Awards’ Community of the Year.
Anthology, which offers studio, one and two-bedroom apartment homes ranging in size from 399 square feet to 944 square feet of living space, was designed by RD Jones and built by Jair Lynch and Associates. Greystar manages the community and Bentall Kennedy’s U.S. Core Fund purchased it prior to lease-up in 2017.
“We are so thrilled to have Anthology honored by the NAA as the 2018 Community of the Year and Best Community in the Builders, Owners, and Developers Category,” says David Antonelli, Executive Vice President for Bentall Kennedy. “Anthology is more than just a place to live, our goal is to provide a great living experience that not only reflects the surrounding neighborhood but brings people together as part of a community.”
The H Street corridor, built in 1849, welcomed streetcars 23 years later—fueling the growth of vibrant commercial hub that was known for its arts and dining scene. All of that changed in 1968. The riots following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination left a trail of burned buildings and urban flight.
After decades of disinvestment, a renewed interest in city living brought people back to the once-thriving urban corridor in the 90s and 2000s. Suddenly, restaurants, bars and apartments that rivaled DC’s Dupont Circle, U Street and Adams Morgan opened.
With Anthology, Lynch created and Greystar continues to nurture a connection to the H Street’s rich history and dynamic future in an industrial aesthetic that fits the neighborhood’s vibe.
“Anthology not only offers world-class amenities. It truly provides a connection to the surrounding community,” Sharbaugh says. “While walking down H Street and into Anthology, you’re able to feel the same artful, independent soul from the outside carried inside Anthology.”
Common areas throughout the community are designed with a mixture of textures that incorporate original paintings, sculptures and brickwork to create a vibrant environment.
“The one thing that sets our community apart is the truly unique design and character of the space,” says Krystle Pressley, Community Manager for Anthology. “The authentic nature of the textures and colors within each apartment, whether you choose the industrial or modern finishes, they all tie the apartments back to the surrounding neighborhood.”
These touches resonate with residents.
“Residents and guests speak highly of the aesthetics and environment inside Anthology and often share positive reviews across multiple online sites,” Pressley says.
Anthology’s interior finishes include granite countertops with tile backsplashes, designer fixtures, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, European cabinetry and wood-style plank flooring. Floor plans incorporate large floor-to-ceiling windows, lofty 9-foot ceilings with exposed ductwork, spacious closets, full-size washers and dryers and balconies or patios in most apartments.
“Anthology is LEED-certified, which means that our community has a low impact on the environment and residents reap the benefits of cost savings that come from living efficiently,” Pressley says.
When residents take friends on tours Anthology there is a lot more to see than art and unique designs.
“Prospective residents are looking for convenience, connectivity and a sense of community and the amenity spaces at Anthology are set-up to meet these needs,” Sharbaugh says. “The flexible work, life and play spaces within the building are designed to be an extension of the H Street neighborhood and help residents and guests feel connected to what is happening in the city.”
The building includes a 24/7-fitness center, rooftop deck with views of downtown D.C., a rooftop swimming pool and grilling stations. It also offers inviting courtyards with a Zen fountain, free Wi-Fi, a pet spa, bike repair station, controlled access parking garage as well as on-site retailers, such as Starbucks and Unleashed by Petco.
The fact that a pet store, which offers discounts and gift packages to residents, is onsite is no accident. Approximately 30 percent of the community’s residents are pet owners and many of their furry friends are featured on the community’s #FacesOfAnthology Instagram feed.
“The team knows all the residents and their pets by name and regularly hosts events focused on pets from Yappy Hours to pop-up carts with local dog treats,” Sharbaugh says. “Being pet-friendly is critical and has certainly helped Anthology become a great community with many faces and tails.”
Anthology is designed in a way that promotes interaction among residents. “We can see the impact the design has based on the amount of use our common areas receive and the high number of reservations that we receive for rentable spaces,” Pressley says. “Not only do the residents utilize the common areas daily to congregate and socialize, but we also have local retailers that host pop-up events so they can be a part of the community.”
The community’s design promotes interaction. Large communal tables, dining areas and comfortable nooks offer gathering spaces that still provide privacy.
“Outside, grassy areas are filled with activities, movie screens and soft seating that provide residents with areas to work, relax or entertain guests,” Sharbaugh says. “The open spaces, the exceptional service and the robust resident event calendar and programming provided by the on-site team all create an amazing living experience.”
Both Sharbaugh and Pressley credit the onsite team with providing a high-level of customer service, including a 24-hour Signature Service Concierge.
“Every team member goes beyond what is expected to surprise and delight residents,” Pressley says. “Our current residents are the best brand ambassadors and often share their positive experiences and refer prospects to live at Anthology.”
The result award-winning community that continues to gain asset value.
“At Anthology, we have consistently outperformed the market with above average resident renewals and positive online reputation scores, which is a testament to the sense of community and service provided by the on-site team,” Sharbaugh says.
Les Shaver is Editor, Online Publications, for NAA.