Gaslight Square: Just Say No To Wood

by Will Smith


* Editor’s Note: see pricing, floor plans, and renderings at end of the article.

Last night, UrbanTurf attended the first official public preview of Gaslight Square, the latest residential project from local developer Jim Abdo. The event was held at Abdo’s retail office in Logan Circle and included a presentation about the project from Abdo, who spoke to the assembled audience of about 60 prospective buyers about a project he dubbed his “greatest hits collection” because it incorporates all the best elements of his 15 years of experience.

“When I lie in bed at night and dream about buildings,” he said at the opening of the presentation, “this project is what I think about.”

Located in the southeastern corner of Rosslyn (map), Gaslight Square will be a 117-unit luxury project designed in a similar style to the Wooster & Mercer Lofts, another Abdo project just across the street which delivered a few years ago. Gaslight Square will feature loft-like floors plans with exposed brick, 19-foot ceilings and glass curtain wall facades. Below is a photo of a living area in Wooster & Mercer that Abdo used to give a sense of the future Gaslight Square condos.


Many units will include generous outdoor space; the first-level condos will have private outdoor patios both in front and back, while the fourth-floor penthouses will have large rooftop terraces. All upper-floor units will include private elevators, meaning residents will board the elevator from the parking garage, swipe their key card, and have the elevator door open directly into their condo. The first-floor units will have their parking spaces directly in front of the entrances.

Condos will range in size from 1,100 to 1,900 square feet, and all will be floor-through, meaning they extend the entire length of the building from front to back, a design that means common hallways or corridors are not necessary. The only interior common area other than the parking garage will be the stairwells dividing the tiers of units, which Abdo indicated will provide a sound buffer between adjacent condos.

The project is split into three towers, separated from one another by two corridors of outdoor space 55 feet across. The outdoor spaces will be wide enough to fit a landscaped courtyard with a brick pathway passing through the private patios of the ground-level units. The pathways will be lit with traditionally-styled gaslights from which the project derives its name. (See renderings below.)

Abdo explained how most developers would have opted to construct a project the size of Gaslight Square out of wood (“stick built”, in industry parlance). But he opted for steel and concrete, which make for a sturdier, quieter, and longer-lasting final product. “Just say no to wood,” he insisted.

The developer also pointed out that the project is situated right between two Metro stops, Rosslyn and Courthouse. “You’ll always be able to walk downhill to take the Metro,” he said. “You get on the Metro by walking down to the Rosslyn stop, then you get home by walking down from Courthouse.”

All of this quality, convenience, and style won’t come cheap, of course. Abdo didn’t seem to shy away from that fact, noting more than once during the presentation that certain choices were made about what to include with the project even in the face of added expense. “Our buyers aren’t investors,” he explained. “They buy to live in the buildings.”

Sales have officially started for Gaslight Square; buyers can reserve a condo for a 2.5 percent reservation fee. The fee is fully refundable until the project receives its condo documents, at which point reservations will be committed and non-refundable. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) of McWilliams|Ballard is handling sales.

Abdo said that ten condos sold as the result of a “friends and family” event three weeks ago similar to the one held last night. He appeared confident that even more sales will occur between now and when the project delivers in 16 to 17 months. “Our intention is to have prices increasing as we move toward delivery.”

Following is the current pricing, and below that new renderings and floor plans:

  • 1 BR / 1.5 BA—1,118 sf + 36 sf balcony—From $695,000
  • 1 BR / 1.5 BA w/Den—1,158 sf + 36 sf balcony—From $749,900
  • 1 BR / 1.5 BA Loft—1,207 sf + 423 sf terrace—From $824,900
  • 2 BR / 2 BA—1,337 sf + 36 sf balcony—From $869,900
  • 2 BR / 2 BA Loft—1,600 sf + 459 sf terrace—From $1,069,900
  • 2 BR / 2.5 BA Loft Penthouses—1,882 and 1,922 sf + 288 sf terrace—From $1,284,900
Click to enlarge


For past coverage of Gaslight Square, see:

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/gaslight_square_just_say_no_to_wood/3175


  1. Jason said at 10:25 am on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Let me tell you, private elevator access is where it’s at smile These look amazing.

  1. David said at 10:38 am on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    Sounds impressive.  What would be even MORE impressive are condos with this level of detail that average buyers (those making less than $100K/yr) could afford.

  1. jason said at 10:54 am on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    David, just for the sake of discussion, why should ‘average buyers’ be entitled to this level of luxury? Or were you more so referencing the quality of building materials?

  1. janson said at 11:16 am on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    I’m impressed at the level of user oriented design that appears to be part of the plan. These developments all seem to be about conspicuous consumption with little regard to usability and this is a nice break.

    Any ballpark on price announced yet? Will these be $700 sqft. or $480?

  1. David Garber said at 1:28 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    As great as these look for the most part, I’m really not impressed with the secondary facades on Queen and Quinn Streets.

  1. Juanita de Talmas said at 2:43 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    The mid-century modern buildings that were torn down to build these rather generic-looking things were much cooler.

  1. Diane said at 5:39 pm on Wednesday March 16, 2011:

    I’m slightly confused by the private elevator with no common space concept.  If I wanted to get outside (to walk to the Metro, enjoy neighborhood, etc.) would I have to first take the elevator to the underground garage and then exit to the outside from there?

  1. MSGD said at 8:36 am on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    Another great Abdo project….but with better architectural exteriors than well-designed interior floorspace.  Who decided again that appx. 11’ by 13’ is a MASTER BEDROOM, what real use is a 8’ by 10’ dark interior den when the combined kitchen/living/dining areas are so small?  The larger penthouses are better designed with generous entertaining space and the outdoor areas for most are large by city standards. Let’s hope Abdo breaks away from old tradition and shows something NEW in kitchens and bath design beyond the safe but boring wood door/granite top “L” or “U” shaped kitchen used in all their projects. Show us a gas jet connection on the large terraces and real patio lighting.  Build in a master television, wireless internet, sound system and security monitoring system. Show us some killer options for electric shades to cover those loft-like glass expanses for those interior facing spaces where some people want a privacy option. Glad to see the spiral staircases, but ever try to get a suitcase up or down one with 24” tread width?  Abdo has always used great products with name brand cache but show us something new.  Mix up the interior finishes and style options to a more contemporary urban market. What happened to UrbanPace as their record breaking sales professionals?

  1. David said at 11:51 pm on Thursday March 17, 2011:

    Looks nice, but nearly $700 per square foot?  Wow!

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