Book Clubs and Sunday Dinners? Tony Temporary Housing Comes to DC

by Nena Perry-Brown


Recent years have seen a number of nontraditional residential developments sprout up in the DC area, from the e-loft concept to modern co-living arrangements.

And now, with the upcoming delivery of the redeveloped Patterson House in Dupont Circle, one developer is betting on renters that will want a turnkey luxury living arrangement that offers nightly events, complimentary breakfast and flexible lease terms.

The Ampeer Residences will deliver 92 fully-furnished studio and one-bedroom units to the site of the Patterson Mansion at 15 Dupont Circle NW (map) in the coming months. Lease terms will range from 3 to 12 months and the building will offer a suite of perks, including complimentary drinks and breakfast, secured internet and utilities, and optional laundry and housekeeping.

A rendering of the ballroom

The original mansion will house most of the common areas, which include a restored ballroom, a kitchen/dining room, a fitness center, a library and a courtyard. Developers Saul Urban and Rooney Properties along with architect Hartman-Cox are appending a modern seven-story addition to the original neoclassical-style manor.

While resident events have become standard at many newer Class A apartment complexes, the Ampeer is billing their events as more of a cultural experience. The ballroom will feature a bar and lounge where complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served in the evenings; events like live music performances will also be hosted here. Free breakfast will be offered in the kitchen and dining room on weekday mornings and a communal dinner will be catered by local restaurants on Sunday nights. The kitchen will also host wine and liquor tastings and guest chef demonstrations.

A rendering of the kitchen/dining room

The library will host a book club often led by authors and talks led by distinguished visitors such as diplomats and professors. The building will also organize visits to cultural institutions throughout the city. Building staff will include lifestyle associates who perform concierge duties, a food and beverage director, and a resident mixologist.

The apartments, which average 350 square feet in size, will include custom furnishings, high-end appliances, and a combination safe. The Rockwell Group-designed units will also be appointed with 300 thread-count bedsheets, Egyptian cotton towels, and Keurig coffee makers.

While the Daryl Carter-designed common areas have WiFi, each individual unit will have its own secured high-speed internet, included in the monthly payments along with cable, trash and all utilities. Residents will also enjoy bikeshare and carshare memberships and access to a 24-hour espresso machine. Laundry and housekeeping services will be available by request.

A rendering of the library

If this sounds more to you like a hotel than an apartment building, you’re not alone. Prior to voting in support, the local ANC asked Saul Urban whether the development would function akin to a long-term hotel; they were assured that it would not. (Interestingly enough, a prior developer’s proposal to turn the mansion into a hotel failed to pass historic preservation review.)

“These people will come to town almost literally with a laptop, a credit card, and a backpack, and we’ll have a community for them in this space,” then-president of Saul Urban Michael Balaban explained about the concept in 2014. The Rosen Group’s Matt Sutton describes the development as a “social experiment” that offers visitors to the city the opportunity to connect with each other and with the city’s cultural offerings.

A rendering of the model unit

“The people that it targets are in the diplomatic community, people within the State Department, the Department of Treasury, other executive branches, and a lot of people that are transient,” Sutton explained to UrbanTurf. “They come to DC to work for a few months and they don’t have a network of people there and they want a little bit of a social life and to be involved in the city. It’s kind of like a high-end dormitory.”

Sutton shared that as they have marketed to consulting companies, law firms and other organizations, many companies have already expressed interest in securing multiple corporate apartments. “At least 40 percent of [the units] are going to be already-rented. The difference between a hotel [and the Ampeer Residences] is that [the former] doesn’t really have that social aspect. So this kind of mixes the best of both and it provides you with all those amenities that a hotel would have.”

The Patterson Mansion, so named after socialite Eleanor “Cissy” Patterson, was constructed in the early 20th century and was most recently home to the Washington Club. The Ampeer is currently in pre-leasing mode and has a targeted opening of mid-June.

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the development company as SB-Urban; it is now Saul Urban.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ampeer_redeveloping_patterson_house_into_tony_transient_housing/12475

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