Renderings and Details on The Wharf’s Micro-Units Revealed

by Lark Turner

Renderings and Details on The Wharf's Micro-Units Revealed: Figure 1
A rendering of the units from Perkins Eastman.

A third of the micro-units planned for The Wharf in Southwest will be designated as affordable, and the units will be built on modules easily converted into one-bedrooms in the event that the micro-unit trend doesn’t survive over the long term, the project’s developer said Wednesday.

There will be 180 of these small apartments at the Wharf, about 170 of which will measure between 330 and 360 square feet, said Sandy Silverman, an architect with Perkins Eastman, at a micro-unit conference put on by AIA|DC. Matthew Steenhoek of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront said the units will make up just 6 percent of the $2 billion Wharf redevelopment project in Southwest DC.

Renderings and Details on The Wharf's Micro-Units Revealed: Figure 2
This is what a party in a micro-unit looks like. Rendering by Perkins-Eastman.

The units will have 9-foot ceilings, which another presenter at the conference called the ideal height for a micro-unit, as well as a sliding barn door that will cover the bathroom to avoid a door swinging out and taking up more visual space. The units, scheduled for completion in 2017, will be rented at a market rate somewhere in the range of $1,500-$2,000 per month range, but the developers said they were also “trying to be conservative” and rent for a bit less than $5 a square foot in the studios.

About a third of the units will be designated affordable due to the public funds going into the project, Steenhoek said. The micro-units are distributed throughout the building on every floor, and often sit in pairs, which Steenhoek said made them easy to convert into one-bedrooms in the future if necessary.

Renderings and Details on The Wharf's Micro-Units Revealed: Figure 3

All of the units will be located in a 500-unit residential building currently called “Parcel 2” (Steenhoek joked that Parcel 2 was “a very sexy marketing name” for the development), which surrounds and sits on top of the project’s large music hall. The developers have built in noise protection for residents, with air pockets and other engineering solutions.

“It is something that was looked at closely and I’ve gotta trust our consultants on,” Steenhoek said.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/more_renderings_and_details_on_the_wharfs_smallest_apartments/8176


  1. DC225 said at 3:54 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    Go two blocks away to some of the older (but still amenity-filled) buildings along 4th St SW, and you can rent a spacious (700-900 sqf.) 1 bedroom apartment with real rooms for $1700-$1900/month. There's even some 500 sqf. studios on the market for $1300/month. Why anybody would pay upwards of $2K/month for one of these glorified walk-in-closets is beyond me.
  1. PCC said at 4:10 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    one advantage that might be popular with people only doing short stints in town is that the furniture, e.g., the shelves and Murphy bed, are built-in. that's a huge market around the Pentagon, in particular, and this is just one mile away.
  1. Caroline said at 4:26 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    Yeah, the demand for micro-units is there, but only if they're priced appropriately. These don't appear to be.
  1. Neil Paz said at 7:39 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    True, these don't seem affordable at all considering I can rent a small house in north Arlington for less than $2K/month.
  1. Mary said at 8:58 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    I think the PCC makes a good point that there's a big market for units with all furniture included for international students, visiting faculty, etc If ultimately rented for shorter leases, they'd probably be very popular as executive rentals.
  1. h st ll said at 9:36 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    Space is only one part of it also. I bet those old buildings don't have amazing Potomac river views like that. It looks nice construction as well and nice finishes.
  1. Ryan said at 11:32 pm on Friday February 28, 2014:
    This would work nice in the lobby and desktop / smartphone accessible for residents: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2014/02/these-real-time-transit-screens-belong-every-lobby/8475/
  1. Iris said at 2:59 am on Saturday March 1, 2014:
    Looks like a glorified hole in the wall. These are great if your a teenager. For $2000 a month hope you have time to sit and stare at the view.
  1. E said at 4:50 pm on Saturday March 1, 2014:
    Though these units are designated as affordable, I think they will drive the price of area condos upward. This could be good or bad depending on if you are a present owner or if you are someone looking to live in this beautiful community by the water.

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