Kettler Launches New Format in Growing D.C. Rental Market

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor As the Washington, D.C., apartment market continues to grow–with vacancy rates dropping and rents rising–some developers are trying to take advantage of the favorable climate. Among them is Kettler Inc., a McLean-based company that just announced plans to launch its new m.flats format when it breaks ground in August on [...]

As the Washington, D.C., apartment market continues to grow–with vacancy rates dropping and rents rising–some developers are trying to take advantage of the favorable climate. Among them is Kettler Inc., a McLean-based company that just announced plans to launch its new m.flats format when it breaks ground in August on its first residential high-rise in the District.

The $80 million mixed-use project, announced last fall, is located in D.C.’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, one of the fastest-growing submarkets in the city. Its proximity to the White House and Capitol Building make it very attractive. Kettler plans a 13-story luxury apartment building there, at 450 K St., N.W. It will feature 233 apartment units, including studio, junior one-bedroom, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, as well as approximately 6,000 square feet of retail, reported Citybiz Real Estate.

The new m.flats format focuses on efficient designs and includes fewer two-bedroom units than Kettler’s Metropolitan brand, although it includes a range from studios to two bedrooms. Amenities include lounge and common areas that encourage residents interaction. The new building will include about 85 percent studios and one-bedrooms, with an average rental size of 670 square feet. Designed by R2L: Architects P.L.L.C., it will be smoke free and aims to achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification. It will also feature a contemporary living room with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a fitness center and a rooftop pool with grills and space for gatherings.

A recent market report by Marcus & Millichap shows a recovering Washington, D.C., metro apartment market. Still under the shadow of the last housing crisis, people now prefer to rent, rather than buy. The metrowide vacancy rate decreased 20 basis points in the first quarter of 2012, to 4 percent, as more than 1,300 rentals were absorbed during the period; it is expected to continue its decline throughout the year. Asking rents have gone up during the January-to-March period, recording a 0.6 percent increase, to $1,419 per month, while  effective rents gained 0.7 percent to $1,347 per month.

Kettler took over the project from the D.C.-based Douglas Development Corp. and is not the only developer in the region. Quadrangle Development Corp. and the Wilkes Co. plan a 234-unit rental building on the same block, at 440 K St., N.W.

Photo courtesy of http://mountvernontriangle.org/.

Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap.