My first real home when I moved to Washington was The Valley Vista, a formerly funky apartment building at 2032 Belmont Road NW.
I started off in a 500 square foot “efficiency”, with a closet the size of my New York City bedroom. It was on the back of the building, overlooking rooftops of the row houses on Ashmead Place and a beautiful red bud tree.
After a year or so, I sucked up to the resident manager, good old Mrs. Willick, who found me an amazing one-bedroom on the front, overlooking Rock Creek Park, the National Cathedral and the Taft Bridge. It had a separate dining room, and a solarium. I was in heaven!
Then, one day in the late 1970’s, we got notices in the mail that the building was going condo and we could buy our units or move out.
The feisty tenants got organized, hired a couple of mad dog lawyers, and we somehow managed to buy the building and develop it ourselves. It was not a pretty process. The building renovations were extensive and messy. And there were many different ideas about how things should be done. It was sort of like getting health care reform through Congress!. But in the end it worked, and about half of us (including me) were able to purchase our apartments way below current market value.
As we went through the conversion process, we learned a lot about the building and some of its former tenants. Soon after it opened back in 1929, some poor idiot lost all his money in the stock market and threw himself off the lovely roof deck. After his family sued, the owners closed the roof deck, and it's never re-opened. Carly Simon lived there before she was famous, but she declined to help out when we wrote and asked if she'd do a benefit concert. Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows lived in a huge apartment over the lobby. And just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, their ambassador lived on the top floor.
The Valley Vista got me into real estate. During the conversion, I helped out in the sales office showing buyers the units that were available. When my job in the Carter Administration ended, I got licensed to sell and started my new career. My very first settlement was on Unit 205 at, yes, the Valley Vista.
The Valley Vista has always been a wonderful place to live. First, the views are just stunning. I mean duh-uh! That’s why it’s called the Valley Vista. It’s near the Woodley Park Metro, great restaurants in Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, and Rock Creek Park is at the front door. Recently, the lobby was renovated and the halls redone.
The building has about 170 units, ranging from studios, one and two bedroom units. Most of them have solariums.
Evers & Company currently has Unit 110 listed, a 1400 square foot 2-bedroom with it’s own entrance. For more information or to arrange to see this building, call me at 202-549-5167.