We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
New York labor politics fall well outside the purview of this blog—-until, that is, the battles lead to video spoofs of D.C. housing developments.
The Service Employees International Union’s Local 32BJ, comprising doormen, janitors, and other building workers, has picked a fight with residential developer AvalonBay Communities, whose employees it’s hoping to organize. In the process, it recently produced a parody video poking fun at AvalonBay’s over-the-top attempts to appeal to millennial renters with its new line of apartment buildings, branded AVA.
One of these new developments is in the District. Located at 318 I St. NE, it’s unsurprisingly branded AVA H Street. Studios start at $1,750. And AvalonBay’s clear demographic target is millennials.
AvalonBay, based in Arlington, put out a promotional video intended to lure millennials to the building. The YouTube description accompanying the video itself reads like parody; it manages to fit the word “chill” three times into two sentences:
AVA is a new living space steps from the energy of H Street—where bars and clubs converge with galleries and restaurants, where sushi meets tacos, and music collides with performing arts. Oh yeah, and we’re just blocks from Union Station Metro and Capitol Hill. At AVA H Street, the studio, 1 & 2 bedroom apartments, and a few over-the-top penthouses, feature urban-inspired design that extends beyond your walls to social spaces to connect, chill and play. There’s the Loft and outdoor chill space with iPod hookups, flat screens and comfy seating for hanging out with friends or chilling alone, an awesome fitness center and lots of underground parking and bike storage. Dive in and make it yours.
Here’s AvalonBay’s video:
Local 32BJ, in an effort to score points in its battle with AvalonBay, hired comic actor John Ennis (known from such TV shows as Mr. Show and Malcolm in the Middle) and made a video of its own, mocking the AVA H Street video and underscoring the absurdity of AvalonBay’s promotion of such basic amenities as power outlets and recycling bins as perks for the millennial set. As far as residential-tour videos get, it’s pretty amusing:
Screenshot from the Local 32BJ video