For this week’s column, I wrote about a proposed 400-unit, luxury apartment building at the corner of Georgia and Missouri Avenues in Brightwood. Part of the story mentioned that similar high-end buildings were springing up in other neighborhoods normally reserved for people that, well, didn’t expect individual washer/dryer combos in their units.
How was this development so different from its competitors? I mean it was barely ahead of its time…except for one thing: Proximity to the Metro. Similar luxury apartment buildings in Takoma Park and Fort Totten sat practically on top of train stations. I reasoned this might make a difference.
One reader apparently thought I was an idiot. Correction: Ignorant, classist idiot. I received the following letter from this person:
While I realize that buses are not chic in DC and it’s mostly poor people and those of color who ride them, along with senior citizens in Ward 3, but your Georgia Ave. story failed to mention the smashing success of WMATA’s first limited-stop bus route, the MetroExtra 79 on Georgia Ave. It has been very successfully since being introduced 15 or so months ago and WMATA has added midday service and is increasing morning rush hour service on March 29th.
P.S. Gables Takoma Park is a very attractive complex. Much better than the shoddy stuff erected a few years ago on the DC side of the station.
My response: Doesn’t matter man. Or at least that was my response in a nutshell. I don’t think buses, regardless of how reliable they are, will ever have the same reputation as the Metro. And that will make a difference for developers pitching luxury and pricing their units accordingly. Here’s what I said:
I don’t know what your first line is insinuating exactly…but I ride the bus all the time. (Took four yesterday!) I ride it almost as frequently as the Metro, and in general, buses do not come as regularly as trains. They just don’t. And you can’t beat those little screens that give the exact train wait time. Those are great.
If one bus is the exception to the rule, well it needs to have a very, very strong reputation to rise above the rest of them. Until that point, I think people that are looking in general for housing will probably prefer the Metro over the bus. And that makes a difference.
Oh, and then I encouraged the man to write something in the comments, which he didn’t…hence this post.