- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Few neighborhoods in Washington can boast as many amenities as Penn Quarter. While some parts of the city have interesting shops and plenty of restaurants and others offer proximity to Metro stations, only Penn Quarter can offer a location within walking distance of Capitol Hill, the Verizon Center, Chinatown, the Convention Center, the National Museum of American Art, the Spy Museum, the National Gallery of Art and every line of Metro.

Cultural temptations in addition to the museums can be found in abundance in Penn Quarter, from bookstores to art galleries and theater, including the new Woolly Mammoth Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre, along with the Warehouse Theater. Half-price tickets to plays and concerts can be purchased at Ticketplace on Seventh Street.

Residents at Penn Quarter’s Lafayette building, located at 631 D St. NW, may find themselves content to stay home and ignore some of their neighborhood amenities.

The Lafayette features a restored historic facade with new construction inside that expands the building. This condominium has an elegant lobby area with seating areas, dramatic columns and a front desk, which is manned 18 hours per day.

Sweeping marble steps curve to the second level and above; elevators reach all nine floors.

In addition to the secured entrances and the parking garage below, where residents can rent space by the month, the Lafayette offers a few unexpected amenities for city life.

On the ground level is a landscaped courtyard where residents can enjoy a breath of fresh air. Upstairs, a rooftop terrace level includes a swimming pool and a grilling area, plus sitting areas and sweeping views of the city skyline and the Mall.

The building also has two gyms, a pub and community room for social gatherings, a conference room and a business center. On-site management keeps the building in pristine condition.

A two-bedroom home in the Lafayette, No. 132, is now on the market for $679,000. This home faces D Street and is located in the historic section of the building, which adds character to the home.

The main living area has 12- to 13-foot ceilings with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides of the room, which faces south and west for maximum sunlight.

One of the living-area windows neatly frames the Woolly Mammoth Theatre sign when the miniblinds are lifted, a perfect view for an urban home.

The condominium has 1,340 square feet, with two bedrooms, two full baths and abundant closet space. The open floor plan includes the spacious living and dining area, which is open to the kitchen.

This living area provides plenty of space for entertaining, with the room feeling even more open and spacious because of the soaring ceiling.

The kitchen includes granite counters, a floor-to-ceiling window on one side, maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances and ceramic tile flooring. The counter that faces the living area can easily function as a breakfast bar and makes a perfect buffet counter or bar for a party.

Just beyond the living area is a large walk-in closet that future residents may choose to convert into a small office nook, since there are plenty of additional storage closets in this home.

A double-door coat closet is near the front door, along with a double-door closet with a side-by-side washer and dryer and a storage shelf.

The master suite features a floor-to-ceiling window in the bedroom, which emphasizes the high ceilings in the room. The master suite includes three closets with double doors and a private, large full bath. This bath includes ceramic tile flooring on the shower wall and on the floor, maple cabinets including a storage cabinet on one wall.

The bath also includes a large oval tub with a shower and a tall vanity.

The second bedroom has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and two double-door closets. Across the hall is the second bathroom, which is nearly as large as the master bath.

This bathroom also has ceramic tile flooring with matching ceramic tile on the combined shower and tub walls, maple cabinets and a tall vanity.

Many buyers searching for a home in the Penn Quarter neighborhood must compromise on the size of the home or the amenities of the building, but this particular home offers generously proportioned rooms and plenty of on-site amenities in addition to the convenient location.

Residents of Penn Quarter may focus on their evening and weekend activities in the neighborhood, but the commute from this location is equally appealing. While some residents may be able to walk to offices downtown or on Capitol Hill, those who need to take Metro can access the Red, Orange and Blue lines at Metro Center, the Yellow and Green lines at the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station and the Red, Green and Yellow lines at Gallery Place, all within an easy walk of the Lafayette.

Address: 631 D St. NW, No. 132, Washington, DC 20004

Community: Penn Quarter, the Lafayette Condominium

Age: Built in 2004

Price: $679,000

Size: About 1,340 square feet

Taxes: $5,447 in 2006

Homeowner association fee: $756.34 per month

Exterior features: Nine-story condominium building with restored historic facade, sleek lobby with dramatic columns, marble flooring, curving marble staircase to second level plus elevator service, interior courtyard, parking garage with monthly rental available

Interior features: Two bedrooms; two baths; open living room, dining room and kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows; 10- and 12-foot ceilings; large walk-in closet; large baths with ceramic tile flooring; closet with side-by-side washer and dryer; large coat closet

Amenities: Rooftop swimming pool with grilling area; pub and community room, conference room, business center, two gyms and on-site management, front desk manned 18 hours daily, secured entrances.

Close by: Walk to Metro stations; theaters, shops and restaurants in Penn Quarter; walk to multiple museums and the Verizon Center.

Open house: April 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Contact: Realtor Wes Grooms with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 202/549-1779.

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