Bridgeyard (formerly Hunting Point on the Potomac)
1204 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314Website
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Anyone who could find anything good to say about Hunting Towers works for Grady or VDOT or would find life in a prison cell invigorating. Take a look at the soiled lobby walls, the kitchens replete with "up-to-date" 1950s amenities, no workspace at all (just the corner of an old metal cabinet that takes up 45 percent of the floor space -- if you have a mixer or food processor, put them in storage), no dishwasher, no garbage disposal, a refrigerator big enough for a family of four in a kitchen one person can barely fit, the water that sprays you when you turn on the tap, the incessant door slamming caused by inconsiderate neighbors and spring-loaded doors, and insane noises that filter throughout the building at all hours. This is akin to a Motel 6 in the morning or a Manhattan meat locker. The Potomac River and bike path are only a coincidence. Yes, the views can be lovely, but if you´re inside this building, it will depress you. For one thing the windows aren´t washed and you can´t see too much if you stay more than two years. How could they be washed? Most don´t open -- painted shut. Be careful with the window screens if you can open a window. They fall out. Yell four to anyone below. This place would be a dump anywhere -- like a tenement without the old world charm. (In 1950, it must have been lovely -- before the Wilson Bridge and modern conveniences this was state-of-the art. Last Spring fire departments from the region converged on the property to burn, yes burn, portions of the doomed East Tower. Daily, and after 911, you had a lump in your stomach each time you came home or found yourself surrounded in the parking lot by big reds eager to burn something. Now, demolition and construction equipment is within inches of the building -- open pits at the front door, which remains blocked off for normal use. Soon, the largest public works project in the nation will be at the front door with bulldozers, backhoes, and constant pile driving. The parquet flooring in the apartments is brittle and has gaps as big as the Grand Canyon. Don´t be fooled by the deceptive shine when you take your first tour. Security is a joke. Nonexistent. You want to visit anytime, come in through the loading dock door. It´s usually open. If it’s "locked," (there´s just a half on half off dead bolt at the top) jiggle it a little; you’ll get in. What person in their right mind would say parking isn’t a problem. VDOT tore down two parking garages and has commandeered 30 percent of the remaining spaces. Soon another 40 percent will be lost to the Office Building Demolition and the impending closing off of South Street complete in both directions. Oh yes, South Street, under the Wilson Bridge was cut closed last year, so if you are coming from the North (Alexandria -- Old Town) there’s only one way here, along South Washington Street. Brace yourself for the traffic returning home after 5 PM. You have to go an extra mile out of your way to get to the supermarket on Royal. There is one good thing about these obsolete, ready for the wrecking ball buildings: the radiant heat. But is this enough to overcome the rest of this mindless, insane, and humiliating destructive environment? You never know, from day to day, what VDOT will spring on you next. A place to live should be predictable and give you a sense of being embraced with security and constancy. This place is like living on shifting sand. Did I tell you about the uncaulked below-window air conditioners that suck cold air inside duing the winter and sound like roaring traffic. Don´t keep them on at night if you want to sleep. Be prepared to wear earmuffs if you don’t like the sound of the air conditioners or the din of traffic rumbling along the Beltway and over the Wilson Bridge, like a sledge hammer. Six to eight uninterrrupted hours of sleep is not possible. I wore ear plugs every night on the North side of the center building. Also, the security light will blind you at night, as it shines through your window´s translucent blinds like a search light. No amount of rent rebates are worth living in this environment. My recommendation is you find any number of buildings in and around Old Town if you really need to live here. And one more thing. Ever since these buildings went up in 1949, there were constant problems with electrical outages - at least five annually. Make sure your computer is protected and your work saved. Outages can last up to six hours or more. So keep a flashlight, food in a can (and a non-electric opener) and be prepared to walk the stairs, as the elevators won’t work. At least twice a month one elevator is on the blink. It takes a couple of days to get the parts to repair them. Now, here´s the big blow: The people who called this environment secure should take a lie detector test. The police occasionally post the monthly list of crimes that occur in and around Hunting Towers. More than five cars per month are stolen from the lots. I saw a new Chrysler a few years ago - a smart sporty car - put up on blocks by a crook who ran off with the shiny wheels. All four. This vehicle was parked every night, and on the fateful night, directly in front of the center building -- in the bright light. When you tell your insurance company you live here, you’re rates will be higher than elsewhere. Don´t expect any privacy either. As soon as you walk out your apartment door, someone else will be coming out of there´s or getting off the elevator. There are about 40 apartments per floor -- those are the odds. (In no other apartment building have I ever known what my neighbors looked like or sounded like opening their doors and walking around inside their own units. You hear everything. You see everything. Everyting eventually filters inside your unit that may be occuring on the outside. There will be no peace here for many reasons. You may verify every claim made herein by asking the basic question, such as "can you put a filter on the water faucet?" The answer is "no." Therefore, the claim that you can get splashed becomes credible. I don´t know what those other reviewers are on?????