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Meridian at Gallery Place

450 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20001



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Resident 2005 Recommended
Reviewed 11/17/2005
When we moved from out of state, we needed a place to move into immediately without wasting a bunch of money on a hotel. We tried to take into account our utilities, our commute, the area and rental price from doing our best looking online. Because we all work nearby, we can all walk (eliminating commute and making the rent slightly cheaper relatively). However, the local area (Chinatown) is quite limited and, although signs of improvement exist, the area shows little to suggest an increase in culture, etc., but rather a bunch of high-priced condominiums.<br><br>One major problem we had was with the lease. I will detail more about the leasing office later, but apparently, they will not allow you to sign anything shorter than a 13 month lease for regular residents. I know they do shorter leases for those that want to pay a bunch for it. That means if you moved in on the second of the month, you will have to sign a 13 month, 29 day lease. Not a big deal if you plan to stay a while, but if you know you’ll want to move in a year, it can be annoying to schedule around school or work (since most people move during the part of the year that is most convenient for them).<br><br>Although not too sketchy of an area, and high-priced developers are trying to squeeze poverty out of this section of DC, there are some real questionable things quite nearby. (Example: one block north on 5th St. is one of the sketchiest liquor stores I have ever seen.) There is a hospital nearby, so sirens are VERY common. Living on the 9th floor, on the non-street side, we still can hear quite a bit of those sirens at all hours. Insulation on the windows (for noise) is quite good though, otherwise.<br><br>The greatest problem with the beautiful sunroom is heat. During the summer, we have to keep the door to the sunroom closed because so much heat comes through the windows that electricity bills would skyrocket if we left it open.<br><br>The water heater is located right next to the sunroom, and quite far from all water outlets (shower, sink, dishwasher, washer/dryer). This leads to having to wait some time for hot water to come out – a fair bit more than normal in an apartment, but about equal in a single family house. Not a big deal though, generally, unless you really don’t like to waste water.<br><br>I have never had an over-the-oven microwave before, so I’m not sure how similar this is to other ones. But, the microwave is fantastically loud because it has to vent the heat. <br><br>I highly recommend not getting an apartment with one of their “fireplaces.” We didn’t actually mean to get one, but since the leasing agent told us there was not a fireplace, when we arrived and there was, we didn’t really have much to say about it. The fireplaces are glorified light shows that have a space heater above them. They take up a fantastic amount of space and really limit the things you can do with the living room.<br><br>The kitchen is really quite nice; all of the appliances were (and still are) in like-new condition when we moved in during the summer. The track lighting is kindof harsh at night, but that is highly subjective and just my taste. The light in the sunroom is completely inadequate, but you’re going to have to have more lamps than they provide anyway – just one more for the sunroom. There are TONS of outlets everywhere in the apartment, EXCEPT in the foyer of the 1 bedroom plus den. This oversight makes the foyer really quite useless for everything except dumping dirty shoes and wet umbrellas, since you’re limited to a very inadequate foyer light.<br><br>The bathrooms are quite nice, except it seems that when they installed towel racks, they weren’t thinking too much about functionality. There is no way to reach the only towel rack in the room from the shower without getting completely out of the tub. I can only ever so slightly see that previous tenants had installed their own towel racks next to the shower.<br><br>The exercise room is really quite nice. The only problem is that the demographic of people that live here, like to exercise right after work, so it’s sometimes tough to get on a machine. The pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, nothing out of the ordinary, and it quite shallow. It has a spectacular view of Mass. Ave. and NW DC, though. The sun decks are really smoke decks. The club room is very large and actually gets used because of the pool table and free cable T.V. There are also occasionally some people studying there.<br><br>The doormen are very nice, as well as the concierge. It’s nice that they deliver packages to you, no additional charge, if you don’t come get them by the evening. I live quite far from the trash chute, but I can imagine it gets somewhat gross nearby it because the chute does sometimes get clogged up. Down in the loading dock, every weekend it gets quite full of trash and cardboard, again, not a big deal, just be wary of moving in on a Sunday night.<br><br>The leasing people are very nice, generally, but make sure you read your lease contract and walk the agent through it (note that it’s not the other way around). If numbers don’t add up, it’s because they messed up, not because they have some other accounting method – no matter what the agents say. Another problem is that you must insist on getting everything in writing. Even though DC law acknowledges some contracts not in writing, the agents are quite sure that DC does not (Dean of Georgetown Law disagrees) and may try to change things. This is not to say they’re trying to bait and switch, it’s just that the agents aren’t as knowledgeable as they really ought to be about their own company policies or DC law, and when auditing contracts, may try to fix their errors after the fact.<br><br>Living in downtown DC is really very expensive, and there are no two ways about it. You either sacrifice safety and sanitation for price, or you ante up. Since we now have the opportunity to go and evaluate other areas of the DC metro area, we can look at places further away and look for somewhat lower quality that meets minimum standards. If you can spend the time and effort looking for somewhere else further away that will offer your minimum standards, I recommend doing so because prices are so fantastic (imagine if cutting your costs by $500 per month – you could take a cruise every few months!). This place is very nice, generally, but with the cost just to take up some space a few hundred feet in the air being so high, I recommend looking further away from the city if you have the time and means.
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