High-Rise Condos for Sale in the Washington Metropolitan Area

With the housing shortage in the Washington Metropolitan area, you would expect to see plenty of high-rise buildings. After all, adding additional stories is a time-tested solution in densely populated areas. Yet, the Washington skyline is noticeably lower than most other major cities in the country.

Just how different is DC and its surrounding areas and how does that affect condos for sale in general? 

A sampling of skyscrapers across the nation would include 432 Park Avenue in New York City—the tallest residential building in the United States at 1,396 feet and 89 stories. It was delivered in 2014.

Commercial high-rise structures include the Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly Sears) at 1,729 feet, and the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles at 1,018 feet. There are hundreds of other notable towers across the country, including the fabulous Empire State Building, completed in 1934 and standing 1,454 feet.

By comparison, the tallest DC structure is the Washington Monument, built in 1884 and rising 555 feet into the air. It is only an obelisk, however, and not inhabitable.

Most DC buildings are much shorter, owing to the Height of Buildings Act of 1910. There have been various amendments over the years but basically, commercial buildings are limited to about 130 feet. That’s less than one-tenth of the Empire State Building! But don't let that discourage you. There are some high-rise condos for sale in Washington DC, which you can read about below, or begin viewing by clicking on the active MLS listings below!

High Rise Condos For Sale Around Washington DC

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So What About High Rise Condos in Washington DC?

There are some exceptions, such as One Franklin Square which stands 210 feet. But you simply won’t find the type of giants that inhabit the rest of the nation. Washington decided years ago that it wasn’t going down that road. Still, there have been numerous attempts by lawmakers to ease restrictions on developing more Washington DC high rise condos, including quite recently.

But as Commissioner Peter May for the National Park Service noted, “It’s a matter of national interest. It is about quality. It is about human scale and it is about being a welcoming city, not an imposing city.”

Those same height restrictions don’t apply everywhere in the region. For instance, the neighborhood of Rosslyn in Arlington, Virginia, is home to some relatively tall buildings. The recently completed 1812 N. Moore building set a Washington Metro record of 384 feet. Also in the works is Central Place in Rosslyn, a mixed-used residential and retail tower which will top out at 390 feet.

But it is quite obvious that these buildings pale in comparison to skyscrapers across the country. In fact, most of the advertised high-rise condos for sale in the Washington Metro area are just a spec on the national horizon.

So what defines a high-rise condo building? The typical standard is anything over 12 stories, so in that regard, you can indeed live in a building with a view in the Washington area. There are plenty of luxury high-rise condos for sale in Washington DC with balconies overlooking the Potomac River or the District’s numerous iconic landmarks.

In fact, you’ll find penthouse condos for sale all over the region—in Washington, DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, and Maryland. Crystal City, for instance, features a number of gleaming glass and steel spires.

It is true that Washington DC high-rises can’t compete in size with those in New York City or Chicago. On the other hand, Washington Metro makes up for it in other ways, with more fantastic row houses, antique Colonials, cool Craftsman bungalows, custom-built mansions and trendy lofts, than just about anywhere else in the country. To learn more about high rise condos for sale in the Washington DC Metro area, contact District Partners at Compass at 202-798-3600. We'd love to schedule a showing today!


The listing content relating to real estate for sale on this web site is courtesy of MRIS. Listing information comes from various brokers who participate in the MRIS IDX.Properties listed with brokerage firms other than Compass are marked with the MRIS Logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers.The properties displayed may not be all the properties available. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.All listing information copyright MRIS 2019.

Listing information last updated on March 24th, 2019 at 9:03pm EDT.