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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4201 Cathedral Ave Nw #ph1215e, WASHINGTON

$5,999,999

4201 Cathedral Ave Nw #ph1215e, WASHINGTON

6 Beds 5.5 Baths 9,450 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2000963

WESLEY HEIGHTS

700 New Hampshire Ave Nw #1105/6, WASHINGTON

$4,495,000

↓ $800,000

700 New Hampshire Ave Nw #1105/6, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 2.5 Baths 3,000 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2007366

FOGGY BOTTOM

2700 Virginia Ave Nw #501, WASHINGTON

$4,295,000

2700 Virginia Ave Nw #501, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 2,750 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2014844

FOGGY BOTTOM/WEST END

5630 Wisconsin Ave #1403, CHEVY CHASE

$4,295,000

↓ $600,000

5630 Wisconsin Ave #1403, CHEVY CHASE

3 Beds 4.5 Baths 5,086 SqFt Residential MLS® # MDMC746178

PARC SOMERSET CODM

2500 Virginia Ave Nw #1408-s, WASHINGTON

$4,295,000

2500 Virginia Ave Nw #1408-s, WASHINGTON

2 Beds 3 Baths 4,640 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC472232

FOGGY BOTTOM/WEST END

7887 Jones Branch Dr #1602, MCLEAN

$4,100,000

7887 Jones Branch Dr #1602, MCLEAN

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 4,100 SqFt Residential MLS® # VAFX2010800

TYSONS

1111 24th St Nw #73, WASHINGTON

$3,995,000

1111 24th St Nw #73, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 2,857 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2010536

WEST END

1111 24th St Nw #ph101, WASHINGTON

$3,975,000

1111 24th St Nw #ph101, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,684 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2015514

WEST END

1177 22nd St Nw #7g, WASHINGTON

$3,895,000

1177 22nd St Nw #7g, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 2,995 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2001355

WEST END

2700 Virginia Ave Nw #502, WASHINGTON

$3,799,900

2700 Virginia Ave Nw #502, WASHINGTON

4 Beds 3.5 Baths 3,678 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2007152

FOGGY BOTTOM/WEST END

7887 Jones Branch Dr #2002, MCLEAN

$3,746,000

↑ $200,000

7887 Jones Branch Dr #2002, MCLEAN

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 3,390 SqFt Residential MLS® # VAFX993832

TYSONS

1111 24th St Nw #23, WASHINGTON

$3,615,000

1111 24th St Nw #23, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3 Baths 3,031 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2010362

WEST END

1111 24th St Nw #ph106, WASHINGTON

$3,599,000

↓ $51,000

1111 24th St Nw #ph106, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,477 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC498980

WEST END

1881 N Nash St #2311, ARLINGTON

$3,300,000

1881 N Nash St #2311, ARLINGTON

3 Beds 3.5 Baths 3,278 SqFt Residential MLS® # VAAR2000742

TURNBERRY TOWER

1111 24th St Nw #3-c, WASHINGTON

$3,185,000

1111 24th St Nw #3-c, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,567 SqFt Residential MLS® # 1000186317

WEST END

700 New Hampshire Ave Nw #709, WASHINGTON

$2,995,000

700 New Hampshire Ave Nw #709, WASHINGTON

2 Beds 3.5 Baths 2,750 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2016646

WATERGATE

1111 24th St Nw #9f, WASHINGTON

$2,995,000

1111 24th St Nw #9f, WASHINGTON

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,415 SqFt Residential MLS® # DCDC2015534

WEST END

1781 Pierce St N #2201, ROSSLYN

$2,964,000

1781 Pierce St N #2201, ROSSLYN

2 Beds 2 Baths 2,289 SqFt Residential MLS® # VAAR2006258

ROSSLYN

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!