Luxury Cooperatives for Sale

The Washington, DC area has one of the deepest inventories of luxury condos for sale in the nation. It’s one of the lesser known forms of real estate, but certainly one of the oldest, dating all the way back to ancient Rome. The number of co-ops in the nation’s capital is second only to New York City. Chicago is also home to a significant number of cooperative buildings.

While the vast number of luxury co-ops in the DC area are located withing the city itself, there are also a fair amount to be found in Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland such as Bethesda. But it’s fair to say that the best-known, and in most cases, the most luxurious, are actually in Washington.

Luxury Coops for Sale

The History of Co-ops in Washington

Cooperatives predate condominiums in the District by a long shot, going all the way back to the Concord which was delivered in 1891. During the 1920s, a large portion of apartment rental buildings converted to co-op status, thanks to a prominent developer named Edmund Flynn. The difference between condos and cooperatives is a matter of physical property ownership. A condo buyer purchases the unit itself, or everything inside the exterior walls, as well as a share of the common property. In a cooperative however, initial investors form a corporation and a board, and then sell shares in the corporation, as well as the right to live in selected units, to new residents.

The word “cooperative” indicates the way that member residents work together to run and maintain the building. New York City has become notorious over the years for the level of control that board members maintain over the approval of potential new buyers. It’s become something of a theme in pop culture, with movies and TV shows often depicting the difficulty in wining the favor of long entrenched board members. That level of pickiness is not as prevalent in Washington, with around 100 cooperative buildings versus over 3,000 in NYC!

Luxury Co-op Living in Washington Metro

The famed Watergate complex offers the single largest supply of luxury co-ops in the DC area. Located along the banks of the Potomac River in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, the 10-acre community was built over a 10-year period from 1961 to 1971, with a modern design from well-known architect Luigi Moretti. The complex is made up of several buildings, including the Watergate Hotel, offices, retail, and the cooperative residences themselves. The units are uncommonly large, and many offer fabulous balcony views of the river. There are also multiple fitness centers, swimming pools, tennis courts and other amenities, for a place also synonymous with political scandal (the Watergate break-in of 1972).

A few of the other highly desirable cooperatives in DC include 2101 Connecticut Avenue in Kalorama (a grand old building featured in James Goode’s Best Addresses), Shoreham West in Woodley Park (also in Best Addresses), 3900 Watson Place in Cathedral Heights, and a couple of notable mid-century modern co-op communities in the Southwest Waterfront; River Park Mutual Homes and Tiber Island Cooperative Homes.

To learn more about luxury cooperatives for sale, please call Andre Perez at District Partners at Compass, 202-798-3600.

Luxury Condo & Coop Buildings Collection

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Listing information last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 3:00pm EST.