Rated 4 out of 5?by klm82 More positives than negatives!
We have lived at Penrose Square for nearly a year and are preparing to renew our lease. While I agree with some of the negatives raised in other reviews, our experience has been primarily positive.
1. The apartments themselves are very nice. High ceilings, good storage, and very quiet; especially considering the size of the building.
2. The staff does a great job of planning community events and giving residents a chance to meet their neighbors.
3. The neighborhood is a lot of fun without being a drunken mess every Friday and Saturday like other parts of the county. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants and their have been many new additions in the last several months.
4. The huge, brand new Giant grocery store on the main floor of the building is awesome! The convenience can't be beat and the staff is friendly and helpful.
1. Yes, there was a major issue with the fire alarm caused by the extreme cold temperatures this winter. However, Penrose has made efforts to upgrade the system and we have not had a false alarm since February.
2. The concierge position is a bit of a revolving door. Some have been better than others, but the current staff seems to have their act together.
3. A key fob is required for entry and to activate the elevators. This is great, as far as security goes, but a pain for guests and food delivery. Penrose has added a late-night desk attendant to let people into the building for residents, but this service is unreliable. It's usually easier just to go to the door yourself.
Overall, we are happy living at Penrose and would recommend it to others.
June 25, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5?by anonymous Can't fix their fire alarms!
Some of the staff is friendly and the apartment finishes are nice, but most are incompetent, lazy, or have zero credibility because they are constantly trying to cover their tracks for errors.
The worst part is that the fire alarm goes off for about 45 minutes at least once a week. One of the managers sends out the same apologies and assurances that it will not happen again. I won't name names, but if you run into him, he will sell you a diamond and give you coal. All talk and no action is consistent with what you'll find living here.
If you enjoy your sleep, have children, I advise you NOT to move in here. You will get woken up in the middle of the night. The place charges way too much, and does not deliver.
Penrose has had ample amount of time to get it fixed and they have not!
February 8, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5?by Estella123 Great location... Food delivery is terrible
This is a great location and a great place to live. The office organizes community events but I haven't seen a tremendously huge attendance. A lot of tenants have pets -- Boston Terriers seem to be the dog of choice.
I hear my my upstairs neighbors A LOT. I believe they have a young child and I can hear their child running and stomping around -- often annoyingly so.
My biggest frustration is actually with food delivery and guest arrival. In my old place, arriving guests or food delivery places could call me on the "intercom" and then I could use my phone to "buzz" the person in. Penrose doesn't have that. Instead, all visitors must go to the leasing office / concierge (which is open until 11pm) and concierge lets them in to the building. If you're ordering chinese or pizza, be prepared to have the delivery people call you and ask you to meet them at the concierge because by the time they have figured this process out... they are anxious to get out of their to stay on their delivery schedule. Honestly, it can be a pain. Penrose has tried to address this by partnering with Delivery.com; however, the actual delivery people are still confused. On top of that, most drivers go to 9th STREET (opposite side of Columbia Pike), versus 9th ROAD which is where the main entrance is located.
Also, there is NO FREE PARKING for guests. So, if you're having a party and your guests will be staying longer than an hour (first hour is free), then your guests will have to pay when they leave. It's not expensive, but again, kind of a pain.
I have friends who live at Halstead and they seem to like it there. Although, I looked at Halstead too and decided on Penrose simply because of the "friendlier" community exterior, grocery store (dancing water fountain, summer movie nights in the courtyard, etc). Also, the Halstead does not permit animals on their top floor. Which kind of made me feel that that the community wouldn't be as pet friendly overall.
December 4, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5?by Me_and_my_Dog Great location... very nice community...
As someone who recently relocated to the area, I wanted to contribute my experience at Penrose and initial impressions.
Personally, I've had a very positive experience so far. I actually discovered Penrose just by seeing it from the occasional pass-by business trips to the area and thought it looked like a neat community. I actually rented my 2-bedroom apartment sight unseen and am NOT disappointed with what I got. I had to work via phone with the staff in the leasing office, who at times, were not as responsive as I would have liked but when I reached out to multiple individuals, they all came together and addressed my questions / needs. If you have school age children, you should know that the school district is Arlington Co and the high school is Wakefield (not Washington-Lee).
I'm not sure about the division between tenants who have dogs and those who don't. I made it known upfront that I would be bringing my dog with me and at no time was I told that I could not get into a certain apartment because it was reserved for a "non pet" owner. In fact, in reviewing my apartment options, the leasing office suggested available apartments were all over the place -- not isolated to one particular part of the community or floor.
As far as the interior... yes there are marks on the walls ... even dents and dings -- but nothing, IMHO, that detracts from the overall aesthetics of the place nor are they ones that make the halls look "grungy." Having come from another urban apartment community in Seattle, I actually found Penrose to be quite nice.. the halls are very wide and hotel-like. I don't think the halls smell bad either. Quite frankly, I've seen worse.. a LOT worse.
As far as the noise level... being on the third floor, yes, I do hear my neighbor upstairs walking. Yes, I hear flushing toilets and water running through the pipes occasionally. Yes, I hear people walking through the halls or down on the street below. But to me, this is all part of urban living. Aside from when my upstairs neighbor walks excessively heavy, it doesn't really bother me at all.
Maintenance: I entered three maintenance tickets and the maintenance department addressed two of them the next day. One is currently still outstanding because apparently it relies on an outside vendor. For a community that is only two years old, I'm not sure why the window seal is tearing away from the window frame nor why my bedroom window crank would be broken already. But then, I have no idea what the previous tenant might have done, and don't care, as long as the maintenance team fixes these issues for me expeditiously.
Overall... I'm very happy with signing a lease with Penrose. I love that Giant is located on the first floor of the community. I also love the valet trash removal -- you simply place your trash can outside your door by 8PM and it gets emptied overnight. While not directly located by a metro station, Penrose does have a free daily shuttle service that will take you to Pentagon City Metro. Most of all, I love the urban feel that isn't over-populated by 20- or 30-somethings but that the Penrose demographic also seems to have families. More than anything, you cannot beat the location!
November 1, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5?by HalosFan31 There are more affordable choices!
I have spent a few months reflecting on my time at Penrose, that I might write a fair and balanced review worthy of your time as a prospective resident. So let us hit a few points:
The building is not well constructed.
According to the ArlingtonVirginiaUSA article, "Penrose Square receives financing," the 4 acre building was financed on approximately $80 million dollars; Siena Park, its neighbor, which is less than half of Penrose's size, received $88 million in financing. While this may not be the sum total of Penrose's construction financing, one cannot help but notice upon entry into the parking garage the unfinished ceiling tiling, the long delays for the elevators, the inconsistent application of paint in the interior. When in an apartment close to the elevators, you may hear: the elevator bell, the rumble of shopping carts on the floor above; the laughter of residents coming and going. If in a residence facing the bars on the 1st floor or the Square itself, the sounds of boisterous pedestrians creeps through the walls, which is nothing to say of the considerable light which creeps through the often erroneously ?installed blinds. The flooring is very poor as well- you will hear your neighbors walking across the kitchen tiling, or drop a glass, or move a heavy piece, or a barking dog (if in the pets section). The appliances and interior d?cor are stock construction material that you will find in any renovated apartment/home in the area. In sum, this building is a brick fa?ade on a plywood structure, with luxury a byword to confer a premium rent charge.
The management staff-friendly, but incompetent
The majority of you prospective residents will not have a major issue at Penrose. You will not have severe flooding in your apartment (3 known instances), sounds from Columbia Pike or the neighborhood flooding into your apartment (many known instances), or boisterous toddlers/children on the floor above you or breaking things in common areas (many known instances). For the majority of you, package retrieval and the misplaced key fob or accidental lockout will be the most for which you will trouble the management staff. In these events, Penrose management and office staff excel.
More serious issues, such as the former of those above, are quite different. The management staff excels at providing warm smiles and sympathetic nods, but cannot resolve serious issues quickly. The young management staff members tend to take apartment issues brought to their attention personally, and if you demand a resolution (or, in their opinion, are particularly pestering), be prepared to resolve your issue with the Operations Manager at BM Smith or BM Smith?s corporate attorney. The management company, BM Smith, has many reviews available online which need not be addressed here.
Location- fair, up and coming
Columbia Pike is the last remaining vestige of old Arlington- a run down, ugly place. There are some restaurant offerings, and some bars, but for the most part, your life will be spent away from this section of Columbia Pike. You will find yourself travelling to meet friends in more upbeat parts of town- NW DC, Clarendon, Alexandria. You will find yourself driving on your commute. You will be driving everywhere from this building. Bus transportation is convenient, but you should examine the routes and service to your destinations and ask yourself- do you really want to pay to ride a bus just to ride the metro, when similarly priced options exist in Pentagon City and Crystal City?
Penrose Square- a middling option at best for this section of Columbia Pike.
Don?t feel rushed to sign a lease immediately, even when the leasing agents offer you a great deal (part of their ongoing attempt to lease up the building) and say ?the building is 95% full.? For a comparison, Siena Park and the Halstead, similarly priced offerings adjacent and not far (respectively) from Penrose are approximately 90% full and do not offer great signing deals, whereas at Penrose the pet section is at best 75% full, and the non-pets section is a verifiable ghost town. That being said, this building can be a great experience, especially if you live in the non-pets section, or in the pets section on the top floor facing the pool or 9th Road. However, there are other options in the area which are better constructed & better managed (Siena Park and the Halstead), better constructed and cheaper (the Wellington), or better constructed and more convenient (any of the older buildings in Crystal City/Pentagon City/Rosslyn/Clarendon). There are additionally great homes in safe townhouse communities in the area (albeit older) for around $1000 dollars cheaper than Penrose for similar square footage (and with free storage to boot).
Final Verdict- Shop around
My advice to you is to shop around, and lease at Penrose Square only as a last option. But that is only my opinion, and your experience may well be different. And if you do sign, I hope it is; but if your thoughts are similar on this place, I encourage you to post it here, as well as ask BM Smith to join the Better Business Bureau to assist the firm in improving their business practices. All the best in your apartment search!
May 17, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5?by cheryl9276 Do Not Move HERE
DO NOT MOVE HERE unless you can appreciate extremely unfriendly staff, smelly hallways, barking dogs, and many more nuances to name the least. The concierge service is quite poor as it is not 24 hours and they do not do much besides collect mail packages for you. This place is not guest friendly...as you yourself must let your guest up every time someone arrives. This requires you leaving your place, walking down a hallway and getting on an elevator. The thought that concierge service cannot let your guest up it outrageous. The walls remain dirty with white patches of paint for areas that they began attempts at repair (has been this way all the months I have been here). The odors in the hallway are utterly ridiculous. Before you sign a lease here, take a walk around (if you can get in) and speak with residents yourself. The leasing staff will NOT reveal to you everything you want and need to know at move-in so make sure you ask as many specific questions as possible. This place is a nightmare. But hey - the location to DC is great! That is one positive.
March 8, 2013