A long shot- Can anyone in D.C. tell me about Riverside Apartments?

I’m finally getting that job in D.C. that I’ve been working towards for years now. I don’t know which one it’ll be, but I’ll get it eventually! I’m trying to decide where to move and I’m pretty sure I want to be in the SW by Alexandria and all my current work friends. The info at Riverside Apartmentslooks amazing. Anyone have any experiences with it? Is it really that awesome, or is it just good PR?

If anyone has any other recommendations for where to live, I’m all ears. I have about $1200 to spend per month and would like a gym, 800 sq ft and location (I HATE traffic).

I live near there, but in a different apartment complex. Just so that you know, while you might have an Alexandria mailing address, you’re actually in Fairfax County, right outside the Beltway. You are next to a metro stop, but it’s still about 45 minutes by train ora half hour by car to get to downtown DC. There’s also not really that much nearby…there are a bunch of strip malls, restaurants, and grocery stores on Route 1 nearby and a Walmart, so you’re all set when it comes to shopping, but if you’re looking for a nightlife or anything like that, you’re going to have to go into Alexandria.

That being said, I’ve seen the apartments from the outside, and they look nice. They’re pretty new, as well.

Try this link http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/MD.html I hope it helps

My wife and I lived there for two years. We wound up moving to a smaller more convenient place in Arlington.

The pros. We were paying 850 a month for a large one bedroom apartment with a nice view of Alexandria into Washington DC. The apartments are big, have a lot closet space, and have been retrofitted to have washer dryers. We were on the 11th Floor and had an awesome view going into DC. We watched the fireworks in the Distance from our balcony and bedroom.

The gym was kind of lame in that it was very small and didn’t have a lot of equipmentwhen I lived there. You will need a car to go anywhere from there since the Metro is about a mile away and the shuttle bus doesn’t run on the weekends. The area around the Metro is somewhat commercial with some light industrial. There was a good mechanic’s shop when I lived nearby but they are probably gone now. There is not a lot to do right around there. You have to head into Old Town for any kind of restaurants and night life.

Another factor is that there is a good amount of road construction going on and it is noisy. That may be a factor in the rents being cheaper than what you expect for the area. The apartments were a little noisy at times and our neighbor had a dog which smelled up the apartments quite a bit. The parking was free. The management company were idiots at times and it showed. Repairs were generally done well.

If you hate traffic, I would not move to that apartment complex. Considering traffic, it is not close to DC or to Old Town Alexandria. It is next to one of the worse traffic stretches in Northern Virginia - that stretch of Beltway (I-495) between I-395 and the Potomac River. Like others have said, you would have to drive or take a bus to the Metro, and then it’s still quite a trip to DC. It is also in an ugly older suburban area with strip malls - NOT the “heart of the action” like the web site says. The web site is misleading, IMO - some of the photos of the riverfront view of Old Town Alexandria, and the wooded canal towpath trail with people jogging are NOT close to this place.

I have lived in the Arlington/Alexandria area for the past few years and I can recommend this apartment complex in the “Landmark” area of Alexandria, which is where a good friend of mine lives. It is closer to the city and to Old Town, and also affordable, within the $1,200 range you want.

Also I recently lived in a neighborhood called Parkfairfax in Alexandria. You can see some photos I took here - click on a photo and you will see the location on a map. I loved living here! It is a condo neighborhood, so you have to find a private owner to rent to you. Just look up “Parkfairfax” on craigslist. They’re apartments, but look like houses/townhouses, have yards and trees, and don’t have that apartment complex/high-rise feeling. They have three pools and a workout room. It is also like a 3-minute walk to a great restaurant/nightlife area called Shirlington. There is a bus stop on every corner, and you can take a bus to the nearby Pentagon or Pentagon City Metro stop, from which is a very short trip to DC.

Before that, I lived in the Fairlington neighborhood of Arlington, which is literally right across the street from Parkfairfax. Again, it is private condos you can rent, but just look it up on craigslist. This place was also gorgeous.

I know the general area pretty well, so if you’re looking at any other places, just post here and I will let you know what I know about the area. Good luck!

The area just south of Alexandria – Mount Vernon Woods/Hybla Valley – is the worst neighborhood in Fairfax County. High crime. It’s become a regular ghetto in the past 20 years.

It’s not that bad.

I agree with this. I lived about a mile down the street from the apartments under consideration. We moved because we didn’t care for the area, but not because we felt unsafe (either personally or property).

The traffic is lousy in the area and it’s a hike to the metro. I knew people that lived in that building and they said similar things to what Caffeine.addict says. nyctea scandiaca makes great suggestions for other neighborhoods to consider. I’d say that anywhere inside the beltway would be better for your preferences. Public transit options will be much better and it’s pretty easy to get to old town alexandria from all of the major neighborhoods of Alexandria City.

I should mention that the highest job on the list is at Bolling AFB, so the other places mentioned aren’t really closer to where I’m going. Secondly, it’s a new city to me and I’d like to live around as many people as possible. I’m actually looking for the high-rise feel. I think it’d be cool to be thrown into a social atmosphere, as I currently know about 3 people down there. Considering that, what else ya got? (Not that the places suggested are bad or anything).

ETA: I’m a 23 y.o. white male, if that factors into “ghetto” considerations. Looks of the neighborhood are unimportant to me, but I certainly don’t want to be shot. I’ve also got a car, so I’m not worried about Metro distance on a daily basis.

I live on Bolling and work in Arlington. My commute takes me up through DC on 395 both ways, and it’s generally bearable. I wouldn’t want to commute to/from Bolling over the Wilson bridge both ways, although it might get better once they finally open up the other 6 lanes. I’m not sure if any apartments are open at the National Harbor (just over the Wilson bridge on the MD side), but that’d make your commute real short and put you in a nice safe area with a high rise feel. Beyond that, you can see how the prices are in Crystal City or the Ballston/Rosslyn area of Arlington. All 3 of those areas have plenty of nice, new high rise apartments, although I have to admit I have no idea what rents are like. Any of those options would put you closer to downtown and make your commute to Bolling less painful.

Not sure if you were planning to metro to Bolling, but the closest Metro stop is Anacostia. It’s maybe 2 miles to the DIA building from there, and they run a free shuttle. I would expect round trip times from Crystal City to be about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on when you can catch that shuttle. From Rosslyn, it’d be 60 to 75 minutes.

I was planning to drive. It would seem like a pain to go to the metro, all the way through the city, then back out again. Wouldn’t the 5 mile trip across the bridge be the best way from lower Alexandria?

It is highrise community but it really has a suburban feel to it. It is highrises in a sea of parking lots. I lived there for two years and nothing about the place said hip, happening community. The impression I had was that people didn’t spend a lot of time hanging around in the lobby area or the common areas. I didn’t either so it didn’t bother me.

Even Old Town Alexandria doesn’t strike me as the best place for a young single guy. In my experience, the bar goers tend to be a bit older and more established. The Clarendon area in Arlington sounds like what you are describing although the rents will no doubt be higher than your price range.

The problem with the Wilson bridge is that it is a drawbridge. It is a lot higher than the old one so it will have to open a lot less. However the project isn’t completed and won’t be for at least a year if not longer. Currently only half of the bridge can be used.

One thing that may influence your decision to move to Riverside Park is that there is a lot of roadwork going on right now and because of the location, much of it occurs at night.

I live across the street and I think it’s a great location, but obviously your opinion will vary. What do you want near you, and how do you define near? Less than 30 minutes away? Less than 10? Within walking distance?

I live near there and commute across the WW bridge every day.

If you work at Bolling this is as close as you can get without living in MD (and a not so nice section of PG county at that). So if commute time is important to you then you can’t do much better than this. I would guess a 15 minute drive on a good day. Most of the bridge construction is done so the traffic isn’t too bad unless some idiot does something, well, idiotic.

There is nowhere to walk to from there unless you like a really good walk. Maybe 1/2 mile to the metro and there are a few small place to eat around there but that’s it. Major, major road construction in that area would make walking to Old town difficult.

The pictures on the site are NOT all taken at the apartments. The dock is in Old Town (a few miles away) and I don’t think that nice jogging path is anywhere around there.