Exclusive Living

Washington, DC Coop Residences

The luxury cooperative market in Washington, D.C. is a small but thriving niche that caters to the city's high-end buyers. Cooperatives, or co-ops, are a unique type of ownership structure in which residents own shares in the building rather than their individual units. This means that when someone purchases a co-op, they are buying into a community rather than just a physical space. One of the biggest advantages of owning a co-op in Washington, D.C. is the exclusivity factor. Many of the city's most prestigious addresses are co-ops, such as the Watergate complex and the Somerset House. These buildings offer a level of privacy and security that is unmatched by traditional condos or townhouses.

Luxury cooperative buildings in Washington DC on a sunny day

DC's Cooperative Real Estate Stats

Average Price $535K
Lowest Price $100K
Highest Price $5.4M
Total Listings 200
Avg. Price/SQFT $482

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More About Coops in Washington, DC

Luxury residences in Washington, DC come in many shapes and forms, including the basic type of property. One category that flies under the radar in many parts of the country is cooperative housing, also commonly referred to as coops or co-ops. This type of property is often found in older urban centers of the country, including New York City where it accounts for a majority of apartment-style buildings. This unique form of home ownership also has a long history here in Washington, dating back to 1891.

Another benefit of owning a co-op is the sense of community that comes with it. Co-op residents often have a say in how the building is run, as they elect a board of directors to oversee its operations. This can foster a sense of camaraderie among residents and create a more cohesive living experience.

However, owning a co-op in Washington, D.C. is not without its challenges. For one, the buying process can be more complicated than purchasing a traditional home. Prospective buyers must go through a rigorous screening process and be approved by the co-op board before they can purchase a unit. This can involve providing financial statements, references, and even undergoing an interview.

Additionally, co-op owners must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations, as they are part of a larger community. For example, the board may have restrictions on how units can be renovated or rented out. This can limit the flexibility that some buyers may desire.

Despite these challenges, the luxury cooperative market in Washington, D.C. remains a desirable option for high-end buyers. Prices for co-ops in the city can range from several hundred thousand dollars to several million, depending on the building and location. The combination of exclusivity, community, and prestige make co-ops an attractive investment for those looking for a unique and luxurious living experience in the nation's capital.

The most commonly asked question about coops is how they differ from condominiums. The idea behind cooperative living is that a group bands together to purchase a property or building in order to better control their living environment. In more practical terms, someone wishing to purchase a coop apartment in an already established building will actually buy a share of the organization that owns the building and will then be allowed to live in the unit of choice. This also requires approval of the cooperative’s board members. By contrast, a condo owner will simply buy an actual unit.

In the nation’s capital, cooperative buildings tend to be grand old addresses such as The Normandy,  2101 Connecticut, and The Westmoreland in the affluent Kalorama neighborhood. There are notable exceptions however, such as the iconic Watergate complex in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. This midcentury modern mixed-use complex occupies 10 acres of land along the banks of the Potomac River, featuring a hotel, three residential buildings, offices, shops, and multiple swimming pools.

There are four major quadrants in DC: NE Washington, NW Washington, SE Washington, and SW Washington. Within those quadrants are eight Wards, and approximately 130 neighborhoods. And while you’ll find cooperatives in many different parts of DC, this interesting form of housing is often concentrated in densely populated upscale urban communities such as Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Kalorama, Columbia Heights, and along the city’s diagonal corridors such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Avenues. Historically speaking, these wide avenues that traverse Washington, connecting neighborhoods like Woodley Park and Cleveland Park, were often home to full service residential buildings that catered to upper-class citizens and politicians. Some of these neoclassic structures started off as hotels or apartment rentals before converting to cooperative ownership.

The Southwest Waterfront was home to another era of cooperative development in the 1960s, with complexes such as Tibor Island Cooperative homes, and Harbour Square. The latter is a notable midcentury modern community designed by trailblazing architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith. River Park Mutual Homes is another unique midcentury modern cooperative community in the waterfront area, designed by Charles Goodman and including both flats and townhomes that feature unique barrel-shaped roofs made of aluminum.

From sprawling compounds like the Watergate with its infamous political backstory, to genteel standalone buildings parked along leafy streets, luxury cooperatives in Washington, DC occupy a distinctive place in the housing market. Coops can also be known for offering lifestyle amenities such as staffed front desks, tennis courts, swimming pools, laundry service and other perks. Of course, each building is different and it is up to the individual to determine what is offered or included.

To learn more about luxury co-ops in Washington, DC, call Andre Perez at District Partners at Compass, 202-929-3600.

Realtor Andre Perez

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Luxury Cooperatives, District of columbia FAQs


A: In a condominium, units are individually owned. In a cooperative, a prospective buyer purchases shares in the building or community and is then able to live in a chosen apartment.


A: A mixed-use community means that there is more than one type of property on the same lot of land. For instance, a building with condo residences as well as ground floor retail, is mixed-use. Likewise, a development with restaurants, hotels, apartment rentals, and cooperative residences would be mixed-use, even if each building has its own singular purpose.


A: Many of the luxury cooperative buildings in DC have upper level penthouse residences. However, those elite units represent just a small portion of the available properties.


A: No. While many coop buildings do have parking, it is never a given. It is always important to check listings carefully, and to confirm whether a particular unit does come with parking.

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