Location:Washington, D.C.AVAHStreet-WashingtonDC
Architect: KTGY Group
Developer: AvalonBay Communities
Number of units: 138
Unit mix:Studios and one- and two-bedrooms
Rents: $1,457 to $2,936

AVA H Street is a trailblazer of Gen Y housing.

Located in Washington, D.C.’s trendy H Street neighborhood, AVA H Street’s façade, described by developer AvalonBay Communities (AVB) as “socially connected yet individually unique” (also a distinguishing feature of the target market), speaks to the goal of the project as a whole. The building is well integrated into its surroundings, but the glowing “AVA” signage, with its bold pop of green; charcoal-gray brick; anodized-aluminum cladding; and white horizontal siding make this building a showstopper for any 20-­something passing by.

After researching its target demographic, ­AVB aimed to provide residents with more than just standard apartment amenities, adding customizable walk-in closets, chalkboard walls, and a bike storage and repair room. The company’s spotlight on quality of life is what makes AVA such a special place for tech-savvy and social Gen Yers to live, and why the project became the focus of MFE’s 2012 Concept Community.

Walking into the building, visitors might find it hard to discern whether they have walked into one of the surrounding bars or clubs. Bright colors and modern furniture greet residents, while the “trending wall,” consisting of a word cloud of local tweets, appears on a 10-foot screen.

Heading to their apartment unit, residents walk down a chic hallway lined with neon lights to their own customized entry door. Much like a banner on a Facebook page, residents can personalize their apartment’s entry-door sign with anything from sports team logos to an image of their favorite pet.

Tenants can charge up their electronics in each unit’s utility center, featuring USB outlets and multiple other receptacles.

AVA H Street is also the first D.C. development built under new zoning regulations that allow a 20 percent density increase in exchange for providing 10 percent of the units in the community as affordable housing.

AVA is an apartment complex sewn into the community’s fabric, yet it’s unique and bold enough to stand out from the crowd—just like its tenants.