Finding inspiration and relaxation at Muse, luxury condos in Old Town North


Placeholder while article actions load

The location, near the water and its serenity, drew Michele Pearce and her husband, Stephen, to Muse, a 72-unit condominium development in Alexandria’s Old Town North.

The prospect of walking and biking the nearby Mount Vernon trail and the luxury of living in a place where “every detail has been thought of” were added incentives for a couple seeking a peaceful change from their condo in the bustling CityCenterDC.

“All kinds of sentiment are different and welcome,” said Michele, who is a legal counsel at a DC law firm. She and her husband bought a large one-bedroom unit with a den and patio. They moved there in April.


The Pearces were among the first residents to move into Muse, which occupies an eight-story building near the banks of the Potomac River. Its builder, Carr Cos., expects construction to be finished in July.

The townhome community is close to the beach, but still “feels very private”

The location at 1201 N. Royal St. was once home to Bastille, a French restaurant. Later, for nearly 20 years, the occupants included MetroStage, a theater group moving into a Carr Cos development. just around the corner on North Fairfax Street.

The North Royal Street location will still have space for the arts. Within the Muse development, space has been set aside, on the ground floor of a new three-story building, for art studios and for classes, workshops and other events organized through the Art League.

The Art League’s presence “provides an elevated cultural experience within our community that our residents are looking for,” said Kami Kraft, vice president of Mayhood Co., which is in charge of sales and marketing. “It’s a little bit different.”

It also inspired the name of the condominium. “The Muse was the derivative name to give that artistic nod,” Kraft said.

The units available at Muse come with one or two bedrooms.

The largest, at 1,863 square feet, has two bedrooms, a study, two full baths, a powder room (or half bath), and a balcony. It is one of six models that offer two bedrooms plus a study or loft. The smallest of the six, at 1,655 square feet, also has two balconies. Prices for two-bedroom units plus a studio start at $1.85 million.

The two-bedroom, two-bath units without a den or loft come in seven layouts and range from 1,114 to 1,576 square feet; the largest comes with a balcony. Prices start at $950,000.

Units with one bedroom plus a study or loft come in five varieties. They have two full bathrooms or one bathroom and one powder room, and sizes range from 952 to 1,398 square feet. Prices start at $860,000.

Prices for all luxury loft units start at $1.15 million.

About half of the units have been sold, and most of the first sales were of larger units priced from $2 million to $3 million, Kraft said. Medium units make up most of the inventory left for sale.

Units feature open-concept floor plans, gourmet kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, nine-foot windows, and 7.5-inch engineered oak flooring throughout. Finishes include Snaidero cabinets, quartz countertops, and Bosch and Thermador appliances.

The floor plans were designed with an emphasis on “how we expected people to live,” which is reflected in features such as a laundry room and linen closets and pantries for storage, Kraft said. Additional storage is also available for purchase, in quantities of 8,000 to 20,000 square feet.

All units come with one or two underground parking spaces that are included in the price of the house. Additional parking spaces are for sale, along with electric vehicle chargers.

Boutique condos in DC’s Columbia Heights offer charm and location

The Muse offers 24-hour concierge service and has an on-site property manager and engineer. An additional lobby attendant is available to assist with shopping and other assistance Monday through Friday. Kraft said Muse “aims to offer a higher level of service than has been offered in Alexandria.”

Community amenities include a penthouse fitness center with yoga studios and an outdoor exercise deck.

An indoor/outdoor rooftop clubroom offers sweeping views of the Potomac. It has a kitchen for parties and casual and formal seating inside. Outside, a wraparound terrace has private dining, fire pits, and a grilling station.

In the garage, there is a pet wash and bike storage room with a repair center.

On the Mount Vernon Trail, residents can travel miles along the Potomac on their bikes. They can travel to Old Town for dinner without having to worry about parking, Kraft said.

The Muse is within walking distance of Tide Lock Park and is within a few blocks of a bevy of shops including Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s, coffee shops and fast casual restaurants. It is about 10 blocks from the commercial activity on King Street.

The river remains a huge draw for people, Kraft said.

“Water is magical,” Kraft said. “Every buyer walks in and says he wants a view. They want the river. They want the trees and our whole theme of artistic life.”

schools: Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School; George Washington Middle School; Alexandria City High School

Transit: The Muse is approximately three-quarters of a mile from the Braddock Road Metro Station (on the Blue and Yellow Lines) and the Potomac Yard Station (also on the Blue and Yellow Lines), which is under construction and expected to be completed this year. Residents can ride the Dash bus to the Braddock Road station. Nearby highways include the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Interstate 395. The building is on the Mount Vernon Trail.

Near: Mount Vernon Trail, Tide Lock Park, and Oronoco Bay Park; a cluster of supermarkets, cafes, and restaurants within walking distance; shops and restaurants on King Street about 10 blocks away.

1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria, Virginia

The plan provides for 72 condominiums and about half are still for sale. Prices for available units start at $860,000 for one bedroom with a den; $950,000 for two bedrooms; $1.85 million for two bedrooms with a den; $1.15 million for units with lofts.

Characteristic: Snaidero cabinets in kitchens, owner’s suites and guest bathrooms; quartz envelopes in kitchens and bathrooms; Bosch and Thermador kitchen appliances; 7.5-inch engineered oak flooring throughout; nine foot high windows; custom lighting. One or two underground parking spaces are included in the price of the house. Additional storage is available to purchase.

bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 more den to 2 more den/1.5 to 2.5 (in available units)

Square feet: 952 to 1863

condo fee: $900 to $1,800 per month, depending on unit size

see model: by appointment

Sales: The Mayhood Co. at 571-771-MUSE (6873) or [email protected]