LOVE THE BUILDING...AM AN OWNER. I have resided at 1209 North Charles Street since 2008. The building is a CONDOMINIUM. It wasn't until they started leasing that the problems began. Renters typically have less regard and respect for shared spaces than those of us who paid our hard earned salary on purchasing the units in the building when they started selling in 2006. We are seeing a renewed interest in sales with mortgage rates as low as they are and prices dropping. The condo fees are VERY low compared to other buildings and include your gas HEAT - I paid $65 this month for my two bedroom. Also, I have never ONCE seen a mouse OR a homeless person in the building and I live on the first floor with a unit that is situated on the beautifully maintained courtyard. Since I OWN, I don't have to deal with these leasing people that are referenced by other commenters. The actual property manager is quite responsive and having seen these other reviews, I walked the building only to find that the ONLY mouse traps were placed discreetly in the garage as is usually the case in a condo/apt. building - they were the large black ones that are quite common in such locations. I have nothing negative to say about the building other than what seems to be a whiny group of entitled 20 somethings (probably students/medical residents) who haven't a grip on city living - it's Baltimore for heaven's sake - if you don't like it, move out to Towson or Columbia!
Would NOT recommend. This building is really an awful place to live. The apartments themselves are pretty, but the overall living experience is terrible. The building is infested with mice. Mice gain access to the hallways and run underneath apartment doors. There are mouse traps hidden in the hallways. It is disgusting. Management is the worst I have ever encountered. They charged us our entire security deposit plus $700 for miscellaneous nonsense charges and brand new carpet which did not need to be replaced. Homeless people sleep in part of the lobby and you have to walk past them. Sometimes there is a foul urine smell from the homeless person who slept there the night before. It is overall an unfriendly place. There is a $100 lockout fee, even though it only involves the office person to walk to your apartment with a key. Luxury living it is certainly NOT. I would never recommend this place to anyone.
A Very Mixed Bag.
I've been living here for almost two years now, and I've even thought about buying a place here, but I have very mixed feelings about this building.
This place is billed as luxury living and on the surface, it definitely lives up to that image. Units are large, modern, and attractive, but the quality of the fixtures, appliances, floors, and paint are not great. This is not top-of-the-line construction, it's top-of-the-line-looking construction. Things break down or get damaged pretty easily, and although management is good about getting them fixed quickly, usually you will be deemed at fault for the problem and (from what I've been told by former neighbors) charged for major repairs when you leave. Good luck trying to argue wear and tear for anything.
Speaking of management, this is one unfriendly group of people. Almost every correspondence I've ever received, even for the most uncontroversial or routine matters, is defensive, stern, and sometimes downright hostile. Explicit threats of expulsion or penalization abound. This is a "pay your rent and shut up" type of place, which is fine, but incongruous with the image of "luxury living."
Building amenities are basic - a lobby, a small gym, a central courtyard, and covered parking. The courtyard itself is actually quite nicely designed and landscaped, although some furniture and amenities are being taken away. There's no recycling, which is irresponsible for a building this size, and packages usually litter the lobby floor near the elevators (a problem that can be solved by putting in a simple table or shelves).
The location is both a plus and a negative. I love living in Mount Vernon and since I commute south using the trains, transportation is very convenient for me. The downside is that this area can be noisy, especially if you live on the lower floors facing the street. There is a lot of passing traffic, and except for a few months in the winter, people like to congregate outside late at night and hang out, get drunk, or blare loud music. I don't mind it - this is city living - but I also have a good white noise machine. If you want peace and quiet, get a courtyard-facing unit.
Neighbors are generally nice and drama-free, although everyone mostly keeps to themselves. There's a decent amount of turnover. Rent is very high for the area, and although this building has many nice things going for it, you do pay a premium to live in one of the only newer buildings in the neighborhood. Hopefully all the new construction going on around will bring better alternatives to the market soon.
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