Not all residents are pleased with the renovations underway at the high-rise apartment building 4701 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, formerly known as The Irene.
Equity Residential purchased the building from Irene Pollin (wife of Abe Pollin) in April 2012 for $209,325,000 (according to Maryland's real estate database), and started renovations soon after that.
Anonymous sources told Patch that the renovations are creating excess noise (in the form of jackhammering for much of the day) and construction dust.
One anonymous source told Patch that the balcony of that source's apartment has been sealed off for the duration of the renovations. The source can no longer telework from home because the apartment is "unusable" during the day due to the jackhammering.
"As you can imagine, it is not a very pleasant experience, in terms of noise, convenience or aesthetics, but it is a slap in the face" that rates were increased during the construction, the anonymous source continued.
Patch reader Colleen Hodge wrote (in a comment to a previous Patch story on 4701 Willard Ave.) that the "noise level at 4701 Willard Ave for residents is unbearable."
The renovations also are affecting residents of nearby addresses. For example, Twitter user GuiomarOchoa tweeted that "I live on N. Park & am over the renovations!"
Reginald Jetter, division chief of customer services for the county's permitting services department, says that the department has gotten a few complaints from residents of the building about noise and construction-related dust, and that the department is working with Equity Residential to address the issues.
The renovations are being made because both the garage and facade of the building were in disrepair when Equity Residential purchased the property, Jetter told Patch.
The Department of Permitting Services directed Equity Residential to speed up its efforts to rehabilitate the facade, as—before the renovations began—some bricks were about to fall out of the facade, Jetter said.
"That’s why their doing the renovation," Jetter said. The new owners determined that repairs needed to be made, and the engineers determined that the structural integrity of the building was worse than previously thought, he added.
Last Friday, Jetter was scheduled to visit an apartment to take a reading of the construction noise level in one of the apartments.
Also last Friday, Patch requested copies of the work permits from the county under the Freedom of Information Act.