D.C.

Rooftop dog park in NW provides unique amenity

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The first Erin Siegel does when she gets home is walk her dogs Darla and Theo. But the three of them don't want to head for the street. Instead, they aim for the sky.

Siegel is a resident of the City Market at O apartment complex in Northwest Washington. It's a dazzling new development over a once grungy parking lot. What was it that really hooked Siegel on this complex? The roof.

"You get the views of the city and you get the ability to play with your dogs, socialize them, get exercise," she said.

The complex's developers wondered what to do with a large roof area before deciding to let it go to the dogs. The ultimate amenity is the rooftop dog park. There are special areas for big dogs and little dogs, as well as lookout so that tenants' four-legged friends can take in the spectacular view.

"It's been fabulous," City Market at O developer Richard Lake said. "It's been absolutely amazing. Nearly forty percent of our renters have dogs."

Just off the top-floor doggie playground is another special room with dog washing equipment for both large and small canines.

"This was a huge deciding factor in us coming here," tenant Abby Slitor said. "It was relatively the same price as for amenities and everything else, and this is obviously an awesome amenity to have in the city."

While the area around the apartment complex at 7th and O NW has improved, the neighborhood that was once a hotbed for drug and gang activity can still be a bit rough around the edges. City Market tenant Christin Carey said her dog Bogey's occasional need for a night time bathroom trip is much safer on the roof than the street.

"As a woman I don't want to be out in the dark alone," she said.

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