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Virtual reality in real estate grows thanks to one D.C. developer

The Pearl is using the technology as a leasing tool

The lobby
All renderings courtesy of The Tower Companies

A Washington, D.C.-based real estate developer, known as The Tower Companies, might be one of the first if not the first developer in the D.C. area to use virtual reality (VR) as a way to help rent residential units. The developer is currently using VR for The Pearl, a luxury rental project located in Downtown Silver Spring at the edge of Rock Creek Park.

By allowing the use of VR, this provides prospective residents the ability to not be forced to go to the development at 180 High Park Lane to see the 14-story complex. One can simply meet the leasing agent at a coffee shop or at home and still be able to see each of the spaces.


When putting on the device, it truly feels like one is in the development. The visuals are totally accurate to what one will find, from the placements of the artwork to where every species of tree is planted to what it will even look like to jump in the pool or stand on a balcony.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that The Tower Companies is utilizing such cutting-edge technology. The company has always been innovative. In 2004, the developer was the first in the nation to certify LEED a multi-family community, which was the Blair Towns. Since then, 90 percent of the developer’s commercial and multi-family residential properties are LEED and Energy Star certified.


Through a partnership with the Department of Energy, the developer has also pledged to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. Currently, the developer owns, develops, and manages over 5 million square feet in the D.C. area.

Entertainment kitchen

In The Pearl, there are 284 residential units, ranging from junior flats to one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Prices range from $1,500 up to $4,600. The first 150 units will be available for move-in in February 2017, while the final 134 units won’t deliver until Spring of 2017, according to a press release.

What really helps the development stand out is its 30,000 square feet of amenity space. As one of the most amenity-filled projects in the D.C. area, The Pearl offers a rooftop pool, internal courtyard and dining grove, two-story floating fitness center, and entertainment kitchen. Outside, The Pearl also boasts a lush garden-scape and fire pits.

Fitness center

Topping all the amenities off is a two-acre private park with a dog run, programmed amphitheater, urban farm, and playground. For those that are more active, there is also a running path and fitness equipment. A below-grade parking garage and 100-space bike storage is also available with a dog grooming station.

Final need-to-know amenities include car detailing, dog walking, chef-prepared meals, and a 24-hour concierge.

Rooftop pool

The units, themselves, are just as impressive, with Energy Star stainless steel appliances, smart home technology, and keyless entry. Inside, there are also floor-to-ceiling windows and custom-designed Italian kitchen cabinets. In the penthouse units, there are Nest thermostats.


To top it all off, The Pearl is also very sustainable. Some of the notable green features include on-site solar PV panels, a 5,000-square-foot vegetated green roof space with landscaping and irrigation systems. Currently, the development is pursuing a LEED Gold Certification.

The Pearl

The Pearl [Official Website]