I have lived in Crystal Towers for a year. The location is great as it is across the street from a Metro Station and it offers a study room. My unit is spacious and I rarely have problems with noise from other residents. I have never had problems having my car parked here. The grounds are fastidiously maintained. However Leasing here is a nightmare. They increased my rent by $50/month on the day of lease signing. On renewal they quoted a rate that was 20% above my current rent.
So I have been here for about a month now and I have had the best experience across the board. The employees are generally helpful and friendly making me feel at home. The units are comfortable, nice, great location and neighbors are nice. I am sure here and there problems arise, but my experience has been stella in the first 45 plus days.
They are charging for not enough parking spaces! Since they switch to Gates Hudson, they started to charge for surface parking. It cost me 50/month for a parking valid. The worst part is all stuffs in leasing office and concierge knew there are not enough parking spaces for surface parking. Yet, they keep charging for parking valid and never think about control car number. When you pay 50$, the only thing they can guarantee is you can park. That's it. By the way, they also told me that they have more than enough parking spaces in garage. But, it will cost me 100/month.
In the past 2 months we have gone Ghetto. Besides the drop in customer services (cheaper dog poop bags, slower repairs, dumber staff on the weekends, etc.), I saw a mouse in my apartment this morning. I called the consierge and notified them and they told me an exterminator was coming today and I would be added to the list. I crated my dog (which I normally don't do) and went to work. I called when I got home and was told by the person who escorted the exterminator that they didn't do anything in my apartment because they could not identify where the dog barking was coming from. I said that if they couldn't see the dog, that meant it was crated. If it was barking and not restrained they could have seen it at the door. I'm now being told that they want to inspect for holes that the mouse is using 4 days from now, and patch those holes on an unspecified day after that. Apparently a week of mouse poop is good for a 2 year old and my pregnant wife. I told them that if the plan is to patch the holes, let's go straight to patching instead of inspection and if it is a regular maintenance thing how 'bout we do it tomorrow. "The painter isn't in tomorrow and we are supposed to patch with steel wool". I pointed out that we can get steel wool at Home Depot, and we are talking about patching under sinks and behind a stove (which shouldn't have holes in the first place) so an official painter probably isn't necessary. Our rent is almost $3K for a 2BR/2BA, this is an old building and we are moving at the end of this lease. Besides the fact that the A/C & heat are whole building and are only changed once per season, so you will bake 2-3 days around each change.
I've been living at CT for just about 7 months now and let me just say that I miss Archtone! I will probably end up moving out at the end of my lease if not earlier! The Gates and Hudson administration is HORRIBLE. They never know what's going on in the building and they are charging residents 'fees' for paying their rent on time... $2 just to process an online checking transfer and over $60-$80 to pay with your credit card! This is absurd!!! When I contacted the new building manager - she shrugged and actually said "Nothing is free anymore" - WHAT?! I've been paying over $2000+ a month for rent and now your are going to charge me for paying it... on time!!! For example: I just called to find out where can I find my receipts for paying rent the last two months - something that was easily available online with Archtone - is NOT available with Gates and Hudson, they do not keep an online register of your previous payments... nothing! I was told that I need to print out my own bill before the payment gets processed or ask the book keeper for a paper receipt every month!!!! Seriously... Also, they are in the process of installing a cell phone antenna on the roof of the South Tower and never notified residents about it. There are some serious health risks when living so close to these things! I just happened to notice the Verizon employees on the roof one morning! When I asked the Building Manager - She told me to call Verizon because she had "no idea" what was being put on the roof! Total incompetence... I feel bad for the residents that have been in this building for so long. Its a great place - just steps from the metro, close to everything, good restaurants and shops at walking distance, large apartments and friendly neighbors.