INTERVIEW: Mike Ennes of Federal Realty Investment Trust

Mike Ennes, Pike and Rose, North Bethesda, Federal Realty Investment

We sat down with Michael Ennes, Vice President of Residential Branding & Operations for Federal Realty Investment Trust to get the latest on North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose. Mr. Ennes is responsible for the rollout and oversight of the Trust’s fast-growing residential business, much of which is concentrated in its large, mixed-use communities like Pike & Rose, Santana Row, Assembly Row, and Bethesda Row.

Prior to joining Federal Realty, Mr. Ennes was Senior Director, brand development luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide. In that role Mr. Ennes was responsible for supporting global development efforts to grow the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands, and leading the concept development of Canopy, a new global lifestyle brand.


The Washington Lobbyist: Right now, we are seeing interior designers bring hotel elements into our homes, and we seeing hotels infusing the comforts of home, namely changing using the word “Living Room” instead of lobbies. Why do you think that might be?

Michael Ennes: There has been a hotel industry-wide shift towards transforming what was a boring, transactional space into a place that is energetic and vibrant. For owners, real estate is expensive to develop. Having spaces that are generally empty–like most lobbies–is not a productive use of money, so turning a lobby into a revenue generating area is simply smart business.

At Pallas, we were very mindful to borrow the best of hotels and marry that with everything we know about residential living. The most exciting way this plays out is through Abigail Michaels Concierge. We are proud to be the first property in the DC-area to feature this NY-based concierge service, who has received accolades from The New York Times, The View, and Today Show. It’s a level of service never before seen in this area, and even more remarkable is that it’s for apartment-living.

Pallas courtyard #pikeandrose #federalrealty #northbethesda #dc #travel #luxury #luxurylife #sustainable #design #hotels #hospitality

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TWL: DC is experiencing a hospitality and residential overhaul. With a project like Pike & Rose, and specifically Pallas, what makes this site so exciting?

MW: For me, the opportunity to infuse genuine hospitality into the everyday lives of our residents is what excites me the most. We started by building beautiful residences, of course, but we’ve also spent an amazing amount of time thinking about how our residents live, how we can make that better and how we can give them more of the ultimate luxury: time. The residents moving into Pike & Rose, and into Pallas, are well-traveled, cultured, and are looking for a place that is more than a home to them, and we’ve gone above and beyond to exceed those expectations.

Our concierge service which gives insider access to experiences you can’t get anywhere else, our resort-like pool, glass-walled entertaining suite, and light-filled communal spaces are just a few options that bring an paralleled level of excitement and hospitality.

TWL: Federal Realty Investment Trust is taking the lead on building, well how else shall I put it, sexy real estate, in that you make neighborhoods people want to visit and live. What’s the formula?

MW: We have award-winning properties all around the country from Santana Row in San Jose, CA to Assembly Row in the Boston suburbs. They all have many similarities, including world-class shopping, destination dining and forward-thinking residences. While they have all of these things in common, they are also ultimately reflections of that individual community…in short, we’ve built neighborhoods that fit each community’s current and future needs.

TWL: Pallas, the new residential apartment cornerstone of North Bethesda blends hotel hospitality and home comfort seamlessly. How important was this to get this right?

MW: Getting this right was job number one for us.
The first step was bringing in Abigail Michaels, who, like the best hotel concierges the world over, is able to bring our residents access to some of the best experiences in the region. From handling the day-to-day tasks of our residents, securing impossible-to-get reservations, or planning creative weekend getaways, having a full time butler/event planner/personal assistant on staff for our residents brings hotel-caliber hospitality into their everyday lives.

In addition, we focused on four key areas:
– Health and wellness: bringing in on-site fitness options as well as a Sport & Health Club right next door, personal rooftop garden plots and a neighborhood farmer’s market, to name a few;
– Culture, art and design: which starts at your door and extends throughout the neighborhood
– Hospitality: by designing residences built for entertaining and by incorporating entertaining spaces throughout Pallas all centered in a neighborhood with myriad options;
– Sustainability: building a transit-oriented development where walkability was paramount

TWL: In exploring the world, you’ve been to over 35 countries and stayed in over 500 hotels. Do you have a few hotel lobbies that stand out?

MW: A few standouts:
Park Hyatt Shanghai, whose lobby is on the 87th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, which is part of a group of historic canal homes in the UNESCO heritage site. Entering the lobby is like walking into a private residence
Hotel Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento, Italy. It’s built into the side of a cliff over water and looks toward Mt. Vesuvius
Four Seasons George V in Paris: just impeccable on every front.

For more information on Pike & Rose, please go to: www.pikeandrose.com

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