This is Emmy. She’s an English bulldog puppy — and an amenity at a luxury apartment building in Washington, D.C.
Pools, fancy gyms, even private dog parks — these high-class perks have become normal in the spendier echelons of D.C.’s overheated rental market, reports the Washington Post.
2M, a building in the developing NoMa neighborhood, will have all those features when it opens for business this coming summer, plus an indoor basketball court, and Emmy — who, when not playing or snuggling with building residents, will mostly nap in a dog house that looks like the building where she’ll be mascot.
“[I] don’t want to call her lazy,” says Anne-Marie Bairstow, spokesperson for WC Smith, the company that is building 2M. “But she’s kind of a typical English bulldog.”
Who could object to that little face? Emmy’s appearance is indisputably adorable, but has also raised two discrete sets of concerns.
On the development side, she represents worries about D.C.’s rental market, which some observers say is becoming flooded, with nearly 40,000 new apartments planned or being built while already-existing units go unfilled. She’s also provoked the somewhat exasperated suggestion that instead of using puppies to lure renters, developers could just, like, lower rents.
And on the puppy-loving side, some have expressed a different unease. Should we fret that in belonging to everyone, Emmy in fact belongs to no one, and won’t be properly looked after?
If no one can yet say whether Washington — with, by one estimate, a median rent of $2,100 — will be able to fill tens of thousands new apartments at the hoped-for prices, Bairstow assures HuffPost that Emmy’s well-being, at least, is a sure thing.
Even spending her days among renters (fingers crossed!), the roly-poly pup has a permanent home of her own. She lives with WC Smith’s vice president of marketing Holli Beckman, who is responsible for the dog’s care, and who is the person who came up with the idea of 2M’s canine mascot.
“I was sitting at a cafe one day, and we saw a puppy come in and everyone just stopped in their tracks and came alive,” Beckman told the Washington Post. “And it just dawned on me that everyone loves doggies and babies, right?”
For those who prefer their doggies to be of the adopted rather than the bought variety, Bairstow says the company is receptive to the idea of working with local animal rescue groups, so renters can do right by a furry friend of their own. And the Post notes that even in this most competitive of markets, there’s no word on any developers offering up communal babies just yet.