Sunday, January 29, 2017

1801-1803 6th St NW- New thing

Well the last thing I posted here was 1801-1803 6th Street, NW and I was meaning to post other properties, but I noticed a new thing today on my way to the Shaw/Howard metro. This!
I saw the brick and I thought, "So it finally collapsed." Nope. I have no idea where those bricks came from. maybe the kitty I saw last time did it. Instead I saw what is pictured. I'm not sure what is going on here. The plywood against the fence is new.
I should note, that the next time I look this property up on the tax database, it is 1801-1806 6th St NW. All owned by  David E. Samuel, whose address is listed as 1801 6th St W. Don't know how he's getting any mail since there ain't no mailbox there. And in the database the lot number is 0058. Historically, 1801 is lot 27, 1803 lot 28, and 1805 lot 29. Also I think 1806 is a typo, as this is the odd numbered side of the street.... Whatever it is, it is not taxed at the vacant property rate. And what is in the database looks, incorrect.

Looking at another resource, David E. Samuel bought 1803 6th Street from 1901 D St LLC in May of 2008. For 1801 6th Street, he's E. David Samuel and it looks like he's owned it since the 1990s. And 1805 is not a part of this. 1806 is on the other side of the street and it's condos.

DCRA's PIVS has something interesting for 1801 6th Street. In 2008 it got a permit for "Demolition of two non-load bearing (front and rear) exterior brick veneer walls and rebuilding same non-load bearing walls." In 2014 a Construction/Fence permit ( F1400130) to put up a "Temporary 6' chain link construction fence installed at site perimeter." In 2015 it got a Construction/Raze for a "TWO STORY BRICK SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING" (R1400153).  Well the fence is up. There are other permits, one received in December 2016 to extend the raze permit and this year an electrical permit (E1702856). There are no permits for 1803 6th St NW. Last year it appears someone was set to inspect the property (SVP1601799) but it was cancelled, or something happened. 

There are ways of avoiding the vacant property tax rate. Permits are one way. Neighbors should keep an eye on this property, as it has been vacant for a number of years and nothing done.

Friday, December 16, 2016

1801 & 1803 6th St NW

So I really wanted to capture the little kitty going under 1801 6th St NW. Unfortunately kitty was spooked by my approach and it was a dark colored kitty in the evening light right next to a black hole, so no one is going to see kitty. So instead I'm posting a photo of an empty electric meter box.

Since last posting about this property in December 2013, there is a fence around 1801 6th St NW. There are huge cracks in the building and I am amazed it hasn't fallen over, yet. But then there was some clue that 1803 was occupied, maybe. There is a vacant sticker on 1801 but not 1803. Since spotting the removed meter, and the cracks in the facade I'm thinking this may be vacant too.

Monday, November 7, 2016

1530 3rd St NW on BACA agenda for zoning variance

On TONIGHT (11/7/16)
1530ish 3rd St NW
At the Bates Area Civic Associating meeting tonight there is an agenda item regarding this vacant property.
As of this time there is no rear on the back of this property. That is due to the developers. Several years ago there was a fire in the house and it became vacant. Then the bank sat on it. Then last year it sold to a developer. Before that sale I'm sure there was a rear wall.

I have no idea what the developer is asking for.

It might be a reasonable request to modernize something that was a problem.

It might be something stupid and ugly or something that will hurt current and future neighbors.

Won't know until the meeting.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

45 Bates Street NW

So 45 Bates Street NW, which has been abandoned for years and a problem for years and years is up for sale.
According to Redfin, it is on the market for $575,000 as a handyman special. It is more than likely a shell or may as well be a shell.
January 7, 2014 is was bought or acquired by " CAMERON PROPERTIES OF DC INC" for $50K.As far as I can tell no taxes have been paid since 2011. The tax owed is $96,749.38.

The sale is currently pending.

The Vacant Property Enforcement Amendment of 2016, Bill 21-0598

So here is a link to the committee report. I read half of the PDF file as I decided to skip the testimony. That's background and not the legislation.

If the goal is creating affordable housing, this surely won't do that. What it looks like it will do is maybe, just maybe get DCRA to create something so people could find out about vacant properties and better report such properties to the city. Maybe. Maybe not, we'll see. That's the only thing I liked about it, and even that part I'm not too hopeful about. The other stuff was more fees, or more of the same.

Mentioned an the background material was something about getting the fees so that they would not get absorbed in the cost of doing business...... Um, I don't think that's how it works. Example, properties where the over due  property taxes are higher than the market value of the property. There's a word for properties with no room for profit, 'abandoned' or 'underwater.' Neither of those types of properties tend to lead to affordable housing unless the government steps in gains the property through eminent domain, hold on for too many years, have a neighborhood suffer through a zillion RFPs maybe a PUD or two, lotsa tax credits, and in 10-20 years you may get subsidized housing. The formerly vacant residential properties featured on this blog do not fall under the heading of "affordable".

509 O St NWAnother thing mentioned in the background material were the exemptions, but not so much in the legislation. A significant residential project can take a year, depending on how you count the start of it . Anyone who has had a kitchen remodeled or the like knows these things, once you get a contractor who returns your phone calls, takes 2-3 times longer than the contractor says. It seems you still only get a year. Probate was also mentioned, but not addressed. So this does nothing about places like 509 O Street NW, which is as far as I know, still in legal limbo between the owner and the bank. Now it will be taxed beyond 'worth it' and still in legal limbo. Same goes for properties passed to bickering relatives or to be divided by spiteful divorcing spouses.

What I found more irritating was the press on it. According to the Washington City Paper "It will soon become harder for landlords to neglect vacant or blighted properties under a bill the D.C. Council unanimously passed today." Nope. For one 'landlord' was used incorrectly, if it is vacant or blighted it is not being rented and thus the owner is not being a landlord, just an owner. Since this is just increasing fees and decreasing the construction exemption I see no change for properties owned by abandoned LLCs or dead people. 

What would have been awesome with a supersized cup of amazing would have been legislation of how long DC Government owned buildings could sit around abandoned, blighted and vacant. Or apply these same requirements to the agency that holds several blighted residential and commercial  preterites and have the vacant tax rate come out of their budgets and credited to the owners who live adjacent to them, year after year. I guess I want real leadership and less 'do as I say not as I do.'

Saturday, October 1, 2016

1724 1st Street is falling apart, and possibly vacant

IMG_4496Peeling paint is not exactly a sign of vacancy.
Nor exactly is one bad window.
But when the window allows me to see in to a peeled ceiling, I'm thinking, this house is vacant.

There was a change in owners, sort of, on 2/8/2016 where Donna Dunston, the executor of the previous owner, Samuel H. Singleton, is now on the title. Mr. Singleton is very dead. He died in November, 2004. Ms. Dunston is one of Mr. Singleton's heirs, so I can guess the reason why it took so long to get around to updating the title was a family matter.

There are 4 heirs, so I would not hold my breath on anything happening with this property in the near future. I checked DCRA's PIVS and no permits have been issued. At all. Unfortunately, as you can see from the window, the structure is slowing falling apart. At least the top floor. It does not look like anyone is planning to rescue the structure anytime soon.

The house has a lot going for it. It's in a great location. The city values it for 2017 as being worth $720,830, but then again the structure may be over valued not knowing what kind of damage the house has sustained being vacant for so long. Also, looking at Google Earth map, it looks like it might be possible to fit one car behind the building, a good thing since it is near a popular dining destination. The other and last great thing about this house, the front door. That metal overlay is too cool.
IMG_4497
I will note that the front yard is kept up well with the flower pots and flowering bushes, which is why I probably didn't notice the place at first and why it may not be 100% vacant. Only the neighbors would know for sure, and if the property is vacant it should be reported to vacantbuildings@dc.gov or people could call 311.

Monday, August 22, 2016

1547 7th St NW- Coming Soon!

Neighbors on the Shaw Neighborhood email list are complaining about this slowly crumbling building at the corner of 7th and Q Streets NW.
Rightly so.
It has been shuttered and vacant as long as I can remember and I moved here in 2000.
I'm not going to give this a deep look but just post the basics.

1547 - 1549 7TH ST NW  Square 0445 Lot 0197
Owner since 2001- WILLIAMS SEVEN STREET LLC
2016 Assessed value-  $1,021,640.00
Tax Class- 2= Commercial
2014 taxes paid Jan 2015= $29,719.84
2015 EXPIRED TAX SALE- Sold to Buyer-$56,257.71
Current tax bill is either $114,261.33  or  $75,620.75. Doesn't matter, it is a whole lotta money.

Yes it is not taxed at the vacant rate, but rather the commercial rate which is a lot too.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

227 Bates Street NW- You have got to be kidding me

227 Bates St NW 7/24/2016
A while back I mentioned 227 Bates St NW only briefly. I tend to forget things but looking on Redfin I noticed it was up for sale.

It's listed for $1.2 million.

For a shell.

A shell.

You have got to be f'ing kidding me.

Truxton Circle does have million dollar homes. They tend to be move in ready. They are not shells. Sometimes they have roof decks. There are no million dollar shells unless there is something super special about this place, which I doubt.

In December 2015 it was sold for $617,000.  That's not an unreasonable price for a shell, if the plan is to divide and develop it into two high end condos with a bunch of bells and whistles and a deck off the kitchen. I'm not a fan of dividing things into condos, but that's how that price makes sense. But the $1.2 mil price for a shell, a shell that the owner and listing agent felt no need to take their own photo, but just one from Google Street View. I don't think that's a serious price.

The new owner now owes over $10K in property taxes for 2016 and as you may see from the pictures it has the vacant sticker of shame, so it is being taxed at the vacant rate. So that million does not cover a high tax bill.

There is a permit #PC30723628 issued 12/12/15 for interior demo.

I could delve deeper into why there is an Eagle Bank sign out front or the LLC on the unit block of S St NW that owns this, but it doesn't seem worth it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

WAMU covers a vacant property owner- DC Government

See Anacostia Resident's Fed Up With Negligent Property Owner- DC Government
There is a quote:
"The last thing our neighbors here in Anacostia want is for us to dispose of a property to someone who just sits on it and doesn't do what they committed and promised to do."
Well that someone happens to be the DC government. Residents don't like it when private owners do it, when banks do it, or when a government body (DC or National Park Service, etc) does it. So who is doing it doesn't matter, people living next to a vacant property aren't calmed with the knowledge that DC government, DHCD in this case is the owner. It may even be worse because you can't charge DC government the vacant rate, the purpose of which is to incentivize owners to make property not vacant. DHCD has no incentive for a quick turnaround or repair.

What residents want it for it not to be a vacant/blighted property.  Some may want to keep it out of the hands of developers. Others would want DC owned property to help with homelessness or other housing problem. The fact DC government is the property owner does not automatically make things better. 

454 N St NW- update

Well this DC Government property has been on this blog since January 2014 and 2 years later it looks like it is getting fixed up and may join the land of the living. According to the DC Property Tax database the DC government purchased this thing back in September 2004.
If you look back at the old 2014 post, you can see from the photo that the building was boarded up, with peeling paint and the yard was a mess.

So if the government got it in 2004 and waited until 2016 to do something, something being sell it or have a non-profit or a developer do something, that's 12 friggin years of being an eyesore, and nuisance. Twelve years.

Is it me or does 12 years seem too long?

Well I'm glad this and possibly the neighboring property are possibly coming back to use as someone's home. Finally.