Sunday, December 23, 2018

509 O Street- Rubble-Rubble

Cross posted with the InShaw blog

I'm hoping this was not a hallucination but in a cab, back from the doctor's I spotted a pile of rubble where 509 O Street NW stood. Upon seeing it I exclaimed, "Finally".
I would have investigated further, but I'm contagious and need to avoid people. And stay home and do this thing called resting. So I don't have an updated image of 509 O Street.

If you are newish, you may wonder, what's the big deal?

The problem with 509 O Street was that it was stuck as a vacant property for at least 20 years. That means it was vacant when the neighborhood started gentrifying. It was vacant when shells in the area cost half a million. It has been vacant now, still vacant. Now a vacant lot. It had the resistance to development like a Shiloh Baptist property. And even some Shiloh properties not on 9th, managed to get developed.

I have my opinions. And it was my opinion that the woman who owned the property was crazy. Whether bat-shyte crazy or crazy like a fox, I don't know. But the crazy was the only thing to explain why this property managed to stay vacant despite legal action from the lender, vacant rate taxes and a white hot real estate market.

Just for my records, the lot number for 509 O Street NW is a PITA to locate. In the tax assessment database searching for O St lots on Square 0479, all I could find was lot #0818. In the DC Atlas I found 3, lots 0044, 2001, & 2002. This makes me wonder if the taxes could be wiped out with a shell game of lose the lot number? Looking at the Recorder of Deeds paperwork, that's a confusing mess and introduced more lot numbers. Lot number 0813 for condo unit (yeah it was a 'condo') A. sigh.

So in summary, I seriously hope that pile of rubble was 509 O Street NW. Hopefully, it can move on. Maybe there is a serious developer behind this who will plop another million dollar condo on the spot with quartz countertops and Lutron light switches.
I'll probably cross post this with DC Vacant Properties.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

DC Audit- Report on DCRA and vacant buildings

This is a 2017 report Significant Improvements Needed in DCRA Management of Vacant and Blighted Property Program.This is out of the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor.

DCRA is currently experiencing turmoil as the head left and three officials were fired recently.

I have no comment as I might actually want a permit for something in the future, but I just wanted to put this out there.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Shiloh Properties Update

Shiloh maybe getting their act togetherMy usual path no longer takes me along 9th Street anymore. Trips to Giant stops right at 8th Street. I might wander over to 9th to see if Buttercream has any ho-hos. And so the search for specialty cake products brought me over to the 1500 block of 9th Street NW and I was surprised to see what looked to be work on Shiloh Baptist Church's long vacant properties.

This might be old news to some, as I did notice another Shiloh property on the opposite side of the street appeared no longer vacant. And the poster celebrating Victory Village looks, old. When doing a Google search for Victory Village and Shiloh, I came across a 2010 CityPaper article about the project. That doesn't provide a lot of confidence. What does provide confidence is the scaffolding up along the sidewalk. And the fact that the block is a little less vacant than 10 years ago.

Shiloh maybe getting their act together Next to the National Park Service's Carter G. Woodson House, formerly owned by Shiloh were some 3 story high scaffolding with the banner of a contractor, Thomas Archer on it. That looks a bit more real, and this thing might actually happen. Maybe. Hopefully. Lord willing. I pray that in 5 years the 1500 block of 9th Street NW is as healthy as the 1500 block of 7th St NW. I hope that Shiloh will no longer be known as the church with all those run down vacant properties. I don't expect Shiloh to gain the real estate mojo of UHOP, that would be akin to expecting Keneau Reeves to out act Christian Bale.

This has been cross posted with the InShaw Blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Silent Summer

Notice in windowI have a confession. I've been getting very lax with this blog. There were a whole slew of comments dating back to 2017 that slipped my notice that I just published.
Parenthood has taken more of my mental energy than I could have imagined it could.
I have been taking pictures of vacant properties around Shaw and Bloomingdale however, they just never seemed to make it to the blog where they needed to be.
For that I apologize.
I'm sorry.

I would follow up with a promise to do better if I honestly thought I would actually do that. But I don't feel that I could in all honesty say that. So let's see what happens if I can manage to get a little bit more sleep and a bit more organized.

Monday, July 16, 2018

210 P Street NW- Back to the land of the living

I'll make this quick. I wrote about this property back in 2016.
210 P St NW 2016It was as you see it, a vacant DC rowhouse.
Now it is back in the land of the living, and for sale, with lots and lots of space. It has been broken up into 4 units and the 1st unit is, rounded up a million dollars.
I reviewed the open house on my other blog and you can see my opinions of it. I've been through a few million dollar Truxton Circle houses and condos. Unfortunately, it doesn't hit the million dollar mark with features, but has million dollar space.
210 P St NW Open HouseIf you take a look at the image on the right, it looks like the developers kept the turret (yay!) and used the space to the side to expand to the property line on the other side and ate the house next door to make a huge building. But not as huge as the monstrosity a few doors down. 

509 O Street - To be razed, hopefully

So I was happy to see this in my Twitter feed.

It is about 509 O Street NW which I have blogged about before.  I'll believe it when I see it. This property has been tied up with all sorts of complications for years, going back to 2012.

Monday, June 4, 2018

218 S St NW gets a hardship exemption

Hat tip to Scott Roberts for pointing out Helder Gil's tweet

Scott has an image of the permit-

Saturday, June 2, 2018

142 Q Street NW

So I was recently told of this house.
I'm not going to do a deep investigation of this, because apparently the house has been vacant for 8+ years. It's not a problem for the neighbors, right now.
It appears that it was bought in 1987 or 1988 by 142 Q St NW Inc... might have been before LLCs were a thing, for what looks to be $80,000. And it looks, because I'm scanning, not really reading the documents, like it was bought at auction. So it has been owned by the owners for a very long time. The owners, are located in Plymouth, NC.

Looking at the tax database, this property is not charged at the Class 3 - Vacant rate. Another quick scan of the documents and maybe there is some legal problem as there are trustees attached to it.... I dunno. Going back to 2005 it looks like they've been charged the normal rate for this multi unit (2 units as far as I can tell) semi-detached townhouse.

From the street it just looks like a duplex that is a tad shabby.
There is another house on the block that looks more vacant than this one. I may do it next.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

121 16th St NE

This is a reader submission.

I am sorry I don't have any photos. I was going to hop into an uber to go over and snap some pix after my spouse got home to take care of our kid, but then the sky opened up, and I said heck no. Didn't help that my husband showed up late, due to the crazy rain. So, no photos. It would be nice if the reader, who contacted me via the comments sent me some photos or a link to photos at mari at inshaw punt com.


This property at 121 16th St NE (Square 1083, lot 40) is owned by a developer, Cameron Properties of DC Inc. It was purchased, according to the DC tax office, in February 2016 for $433K. Now the DC tax database has a new term I haven't seen before to describe the sale, " SPECULATIVE". Huh.

Anyway, the tax office has the 003 code, so it should be taxed as vacant. It must be a new code because the tax payments in the past two years have been ridiculously low. The current tax bill demands payment of $30,614.04. And that's all the city can do, besides stick a yellow sticker of shame on it.

In the message I received, a reader wrote: " It's owned by Jerry Jewell of Madison Properties and Cameron Properties. He has 3 stop work orders and 3 vacant property tags on the building. No one has been there since November 2017 and he left the property gutted and exposed all winter." I sympathize. It is no fun living next to an active construction zone and it is no fun living next to a project that is at a standstill. It is like living in Limbo.

Looking at the permits, there were several permits applied and approved and canceled. Demo permit #D1600695 was accepted 6/21/2016 and a permit was issued on the 28th for interior and exterior demolition. Bump out maybe? Next was permit #B1613231 Alteration and Repair Permit accepted 9/16/2016. That was for a pop up to add a third floor. That application was cancelled, I'm guessing extended? It was replaced with #B1700461 Addition Alteration Repair Permit accepted 10/13/2016, same thing. Next, was D1700594 Demolition Permit, accepted 6/22/2017.  This one had a different contact person, David Edge, when previously it was Cameron Properties. The description for this permit was "First extension to existing permit number D1600695 to expire 12/28/17. Demolition of Interior and some exterior walls." The last permit, so far, is permit #B1713629 for Alteration and Repair, accepted 9/18/2017, with contact person Marquiz Smith. The description reads, "INTERIOR ALTERATION AND REPAIR OF HOUSE AND EXISTING ADDITION INCLUDING MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, STRUCTURAL, AND PLUMBING. CONVERT EXISTING STORAGE ROOM IN BASEMENT INTO A BEDROOM WITH NEW ENTRY DOOR AND WINDOWS." A lot of things for review, plumbing, electrical, etc were approved in September and October 2017. It hasn't been a full year yet, so things could still happen. Maybe the developer ran out of money? Who knows?

The property is in ANC 6A08, so the SMD ANC for that is Calvin Ward cward6a08
Being in Ward 6 the City Councilperson is Charles Allen (202)-724-8072
 Contact them or their office so this problem property is on their radar.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

1715 4th St NW- Looks vacant but isn't

1700 bulk of 4th St NWIt was not the scaffolding that has been up since 2016 (looked at Google Street view for October 2016) that made me question the occupancy of 1715 4th St NW. Nor is it the torn plastic in the windows. It was the hole in the roof that I spotted. Too bad the owner didn't finish whatever exterior repairs she was planning in 2016 or early 2017, 'cause that block, the whole block, is now a Historic Landmark. Yeah, that kinda sucks. Well blame the developer several doors down who threatened to tear a structure down if they weren't approved for an ugly pop up.

Normally when I look in the DC Property tax database and see a Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction, and a house that is in some disrepair, I think, the person is a) dead or b) in a nursing home. The owner had an uncommon name so I plugged it into Google. No, the owner is very much alive and active. She's got an active Twitter page. Actually, she's a notable activist. I've never spoken to her but I've seen her around the neighborhood and she is quite spry.
 I'm guessing she has better things to do than repairing stuff. But that turret roof, really needs to get fixed.

Popup on 4thI started writing this prior to seeing who the owner was, but this gave me an opportunity to point out the historic landmarking. If only, if only, the developers of 319 R St NW had taken the example of the house 1721 4th St NW, a few doors down, we might not have had this landmarking mess.The third floor is a pop up. It looks great, and when that was negotiated, I'd hoped that it would provide an example to others on the block, should they decide to pop up one more floor. But that chance is gone. The developer at 319 R St NW played chicken and we all lost.

Okay, I'll get back to vacant properties....