Saturday, April 23, 2016

45 Rhode Island Ave NE

This is one of those not vacant, vacant properties.
One of the things that make something officially "not vacant" is construction work requiring a permit..... However there is no rule of how dang long it can take or whether or not the structure is made habitable.
Considering 45 RI Ave NE was bought last year in late September there is some hope that this is not another string of minor things done to give the appearance of doing something. There were several permits issued between 2011-2014. I'm not sure if that kept the taxman at bay but there was a hefty tax bill of $10K to be paid when the property was sold last year.
Since the new owners are an LLC in Truxton, I'm going to assume the new owner will do well and hopefully get this property back into the land of the living.
Before last years purchase this thing was vacant for the longest time with issues. There is no point naming the former owner, but there were liens, foreclosure notices, and what looked to be a mess of problems.
I'll keep an eye on this one as when I passed by to take a photo of the property, there were "homeless" guys hanging out.

**People who look "homeless" aren't necessarily homeless as many people define the term. Homelessness in the District is a complex issue and not the focus of this blog.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Eyesore on Rhode Island Ave NE

This isn't really up to the standards I want in creating a post, but I've been procrastinating for way too long.
This image is taken from Google Street view of a house about 2-3 blocks from the Rhode Island Metro station. It was messed up a year or two back in a house fire and has been sitting around so long it attracted graffiti. Big noticeable bubble graffiti.  This house is in a great location, it shouldn't sit as an eyesore as long as it has.

There are other eyesores on Rhode Island Ave NE between this place and the Woodridge neighborhood and it has been bugging me that I haven't listed them on this blog. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

313-317 R St NW, a row of vacancy

300block of R St NWI sorta kinda wrote about this section of vacant houses in "Mr. Squatter, I Salute You". Well Mr. Squatter has long moved on and I have seen these yellow houses, condos really, pop up on the real estate websites being for sale, and well doing nothing.
At the time I shot this photograph two guys were trying to take a look in the center yellow townhouse as it is for sale. They've mostly been for sale and if they weren't condos probably would have sold by now and not have the bright yellow stickers of vacancy.
Let's review: (Starting from the right going left)
313 R St NW, units 1 & 2 are owned by the 313 R St LLC. Since the LLC is at a residential address in Potomac, MD I'm sure if I spent a little more energy I could figure out one name behind the LLC, but since he or she or they only recently obtained the two units in the right most yellow Wardman house (yes, it is a Wardman) on October 16th of this year. It had been on the market for over 800 days and sold for $440k. According to a note "Condo Association is not warranted, this condo was changed to a single family home. The bank is selling this property ( As-Is. )" it is a single house again, maybe. Hopefully the new owner will shine it up and sell for a pretty penny.
315 R St NW, units 1 and 2 are owned by two different LLCs. Unit 1 is owned by MTGLQ INVESTORS LP. Unit 1 also happens to be for sale now for $359K. A quick look at the pictures and I am going to guess there is mold/water damage so a cash buying investor would need to pick this up and take care of the roof or whatever is causing the damage. The current owners bought it as a foreclosure this year on March 25th for $405K and tried to sell it in April for I guess $399K. I don't know what's up with that. Unit 2 is owned by 315 R St LLC, the address in Rockville is associated with an attorney's office. That LLC got their unit in April 2011 for $175K and are taxed at the residential rate. Neither units 1 or 2 are charged at the vacant rate. There appears to have been a tiny bump in how much the properties owed the city in 2011. If the LP and the LLC can get together, maybe they can offload these.
The last and left most yellow house in our group is 317 R St NW. Unit 1 lists Raonuito Salazar as the owner, but I have my doubts. The city tax database lists him as the owner, buying the property in 2008 for $650K (waaaay too much IMHO). However, Redfin lists the property as been sold in foreclosure Feb 24, 2015 for $467,500, and it is now for sale for $329,900 and has been on the market for over 100 days. It's another property with water and mold damage and needs a cash buyer who can deal with all that as you can't get a regular loan due to the funky messed up condo thing. Tax-wise this has a Class 3 exception, so it is not being charged at the vacant rate. Unit 2 has Zion Group LLC listed as the owner with a commercial address on Kenilworth Ave NE. I found QHI Construction associated with the address but the two could be unrelated. Unit 2 was purchased in 2009 for $438,400. Neither of these are paying the vacant rate but the property does have the vacant sticker on it.
When I get around to it I will report these to DCRA or somebody. None of these were listed on the 2015 Blighted or Vacant Buildings Lists.
I stand by what I wrote earlier, you don't need new laws, you need better enforcement.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We don't need a new law, just need you to enforce the old one

Recently WAMU had a short story on vacant and blighted properties. DC Council member Elissa Silverman wants to change the law to place the burden on the property owner. However the problem seemed to be that there aren't enough inspectors. There are only 4 for the whole city.
There are problems with switching it around to place the burden on the owner. Friends who bought and lived in a formerly vacant house, had to pay the vacant rate for at least a year (maybe more) taking out a loan to pay it while they tried to convince the city that they lived in their house. I wouldn't want to wish that nightmare on anyone. I get the desire to get vacant properties occupied but we should not trample innocents in our zeal to get at wrongdoers.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

45 Bates Street NW

This post is just a place marker of sorts that may or may not be followed up.
Within ANC Bradley A. Thomas' SMD report was something about the Vacant/Blighted Properties Task Force listing three properties that were vacant. One was 1530 3rd St NW, which has been written about here. The other two were 227 Bates St NW and 45 Bates Street NW.
45 Bates Street has been vacant for a while and is boarded up. According to the DC Property Tax database 45 Bates is owned by Cameron Properties of DC, Inc with a PO Box in Valrico, FL. This company obtained the property in 2014 for $50K.$103K is owed in taxes, and so it appears this is being taxed at the vacant rate.

227 Bates Street NW

This post is just a place marker of sorts that may or may not be followed up.
Within ANC Bradley A. Thomas' SMD report was something about the Vacant/Blighted Properties Task Force listing three properties that were vacant. One was 1530 3rd St NW, which has been written about here. The other two were 227 Bates St NW and 45 Bates Street NW.  From the exterior 227 Bates doesn't look very vacant.

Friday, October 9, 2015

509 O Street NW up for sale

For sale o stFinally. Okay not final till someone decides to buy it and fix it up.
509 O Street NW, the vacant property of much trouble and strum and drang is up for sale. Not a realistic price I think, but who knows. Maybe there is a group of investors with more capital than sense or maybe they can negotiate the $1.2 million price tag down.
Yes, finished the property may be worth well over 1.2 million but a shell.... Yes, this is a million dollar neighborhood. There are some condos around the corner that sold for a million. But they have parking. All the million dollar condos have parking. This has no parking. I don't know, well I don't think, it has any alley access, so trash day, that would be interesting for future residents.
UPDATE- This post was accidentally not posted till 10/9/15 and was written 9/21/15. Since then the property is off the market. Not pending. Just withdrawn from the market. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Langston and Slater DC Government's Demolition by neglect

100_0400.JPGScott Roberts of Bloomingdale has on the BACA blog part of an article from the Washington Business Journal mentioning these two buildings.

Langston has been closed for like, ever.

Slater. Slater had/has some children's care inside that crumbly building. I'd shift some of the responsibility to the tenants on its state.

There are several other buildings throughout the city that are in good locations where the city lets the buildings rot. Giving them a historic designation did zero in making them functional. It just makes them more expensive to repair.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why no Vacant Sticker for 234 Florida Avenue NW?

First, I do not mean to pick on Mr. Behzad Hosseinkhan. I say this because I have criticized him before regarding another property (1721 4th St NW) when I was doing the blog. He seems to be a nice enough person.... So I feel sorta bad, but not bad enough to make an observation.
His property at 234 Florida Avenue has sat vacant long enough without paying the vacant tax rate. Don't let the sign outside fool you, in practice, it is not available. Back in 2012 two ladies thought of opening a wine bar at this location and they were to call it Snitcheye. But they were having difficulties with the owner, and the deal fell through. Word was the owner (I guess Mr. Hosseinkhani) was difficult. Residents were sad. We were sad because we wanted a wine bar and not have to cross Florida Avenue.
Okay fast forward to 2014 or accurately, 2015. A couple of people, mainly a brother and sister team and their gang of foodie friends (who already had a restaurant on H St NE) feasted their eyes upon the corner of 3rd and Florida. First they approached the owner of 234 FL Ave. That fell through, then they decided that the crumbly disaster of a building across the street at 300 Florida Avenue was a much better deal. The rumor with this was he wanted too much money for the space.
And lastly, I walked by a space on North Capitol where I knew the upper apartment space was occasionally occupied and the lower space was dealing with some ABRA/ permitting limbo issues, and it was slapped with one of those pretty yellow vacant stickers. So why not do the same with 234 Florida?
Okay the particulars. The owner used to live or still lives in DC, has owned the property for a while and the tax bill goes to a P.O. Box in 20009. PIVs says there are three permits associated with this address. The first one was issued in 2010 to repair windows and brick walls. The second in 2013 to make adjustments and dig out the basement. And the last one was a year later in 2014 for plumbing and gas.
To my knowledge nothing has been in that location since my residence in the Truxton Circle neighborhood. So let's say a little less than 15 years. It's been vacant long enough.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Vacant Stickers- 1539 4th St NW

1539 4th St NWI've been noticing lately bright yellow stickers on properties around the neighborhood declaring properties vacant.
That's helpful.
This vacant property is a 1539 4th St NW. It is owned by a C D Major of Forth Washington, MD since heavens knows when. It was determined vacant this year (yay DCRA). 

There  are others.

 The photo on the right I spotted on the 400 blk of N St NW. Unfortunately, I did not get the address. This had building permits and I by the time I noticed the ladder (and the guy on it) I had decided to walk away. But it is another example of the yellow vacant stickers going up around the city.

Vacant Signage on N St NW