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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1001 11 St NW-2016 update

Well the billboard is down.

1001 11th St NW and Hostel This is a Jemal, Douglas Jemal property so there is no point of complaining about it.

Jemal does what he wants, when he damned well feels like it.

So there is no point of me looking at DCRA or the Tax Office or where ever. No point. Jemal does not react to vacant tax rates. Those higher taxes will just get paid by whomever leases the property in the future. Not worth hatin' the playa' 'cause he knows how to play the game.

The former owner of this blog Ed mentioned this property back in 2007. The property was serving a a big ole billboard. If you go on Google Streetview there is an Apple iPhone ad up. Now, today it is down and it looks like Dougie is doing something.

I'll have to check back in a year or two and see if he thrown up a huge shiny expensive glass building that covers up the "Hostel" sign.  Because that is what Dougie Doug does (say that 5x fast).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

210 P St NW


210 P St NW 2016 I could have sworn I've written about this property.
Anyway 210 P St NW is vacant. It's got a yellow sticker vacant.
According to the DC property tax database an LLC (read developer) bought it this year for $200,000, a bargain possibly in April. However, DC PIVS still seems to think that Ali Zolfajhar, who gained ownership in 2007, is still the owner. *Shrug*
You see permits in the window, I have no idea when those are from. I guess I could have walked into the yard, but no. According to PIVS there is a permit for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, two for 2014, and one for 2015. The one for 2013 is a doozy, noted by the BACA blog that it was to turn the building into a 4 unit. Maybe do the monster building thing several doors down?