Monday, September 23, 2019

On Hiatus

I underestimated how much a kid would suck up my time. When my son was a baby I could just leave him on the floor and blog. He's now 2 and a danger to himself and our house.
I'm guessing I will have the time to blog and keep up with the vacant houses and properties around Shaw and other parts of DC when he can stay in his room and speak English. I will follow up with properties that have been brought back to the land of the living.
During this and other times, I will not give you a list of vacant properties. There are businesses that do that, I am not one of them. I do this to provide awareness to a problem in the neighborhood.

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.