Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1533 9th St NW- Shiloh Shame

There are many churches in the Shaw area, some with real estate beyond their worship building. The United House of Prayer (UHOP) has real property all over the neighborhood, and in recent years have decided to populate the area with Suzane Reatig buildings, for various income levels. Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in the Truxton Circle part of Shaw, uses the townhomes across from it's main building for various church activities and ministries. Mt Lebanon Baptist, though not owning the former MM Washington School has managed to turn the property into senior housing.

1533 9th St NW 4 Sadly Shiloh Baptist Church has proven itself incompetent to deal with it's long held properties. However this post will focus on one 1533 9th St NW. Unfortunately, this property is in as just as poor shape as the church's other 9th St properties.
During our walk around the neighborhood looking at vacant and previously vacant properties, we spoke with Ken R. who lives adjacent to the problem property. He informed us of the various problems he's encountered and efforts he's made to attempt to improve the situation. The city government, in it's various functions have failed him, with police who fail to move vagrants and the tax office which until recently failed to tax 1533 9th St NW at the vacant tax rate. He did praise the Fenty administration for getting the church to replace plywood windows with plexiglass.
1533 9th St NW 6
Plexiglass window

1533 9th St NW was a little hard to locate in DC Office of Tax and Revenue's Assessment database, as the "NW" was dropped. The property at SSL: 0397 0031 has an odd history of tax payments. This year for 1533 9th, the city collected $12,325.40 the vacant rate. Last year, $3,910.70. In 2012, $8,507.61.  2012 is an interesting year, the city charged the church for this property $26,240.70, and credited them $19,671.12. There are various reasons for this but the database doesn't state why. Looking at what the city charges it seems that there are years the city wasn't charging the vacant rate, such as 2013 and 2011, even though the property has been vacant for well over a decade, with no brief moments of legitimate occupancy. The 2011 taxes might be explained with a permit (B0908078/BZA NO. 18059) issued in July 2011 for construction of an addition. The first photo in this post is of the rear of 1533. There is no addition. One could look at the permit as a ruse to put off the vacant tax rate, or more proof that the church is incapable of following through with its plans.
1533 9th St NW 2
Later I will look at other 9th St Shiloh vacant properties.In the meanwhile here's some fun facts.
Shiloh has an estimated Sunday attendance of 2000. In 1957 it had an average attendance of 1200-1500. In 1957 about 97% of its parishioners did not live in the Shaw area, but rather in other parts of DC. Now many members live outside of the District of Columbia.

No comments: