Friday, December 16, 2016

1801 & 1803 6th St NW

So I really wanted to capture the little kitty going under 1801 6th St NW. Unfortunately kitty was spooked by my approach and it was a dark colored kitty in the evening light right next to a black hole, so no one is going to see kitty. So instead I'm posting a photo of an empty electric meter box.

Since last posting about this property in December 2013, there is a fence around 1801 6th St NW. There are huge cracks in the building and I am amazed it hasn't fallen over, yet. But then there was some clue that 1803 was occupied, maybe. There is a vacant sticker on 1801 but not 1803. Since spotting the removed meter, and the cracks in the facade I'm thinking this may be vacant too.

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

UPDATE: Not Vacant IMG_4496 (see comments below)

Peeling 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.
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 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
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?

Monday, June 13, 2016

213 Bates Street NW

You probably can't tell from the photo that the yellow "vacant" sticker is being held up with tape. I don't expect that to stay on long.
This house is owned by Enanu Z Dixon Trustee since about 2005 for $525,000, according to the DC Tax Assessment database. However, I noticed that this is not listed as being taxed at the vacant rate. I can only guess it was a normal occupied house up until a certain point because since 2005 the tax payments were normal amounts, not something that looks like the vacant rate. I don't know why. DCRA found the house vacant in 2013, 2014, and 2015. This year it is blighted. Yet, it is not charged at the higher vacant tax rate.
Looking at DCRA's PIVS Application, there are 2 permits for the property, from 2004 and 2005, so nothing in the last decade. There was a Stop Work Order issued in 2015, so that might explain the gut job I saw when I looked though the windows and saw no framing or 2nd floor or rear windows.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

45 Bates St NW-2016 update

This property at 45 Bates Street NW (Sq. 615 lot 292) has been vacant for a long while and I mentioned it last year on the blog but didn't provide detail.
This is the year for detail.
Cameron Properties of DC is listed as the owner and has been the owner since January 7, 2014, sorta. I'm looking at the ownership records and it is confusing to me. Going back to the late 20th century a Florence Johnson and an Olivia Davis were the owners. From what I could tell the house had problems. It seems that by December 2013 Olivia Davis was dead and her ownership passed to a Sterling Richardson. The 2014 transaction has a whole new cast of characters, Cameron Properties of DC (located in Silver Spring, MD) and someone named LJ Cavelli to whom Richardson sold his interest in the property. I'm guessing Florence Johnson can claim something, maybe.....
Why yes, yes she can. Doesn't matter that she's dead too.
This is is an example of why things remain f*ed up for a while, not to knock Ms. Johnson's estate's rights. There was some sort of court case in 2014.
Okay, so then that had to get cleared up.
Moving on to 2015.
DC Water has a problem and a lien.
In 2016, the property was condemned by DCRA, however DCRA has the address listed as 45 Bates St NE, not NW.
Also I'm not sure if there is a $200K or $900K loan out on this pile of bricks and land. If it is just $200K I'm sure this hot mess can be saved. If the other amount... *sigh*. In 2013 there was a permit to "Repair roof to replace shingles and repair water leakage. Replace windows and doors with potential to new frames and some brick repair while fixing windows and doors. Repair brick masonary as be needed in the back of house."Then the permit was extended in September 2014. If the higher loan amount is correct, one would think that would be enough to fix the place up if the money wasn't spent on dealing with a lawsuit from a dead lady, or whatever. Heck even that amount should cover the dead.
Speaking of money, the various owners have not paid a red cent in property taxes since 2011. They are a bit behind and as of this year are $113,230.91 behind in tax payments.

This is not going to get better anytime soon.

Do not suggest the city should take it over. If you are of this silly belief please walk over to the Langston School on the unit block of P St NW or over to 454 N St NW.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

1014 Rhode Island Ave NE

Well I found this lovely clip on the internet of 1014 Rhode Island NE on fire. I reported on the structure before. The date is 8/16/2014, that's almost 2 years ago and nothing has happened.

Monday, May 30, 2016

1000 M St NW- 2016 update

1000 M St NWThis is an update from the 2014 update.

Still vacant.

But now it has one of those yellow stickers on it that all the popular vacant houses are sporting these days.

As far as I can tell back in 1981, Maria Angelidou, Jagdish & Elsip Sakaria bought the property from 3 other persons. Around 2006-2007 the city condemned the property and the principle owner M Angelidou apparently corrected the problem, and it is no longer considered condemned. There were a few permits for work here and there. The last permit for work was obtained in 2012 for the fence and iron grills. I should note that this property is in a Historic District so extra hoops must be jumped. Also as of this date the owner(s) owe the city $138,009.70 in taxes for a property valued at about $1.3 million dollars.

On the outside this is a beautiful home and a desirable address. But as I learn more about property I understand a bit more about the complications of things and sometimes why pretty houses and not so pretty addresses remain in limbo or left wallowing in being less than it could be. Sometimes owners are overwhelmed and unwilling to admit failure. Sometimes they are dead, and their heirs and executors have little motivation to do one thing or another and doing nothing is the easiest path. There are various things that can go wrong. Property can bind divorcees, fighting family members, business partners who've had a falling out and other combinations of people, unwillingly together, tying it and them up. I have no idea of what the deal is here. Even when the owners are peaceful and alive, there could be other reasons, sometimes that reason is greed or unrealistic desires.

Anyway, since 2014 it has been taxed at the vacant tax rate and the payments have not caught up with it.

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 at 1014 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.