Wednesday, January 7, 2009

DC and the dilapidated building

The Examiner has an article about how DC Government's Department of Housing and Community Development tried to buy an abandoned, dilapidated apartment building at 1483 Newton St NW for $3.1 million, about three times its assessed value. The city's deputy mayor for planning and economic development, Neil Albert, put a hold on the purchase after the Examiner asked about it, and Councilman Jim Graham also complained about it. Good for Albert, but this raises a lot of questions: the building has been abandoned for some time (as long as one resident can remember) and has been cited 80 times since May 2003 for various violations: trash, debris, weeds, being poorly maintained, etc. If it's such a problem property and has been for years, can't the city seize it, then (ideally) sell it to someone who will fix it up? And why is the city buying an abandoned building anyway? DC already owns a lot of abandoned houses and other buildings, do they really need to add more instead of fixing or selling the ones they already own? Photo by Andrew Harnik/Examiner


  1. Yes! I walk by this building daily and have frequently wondered why it is sitting empty - - I hope something good happens to it, and fast.

  2. I agree with you, although I don't know whether the city has grounds to seize the property outright. Over at Prince of Petworth, alot of people said that it made the most sense to tax and fine the property to the point where it would become such a financial liability to the owners that they would become eager to sell it for a fair price.


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