Thursday, July 19, 2012

Condemnation hearing for 1483 Newton next week: will it be torn down or fixed up?

Some possible good news from the sorry story of 1483 Newton Street NW, the abandoned and derelict apartment building. The place has been the subject of a battle between family members who own it, and as such nothing has happened to it in years. It's a shame, it could be a really nice building, like the others next to it (see the photo, 1483 is the crappy one on the left.)

However, we may have some progress. The city is holding a condemnation hearing on Wed., July 25. If the owners don't appear or lose their argument, the city can issue a condemnation order. Reuben Pemberton at DCRA's Office of Vacant Property explained what that meant in a previous post about the building:
Condemnation simply orders the property to be made secure, so that no one can get in or out.  The owner must then make a decision to either render the property sanitary, or raze it.  In some cases if he does not fix the property the city will raze it, but those generally are only instances where the property id imminently dangerous to the public.
If you recall, the building owners had $130,000 in back taxes, but paid those off, meaning the city can't seize it or sell it in a tax sale. It seems they haven't paid their 2011 2nd half taxes either (they're sq 2681 lot 0685.)

The hearing is 10:35 am on the 25th at 1100 4th Street, SW, 4th Floor, Suite E4302, Washington, DC 20024. I hope some folks can go and testify that something needs to happen to this.

Below are the letter about the property to the local ANC, and the letter to the owner. Thanks to Kent Boese at the Park View DC blog for the tip.
ANC Cover Letter Notice to 1483 Owner


  1. What does it mean to "render the property sanitary?" Just to make sure the doors and windows are properly and securely boarded up? I'm glad there's some progress being made here, but it doesn't sound like very much could result from a condemnation order.

  2. Please, do what you can to get people in the neighborhood to fight against razing it. That's a beautiful building that can and should be put back into good use. Don't let people "blame the building," it's clearly the owner who is derelict here.

  3. Ideally it'll get the owners to get off their asses and sell it to somebody who can do something useful with it.

  4. Is there anything we can do here to make something happen? Forcing them to repaint the outside and fix up the locks on the doors won't help very much.

  5. Any update on the hearing?


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