Bacon Funeral Home, the business at 14th and Meridian Place, has had an unbuilt, crappy looking cinder block shell for as long as anybody can remember. Neighbors have long complained about it, as it's an eyesore and potentially could be a place where squatters could go or crime could happen, and finally we have some progress.
Jim Graham posted the below on the neighborhood listserves, but in short, the city is taxing Bacon at the higher, blighted property rate, the Bacon folks say the windows and doors are secured, and they have 30 days to fix their roof. They claim they will fix it and are working on financing, but if they don't, the city will fix it for them and put a lien on their property to get paid back. They had a deadline before but it got extended for a couple reasons (mainly that the city's board that hears these matters didn't meet earlier.)
Their plan, from what I've heard, is to finish this crappy looking building, then demolish the one next door and use it as a parking lot. The ANC would have to approve this plan, and I would guess that is doubtful. Anyway, here's what Graham had to say:
I wanted to share with you an update on the empty building at the Bacon Funeral Home at 3449 14th St., NW.
As you may know, for years I have been involved and worked to have this dreadful cinder block shell finished and put to productive use. District agencies have responded. The Office of Tax and Revenue placed the highest real estate tax possible on the property, the blighted rate. This has also come before DCRA’s Board for the Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings, which took up the matter on November 14 and ordered that the building be secured, windows and doors boarded up and a missing portion of the roof replaced.
On Wednesday, March 13 the condition of the structure was again taken up by the Board. I was holding a hearing but a member of my staff attended. Documentation was presented showing the windows and doors have been secured, but a significant portion of the roof is still open to the elements and has not been enclosed.
The Board again took action and approved a motion to wait for thirty days to allow the owner to take concrete steps to enclose the roof. After thirty days the request will be forwarded to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Branch to do this work. In other words, if the owner does not put a roof on the building, the city will hire a contractor to complete the entire roof and charge the owner by placing a lien on the property.
There was a welcome announcement. Counsel representing Mr. Bacon informed the Board that financing to resume construction on the property is moving forward and presented a letter of commitment from a bank and closing is expected by the end of the month. I am certain this is welcome news to all.
Securing the building is necessary but not enough. I have received multiple complaints over the years that this building is an eyesore to the community of benefit to no one. I commend the owners for their efforts to finally get this building finished and look forward to the day I can share that news.
Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham