Care to Speculate?

These two properties, 3917 and 3921 7th Street, NW were purchased for $450,000 each in September of 2006 by the same company. So what do you think they will become? New Condos? Refurnished single family houses? Or a monstrosity like the eyesore on Upshur and New Hampshire? Another question: if they were purchased almost a year ago how come there has been no renovation? $450k seems like a lot of dough for some shells. Which leads me to another question: are there any shells near you? I have seen a few renovated nicely and some not so nicely. How about you? Have you seen shells renovated? Do you have shells that have been around forever? Do they attract unsavory characters? Do you think some are related to the Shiloh Church syndrome? (Shiloh Church has owned a number of properties in various states of disrepair in the Shaw neighborhood for years.) Ok, that is enough questions. I’m sorry, I’ve been drinking…

15 Comment

  • Since it has been a year since the purchase, I would guess that they are going to be condo’s and they are having trouble getting through the rezoning process (i.e. incorporating the two deeds to then separate it into condos) and getting construction plans through approval.

  • Is that the set of The Wire? Looks like the Vacants where Chris and Snoop deposit bodies.

  • my thoughts exactly….

  • please please someone (Joe Martin are you reading?? Muriel Bowser?) I really don’t want to see a vinyl 3rd story on these buildings. I’m sick of these awful shoddy renovations.

  • It does look an awful lot like Baltimore. I almost moved there and tracked their real estate market pretty closely. Many of the buildings you see like that there are the amateur investors who jumped on the real estate boom at the top of the market. The market slowed and they realized they can’t turn them around for crazy profits like they used to so they just sit there. Basically investors were gutting the rowhouses, doing crappy renovations leaving none of the original charm, doing the vinyl 3rd story thing, but from 02-05 they made a lot of money flipping them in a hot market. On a personal note, I LOVE The Wire, I cannot wait for Season 4 to come out on DVD!

  • We looked at a house right there on Shepherd (adjacent to the church), and the current owner of that house said that they were planning on tearing the shells down completely and building condos. He didn’t say who he got that info from. That house is still for sale, BTW, and is HUGE.

  • Know nothing about that property but there is a shell on my block and it has sat empty and dilapidated for 3 years now with trash piled up to the sky around it. It attracted drug dealers and users, prostitutes and rats galore until I began an email campaign to clean it up. I reported it to Jim Graham’s office and the city and the tax assessor (I found out the owner was claiming the homestead tax deduction for this unliveable structure) and eventually the city came and boarded it up and now the house is on the vacant properties list. The druggies and prostitutes just went away after that, prolly to a location near you, unfortunately.

    The owner, of course, lives in a swanky place in another part of town where the ills of vacant and dilapidated housing doesn’t not affect them. I really REALLY wish the owner would sell it to someone who would renovate it and live in it and become a part of the community.

  • Oops! I meant DOES NOT affect them. Typing too fast.

  • There are a few shells in my part of the neighborhood on Jefferson St. My building, at the corner of 7th, used to be a shell. One on 8th and Jefferson just started selling units, two buildings right next to each other between 5th and 7th say they will start selling soon but the progress looks to have slowed, and another building on the same block has been vacant for sometime and shows no signs of change. I think there is a vacant house on that block too.

  • Why don’t you start organizing an historic district, which would at least keep the facades from being butchered.

  • “These two properties, 3917 and 3921 7th Street, NW were purchased for $450,000 each in September of 2006 by the same company.”

    Do you know the name of the company?

  • The company is called McCrae Properties, LLC. You can find it in the DC homes data base at

  • The 2900 block of Sherman Ave has two vacant apartment buildings, one with a FOR SALE sign up, and the other I believe was recently purchased — but nothing has happened except that the rats appear to be multipling, and I think they stole my recycling bin. If anyone knows about the apartment building on the corner of Columbia and Sherman (where the young Latino boy was shot and killed) I would sure like to hear the story. What I’ve gathered is the building was owned by several people, and the paperwork with the city is so messed up there has been some real issues with who can rightfully sell the place.

    I would really like to see some new housing construction come to my block.

  • Unable to confirm so far, but the scuttlebutt from some friends of a friend is that this site is destined to become a halfway house. At least, the info I have is that a halfway house is going in somewhere btwn Temperance Hall and the strip joint down the block. This would seem to fit the location.

  • Yikes that is horrible news. But this site is way further north than Temperance so I don’t think this is the same location.

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