Friday Question of the Day

IMG_5899, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Should single family town homes and single family homes be placed on the endangered species list in DC? I see all the construction going on over the city and it just makes me wonder. I see all many row homes being converted into condos. Given the height limit on new construction and the strong job market in DC coupled with natural population growth, is it possible to maintain single family homes? I’m not talking in five years but in 25 years? 50 years? Will they change the height restriction first? It just seems like the trend is to convert everything to condos or apartments…what do you think?

Furthermore, should we all buy stock in Tyvek?  It seems like they have a monopoly on new construction…

14 Comment

  • (Um, does this picture have a tinge of purple to it, or is it just me, or my computer?)

    I, too, wonder about these condos everywhere. They don’t seem very family-friendly (but I grew up in the suburbs.) And some of them don’t seem to offer enough amenities to make them attractive to empty-nesters, but they’re still pretty pricey. I dunno — interesting question, though.

    And what IS Tyvek? Is it just the plastic stuff? I’ve wondered before.

  • Our mentality that condos aren’t “family friendly” is the very reason we’re facing the environmental crisis we have at the moment. For some reason, it has become ingrained in our heads that children must be raised in some huge freaking house in the suburbs on a huge lot. This mentality (i.e., “I must have a single-family home to have a family”) is what leads to the destruction of forests, traffic congestion, and pollution. My sister and I were raised in a condo and we turned out just fine!! My spouse and I live in a condo and we’re planning on having our first child in the next year or so – we have no plans to move. Go to most countries in Europe and you will find that children there too are often raised just fine in apartments and condo-like dwellings. We have a warped concept here of how much space we need. Personally, I am all for condo development. It allows more people to live in the city, hopefully getting them out of the suburbs and off the beltway. We are facing an environmental crisis and we have to seriously rethink the way we live and what children need. Children need love and security and parents who teach them right from wrong; they don’t need a huge house and their own bedroom and another room full of useless toys. Condos in the city are pricey because it is the city. However, while you pay a little more for a condo, you save lots of money in transportation costs. In addition, life becomes simpler and less hectic because you’re not trying to run to catch the train or spending 3 hours each day commuting to and from work.

  • Well we have a bunch of singal family homes on the 700 and 600 b/o Lamont and Kenyon just waiting for someone to do something with them. They’re too small to be subdivided into condos.

  • tyvek is not a construction company. they just make a version of that wrap material, which just happens to be very widely used. there are other companies that make similar products. tyvek happens to make chem-bio suits.

  • The purple in these photos represents that the lighting is too “hot” for the CCD in the camera to process. On a old timey camera, you’d need to close up the iris (f-stop) a bit. For digital, I think it’s a white balance or a exposure setting on a (+/- scale).

  • All of us that own rowhouses better hope that you are right, PoP, but it seems to me that there are still plenty of rowhouses left, and many of them still empty. Lil’ Gal says she read that the median house price in DC will be $2MM in the next ten years… I’m dubious. ‘Course, at the rate the dollar is tanking it might cost two grand to buy coffee at Dunkin Donuts in a few years.

  • Didn’t you readers study Tyvek in high school chemistry? (If any readers went to DC public schools, then maybe it’s still a new phenomenon and not part of the curriculum.) Tyvek was the illustration in my chemistry class of a certain type of chemical bonding, and is manufactured by Du Pont. Tar paper is an alternative, but Tyvek is more water-impermeable.

  • Growing up, my mom always said that if Tyvek has a son, I should marry him. 🙂

  • Well said Ward4Resident; I too live in a condo and completely agreed with you.

  • Buying a condo in Petworth as opposed to renting a place for a similar amount per month in a “fancier” neighborhood got me a really nice tax refund last year, and I paid off all of my credit card debt with it.

    With just 3 other units in my building, it’s nice to have other people to split things like yard work and upkeep with when we all work quite a bit.

    It’s worth mentioning also that one of the conditions on my mortgage pre-approval was that any condo building had to be at least 50% owner-occupied, which rules out most of these high-rises.

    I can see a lot of the high-rises going rental, but I think that DC will always have a solid market for conversion of larger rowhouses to multi-units and the re-sales thereof.

  • Ward4Resident, I completely agree. I blame it on America being mostly suburbs mostly (not completely) full of people that know nothing of the world outside of America. With the height limit in DC, I think it should all be apartments and condos.

  • dunno about you folks, but i’m gonna split my property and sell off my back yard parking to a developer to create a 12 story condo (likely ‘rental’) development.

    it’s the new thing!

    who cares if they wreck it in ten years, according to a new development master plan. i’m gonna make a ton of cash! yeah, cash money folks!

    they did that in the 30’s….

    it’s all cyclical anyway.

    just jump into the frenzy, make some money, and with the profits, move back to a mansion in iowa!

    it’s a win win deal, folks.

    speakikng of which, if you want to sell your parking space, please contact me at [email protected]

    you can only profit!

    thanks for this venue, prince. i promise you’ll get no cut from the deals i make! ;op

  • Also in agreement with Ward4Resident!

  • Absolutely agree with Ward4Resident. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at some neighborhood meeting or another and people are worrying about the trend toward higher density (and the presumed traffic /parking/noise/etc problems that follow).

    Density is our friend. Love density. Density makes everything possible in an urban setting. DC is not dense enough. Bring it on. Sing it loud sing it proud. Rent your basement, raise the roof and add a (nice, not dumb) third floor if you’ve got the money. Please, I know about some of the atrocities in that regard, but if done right it brings more density! Petworth of all places will never be too dense.

    I think of the row of large-ish rowhouses on 8th between Upshur and Varnum that are being fixed up and divided into condos. Can’t wait, and hope they sell. It will help the Upshur businesses like Domku do better, bring more positive pedestrian traffic…

    Think of the streetlife improvement that will come when Park Place is finally finished over the metro.

    On a somewhat different note – hunker down and count your blessings folks. Ten-minutes-from-everywhere, bike-friendly Petworth is perfectly positioned for a near future where it’s only going to get more expensive to get around. The sprawl burbs are likely the ghettos of the future.

Comments are closed.