Whole Apartment Buildings Boarded Up?


Yes, I am aware that I am a bit naive. But how do entire apartment building fall into disarray? This building looks like it was once a beauty. Does it get taken over by a slum lord at some point who just stops making any repairs?

11 Comment

  • Perhaps you missed the entire series in the The Washington Post recently, but that’s exactly what landlords do…eviction by neglect and then they can claim the building is vacant and therefore skirt the tenants right of first refusal for a sale/condo conversion… It’s happened all over this city and continues daily. Fortunately, the city and Council are finally stepping up a bit by taking 23 buildings into recievership, suing the landlords for repairs and fines owed the city and closing the vacant property loophole that allowed this whole thing to happen in the first place. There are still a lot of vulnerable city residents (elderly, children, immigrants) who are living in horrible conditions though.

  • In the case of this building, it’s been vacant for at least 5 years, with virtually no attention paid to it in that time. The plywood in the windows is a recent addition. I have no idea of its previous history, unfortunately, though it looked like it had been vacant for a long time before I first laid eyes on it. The developer of the Allegro reported in a community meeting that he tried to buy it for that project, but the owner never his returned calls. Even if it was a case of eviction by neglect, it seems odd that the owner held out this long with offers to buy on the table. A real absentee landlord is at play on this one.

  • Where is that? 15th and Corcoran?

  • Newton, between 14th and 16th.

  • Yes, that building is beautiful, but deteriorating and will suffer from “demolition by neglect” if something isn’t done with it soon. What a shame. The covered balconies could be very nice.

  • We have two abandoned apartment buildings on our block although they are ugly horrible boxes. It seems so wasteful for all these condos to keep going up while there are all these abandoned buildings tucked away.

  • My realtor kept wanting to make a bid on an abandoned house in the 1990s. The deal was this- an elderly couple died in an accident on the same day. Their wills willed the house to each other. Their 5 kids gained control of the house. Of the kids, one was a holy roller and another was a heroin addict. The holy roller refused to sell the house because the heroin addict would get a check for $20k or $40k or something. So the house sat there and rotted. The 1/5 owner of the house wouldn’t budge. About 3 years later I noticed someone working on the house, but it had stood vacant for at least 10 years total. True story.

    So, while it may be a landlord, don’t forget, it could be wrapped up in legal issues.

  • I used to live in Mt. Pleasant and walk by that building quite frequently. It’s been vacant for at least ten years. The city frequently had to put “clean it or lien it” signs out front because it was constantly a magnet for trash. I can only think that it’s tied up in some legal dispute because it’s not in a historic district (which is where most demolition by neglect occurs) and the owner could tear it down anytime he wanted, and peak of the condo-conversion tide has passsed.

  • I live next door in an identical building. My elderly neighbors say it has been vacant since the 80s. The story is that a developer bought it, and then died. His mother inherited it, and has done nothing to it. 4 years ago at the height of the real estate market, the owner received some very high offers, but refused them all. Rumors continue that someday someone will fix it up. I’ve talked to Jim Graham’s office many many times about it, but so far nothing can be done (although the owner does cut the grass and pick up the trash every time I complain to the city- but only when I complain). If anyone has any better ideas, please help! Sigh.

  • I know the city needs to protect the property rights of owners….. But vacant heir property problem seems to be out of control in DC. There needs to be strick laws that fine owners for letting properties fall into disrepair. The higher tax rate for “vacant” property doesn’t seem to be doing much.


  • can’t eminent domain be invoked somehow by the city? I realize that plowing this over to build a Seven-Eleven is controversial, but maybe we need a new city-funded {something} there?

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