Dear PoP – Building at 11th and Monroe, NW Getting Demolished

Back in March we heard that this building was finally going to be sold.

Thanks to a reader for sending the heads up:

“come monday that corner will be opening a new
chapter!!! wooooo hoooooo!”

Whether or not the whole building is getting demolished or just some demolition on the inside, I agree with the reader – it is phenomenal news that this corner will finally see some positive development.

41 Comment

  • this is awful news. this building is absolutely gorgeous. it needs to be preserved. progress does not need to entail destroying beautiful historic buildings. another sad day for dc. how do u know it will be positive development. it will probably be a vacant lot for the next 5 years.

    • Historic in what sense ?

      The structure itself or because of its use/occupancy or special event or occurrence at this address ?

      There aren’t any visible features in this construction that really distinguish it beyond the norm.

      A careful review is warranted and required in the District upon any request for permit to raze.

      There has to be a justifiable reason to preserve, and not just this common knee jerk reaction to calling foul on all private property owners’ intentions, and to somehow designate all our city’s structures as somehow “historic”.

      Sometimes structures do reach their obsolescence, and excessive designation of “historic” does more to stand in the way of progress, employment, economic development and revitalization of neighborhood blight than to continue with just more of the same particularly when we need a private sector that needs very much to expand.

      • i live in dc b/c it has large sections of historic/old buildings and architecture. pre-1930 buildings are usually more prettier and interesting than most buildings since. imagine if large sections of columbia heights had been demolished for suburban houses or townhouses. i would not be living here. you can see the results at the corner of 11th and Harvard – just awful circa 80s townhouses – yeah thats progress. save historic buildings and it will payoff.

        old/historic buildings do not need to stand in the way of progress. they can be re-purposed with great results. i just come back from walking around chelsea, nyc. as a quick analogy: there are a lot of old warehouses that have become lofts and clubs. i think most people would agree that the incorporation of these old buildings into contemporary life have enriched the neighborhood and made it a more visually interesting place to be.

        • Really? You live in DC for the pre-1930 buildings? I love some old buildings, but man. You really love pre-1930 buildings.

          I live in an old Wardman row house that I’m trying to restore, so don’t get me wrong. I like old timey stuff. But this building? It’s featureless. I suppose the discussion is moot since people are saying only the inside is to be demo’ed. But can’t we keep nice pre-1930s buildings, and also employ some modern design that isn’t necessarily town houses with aluminum siding?

          • Do you live near this building? Have you ever seen it close up?

            While it’s not the Taj Mahal or something, it’s a very attractive building. I am surprised that you would be interesting in restoring a Wardman house, but see nothing special about this building.

            First, look at the picture from PoP’s previous post, which is a much better shot and shows the main entrance.

            Now look at this, which is an apartment building on the 3500 block of 11th.

            You still think there’s nothing special about this building?

  • From what I understand demolition refers to the INTERIOR of the building only; the exterior will remain but it will be a massive renovation inside.

    Assuming that understanding is correct (and I am fairly certain it is) this is amazing, fantastic, wonderful, long-overdue news. The building will bring a lot of additional residents to that long-dormant side of the block, as well as several street retail spaces. Great to see a major project going forward in this still-difficult but definitely improving economic climate. I hope a few more will be soon to follow (the large vacant building on Park, near the Giant, seems the most logical candidate — another attractive exterior in a wonderful location).

    In combination with Meridian Pint and the park renovation (plus hopefully, eventually, completion of the tan building on the corner), that stretch of 11th is going to be unrecognizable from where it stood a few years ago, when it was dominated by blighted, barren buildings.

  • Good news, especially that the demolition involves just the interior. The building has nice bones, and fills the lot nicely. Residential units over ground floor retail is a good recipe for the street, and the area.

  • To clarify:

    It’s one thing to Demolish, and one thing entirely different to Raze.

    In the building construction trade, to Demolish is to Demolish the interior or to gut an interior for which a permit is relatively easily obtained.

    To Raze to the ground is something entirely different.

    Just as Permit to Raze is something else entirely and there are several hoops through a slew of different department requirements that must be satisfied and pass before any Raze Permit is granted in the District.

  • Raze permits are up on the corner of Lamont and Georgia too —

    And note that the tan buildings across from Red Rocks are for sale for $1.5 million (“Property conveys with approved plans @ building permits (6-2bdr/2bth units). Bldg under renovation. Convenient Park Road address – located near restaurants and transportation. “).

  • Everyone needs to relax. This building will be completely gutted and refurbished into affordable housing. Something the community desperately needs.

  • Is the new use of the building affordable housing? If so, I agree that this is very good news.

  • Is Richard Coxon correct? Is this reno slated to be “affordable housing”?

    That seems unlikely to me.

  • I hadn’t heard the affordable housing news. It seems unlikely to me given the very high price paid for this building, plus the high renovation cost. It would be nice to see a mix of high-end and some more affordable unit, but I’d be surprised if affordable housing was economically viable in this location.

    I know there were some sort of legal rights held by the former tenants, does anyone know how that was ultimately resolved?

  • It’s quite amusing that so many members of our community call themselves liberals, yet the mere unsubstantiated mention that this development might be anything other than expensive, upscale condos has them up in arms.

    • Can’t you be liberal without being for affordable housing? Especially when you see it doesn’t work. Or is it an all or nothing proposition?

    • Liberal?? Who said I’m a liberal… I’m a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I’m a liberal.

    • Unfortunately in Columbia Heights affordable housing means more often than not violence, property loss, personal assaults, my way or the highway cultural differences and downright nastiness. Why would someone in their right mind be for more of this?

      Being liberal means you understand the reality. So please don’t be so flippant about this topic.

  • Great news. As always, PoP you’re on top of it. Way to break the story!

  • I hope this place will eventually have its own parking.

    The realtor told me there was a caribbean owner in jail over his role in the building, and it took a lawsuit or two to get the leins figured out.

  • How does asking for confirmation equate to “up in arms”?

  • I’m actually pro-kicking-poor-people-out-to-Fairfax. I’m considering running for office on that platform (also, no more Gypsies). We ought to be subsidizing housing in Clichy sous Fairfax, and not encouraging impoverished folk to move into the Marais.

  • Great news for the 11th st party zone

  • you cannot be “liberal” and oppose affordable housing. no f’in way. affordable housing as a human right for everyone is on the top of the list for being “liberal”. bunch of self-deluded people around here.

    • Of course you can, being liberal doesn’t mean you favor warehousing the poor. Everyone has the right to safe and decent housing, but when you warehouse the poor, either by building or geography, you eventually undermine your own goal. Liberals are, hopefully, smart enough to learn from the past, i.e. the urban projects of the 60s-70s, and realize that smaller mixed occupant developments are the best approach.

      • “smaller mixed occupant developments” do not come anywhere close to adequate for the numbers of people out there that need affordable housing. They serve a fraction of the need, a small fraction.

        • Direwolf or Jordan?? I wonder which one you are… Just another clueless free lunch advocate, who has most likely never been really poor and never worked a day of hard labor in your life.

  • i walked by the building tonight. there is a sign w/ a short description of the project which includes:
    1) the building will be renovated
    2) 27 units – 9 of which will be afford.
    3) 2 additional floors will be added, 1 units, the other recreational.
    4) ground floor retail.


    • please let this space have parking… i am already worried about what meridan pint will mean parking wise (don’t get me wrong – excited about it and this news), but own a home nearby and 27 new cars sounds like trouble.

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