Dear PoP – Former Rental Option Building For Sale

“Dear PoP,

Thought this was interesting. It was a GDoN rental option a couple weeks back and some people had interesting things to say about the building. Wonder what those other buildings were that got auctioned off. This building — I think — could be turned into high end condos.”

The building (above) at 3435 Holmead Place, NW is going for $5,976,600.

I also noticed that 1430 W St, NW (pictured above) is also being auctioned off for $3,221,275.

32 Comment

  • Those numbers mentioned are just the proposed opening bid because that is the assessed tax value. They could sell for more or less than those amounts.

    There’s also 6 other buildings being auctioned the same day.

  • Do you think they take personal checks?

  • Great News for Holmead Village. I’m shocked that it has 101 units in it…

  • A transformed 3435 Holmead would be the perfect counter to the miserable job Jim Graham did on Hubbard Place building.

    It starts with a wrecking ball.

    • Is 3435 subsidized housing?

      Hubbard Place was short sighted on so many levels… but who expects the government to do something that actually makes sense. Nothing like pandering…

  • 3435 is not subsidized, nor in anyway associated with the DC gov’t. Hubbard Place, formerly Cavalier Apts, has been Sec 8 housing for years. DC antied up the funds to the developer, a long time associate to DC housing, to renovate it.

    Records show that 3435 has only two 2 bedroom units out of the 101 available, the rest are studios and efficiencies…making this eyesore basically a migrant workers house. Glad to see it go. Yes, it would make a perfect high end apt/condo given its location.

    If the DC gov’t takes any interest in this place promise me to take up arms and demand that NO MORE public housing can just be thrown into Columbia Heights, too much of it already and too many problems associated with it. The demo’s have changed and the people will not just sit back and watch it happen.

    • I defnitely don’t know if I would say there is too much public housing in Columbia Heights, mind you, those people lived there long before developers decided it was time to “revitalize” the area. I am not saying that revitalization is bad, on the contrary I think it is very good. But where exactly to you propose lower income people who work in dc should live? I am not just talking about “poor” people, but there are people that work for non-profits, teachers, police offices, etc who all work in dc and provide services but can not afford to live in the city.

      And again, your assessment of public housing being “thrown” into Columbia Heights is wrong, more and more affordable housing options are being removed from areas like Columbia Heights and U st, and like I said before those options were there before the developers and better off residents were.

      • M.Wanzer – could you use some dates so your before and after timelines are better. From my perspective, Columbia Heights was built for the working/middle class, mostly government workers from what I’ve read. After 40-50 years of being a nice neighborhood (so it appears in pictures, no idea of actual crime rates), it was destroyed by Riots, crime engulfed the neighborhood and the only investment in Columbia Heights after that was public housing (not affordable housing, public), carryouts, bodegas, and liquor stores. The “those people” were here first argument is kind of tired. The government created an asset when it put the Metro here, another asset with DCUSA, and plenty of private investment followed. It’s becoming desirable again. Overwhelming the problems in CH seem to occur around public housing, not everyone in public housing is a problem, but the design of the complexes, the monitoring of visitors, the lack of ownership, poor maintenance and upkeep, all make public housing a liability. The Government put the public housing here and the people followed, the government can relocate the housing and the people will follow. Lack of ownership should provide no say in the conversation. There have to be costs associated with the freedom of subsidies, otherwise everyone would use them. Don’t want to be relocated when the government decides to move a building…don’t live in the building in the first place.

        Where are people supposed to live that can’t afford Columbia Heights, how about further east…plenty of affordable housing there. Is it as convenient? No. Is it fair? No. We all make sacrifices, plenty of people who live in Columbia Heights under the public housing umbrella, can still live to the northeast on the green line and be in Columbia Heights in 15 minutes. But there will be excuses, hardships, and inequalities… that is freakin’ life.

        • yes, you are right that that conditions in that area went down after the riots. But I think its a pretty bad argument to make it sound like there is an overwhelming number of public housing options in Columbia Heights, there is not even a large number of public housing options on Ward 1, period.
          (List of all public housing in Ward 1 and there are a few of these located in columbia heights)
          # COLUMBIA ROAD, 1475 Columbia Road NW 20009
          # GARFIELD TERRACE (FAMILY), 2301 11th Street NW 20001
          # GARFIELD TERRACE (SENIOR), 2301 11th Street NW 20001
          # HARVARD TOWERS, 1845 Harvard Street NW 20009
          # KELLY MILLER, 2101 4th Street NW 20001
          # LEDROIT APARTMENTS, 2125 4th Street NW 20001
          # OAK STREET APARTMENTS, 1456 Oak Street NW 20010
          # ONTARIO ROAD/MCDERMOTT, 2422 Ontario Road NW 20009
          # PARK MORTON, 617 Morton Street NW 20010

          A lot of what people think is Public Housing are actually just regular rentals that were rented to lower income people because there was a time when only lower income people would live there. Furthermore, I am not really a proponent of public housing, I do tend to think that mixed income housing is a much better approach, but I just dont think it’s fair that people make arguments about columbia heights being overran with public housing, when it is just not the case.

          • I don’t know how you came up with your list, but units would be a better way to justify “overwhelming” (your words not mine). In fact, none of what I said is an argument toward reducing what’s there. The real issue is capital allocation. Why does the city attempt to sustain affordable housing in an area that doesn’t need government help to sustain people living there. Sure the government financed the assets of Metro and DCUSA, but there is a payback period for those projects, they are assets. Limiting/reducing the number of public units that seem to depress whole blocks of the neighborhood, reduces property tax assessments that would otherwise contribute to the tax base, providing more affordable housing in other parts of the city. You mention that places people think are public housing are actually privately owned but accommodate those who have lower rents. This is true, but where are those properties located, next to public housing. If the public housing was relocated, the private investment would occur. The city would collect more transfer/recordation taxes, property taxes, and assessments would increase. Look no further than west of the park, none or very few public housing units, less crime, higher values more taxes… expanding or maintaining the public units in Columbia Heights is rather counter-productive from a revenue standpoint. The city is hurting for money, unemployment is high…relocating the housing from Columbia Heights will provide jobs and generate taxes… its a win-win.

          • The list is not something I came up with. It is publicly available on the DC Housing Website.

            And first, DC really is not creating new public housing developments. Second, is Columbia heights really plagued with public housing units that “depress blocks”?

            I have to disagree with you about private places that contain low income tenants in dc being next to public housing, how can this be the case where there arent really that many public housing locations in Columbia Heights.

            I listen to a lot of comments on this blog about how bad Columbia Heights is, it really is not that bad relative to how it was. Furthermore DC is doing exactly what you said, they have drastically reduced and limited the number of public units in areas like the SW Waterfront, Columbia Heights, and the U St corridor, and are moving more towards mixed income solutions to affordable housing. All I am saying is you cant just move low income residents to one section of the city to solve the problem of crime. And please do tell me where exactly in Columbia Heights they are expanding public housing units?

            In response to what you said about relocating public housing further east, again, you can not just move low income residents and lump them all in one area and expect crime not to soar.

  • Is 1430 W Section 8 housing?

  • Well said Dirty! Mr. Wazner, Columbia Heights has the highest percentage of subsidized housing in the city. Further, in new developments a number of units must be set aside at more affordable rates. Those you refer to, police, teachers, nonprofit workers should be easily able to afford their own piece of the pie.

    Just because those that rely wholly on the gov’t to survive were here “first” doesn’t give them a perperetual leg in. As Dirty said there are certain sacrafices to living off the Gov’t, “using this freedom of subsidies” has its costs. If they have been living in public housing for as long as you say then they should off taken steps over this time to get out of the projects and secure more control over their lives and residency.

    The Sec. 8 housing is replete with problems, and its not fair to subject the respectable, tax payers of Columbia Heights, both old and new, to their reign. They take no care of the area…do you see them cleaning up outside, planting flowers? Moslty the inflict “no walkby” areas, and for the most part terrorize what is becoming a very attactive place to be.

    • Keep in mind its undoubtedly a small percentage that cause these problems. My theory says even the worst parts of DC are 90% good people, but the 10% of evildoers (shoutout to W!) get to run rampant and do whatever they want. Falling into the easy trap of “they are all bad” isn’t accurate and doesn’t do you much good in the long run, in my opinion…

      • THANK YOU for your comment, and I think you are 100% right. That is basically what I am trying to say. People use blanket statements like that and wonder why communities always oppose new developments and better off neighbors moving in. And actually to further your argument if you really look at the true public housing options in Ward 1 some of the largest places are for Seniors, but I guess Mark and Dirty think that they are bad too and they don’t plant flowers either.

        • These were my words “Overwhelming the problems in CH seem to occur around public housing, not everyone in public housing is a problem, but the design of the complexes, the monitoring of visitors, the lack of ownership, poor maintenance and upkeep, all make public housing a liability.”

          Let me say it again, not everyone in public housing is a problem. One more time, not everyone in public housing is a problem.

          Again, my opinion is based on resource allocation. Public housing is a liability, it requires more revenue than it generates. Plain and simple. Are you disputing that? Because I have a different opinion than you, am I cold-hearted?

          • First you are right in your statement that “the design of the complexes, the monitoring of visitors, the lack of ownership, poor maintenance and upkeep, all make public housing a liability”, which is why there is a national trend to move to mixed income solutions to affordable housing issues.

            I am not disputing that huge public housing properties ( in the traditional public housing model) are a liability, they are plain and simple, that has been proven. But, the places you are talking about in Columbia heights that subscribe to the design you are talking about are not public, they are privately ran and owned properties, therefore those issues you speak of are issues for those private management companies.

    • If Columbia Heights has the HIGHEST concentration of public housing please do show me the numbers. I am sure there are more than a few neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8 that would probably disagree. Please do show me. While you are right, that Sec 8 housing is replete with problems, I would not really blanket them all by using statements like “They take no care of the area…do you see them cleaning up outside, planting flowers?”

      Secondly I was under the impression that we were talking about public housing, public housing and Section 8 are two different things here. Public Housing is just that..Public Housing, The section 8 program offers vouchers to PRIVATE landlords to subsidize rents of qualifying (low income) tenants.

      I urge you to go to click on the properties link and go through each ward. If you do so, you will surely see that Columbia Heights does not have the highest concentration of public housing in the city. How can you even make an argument like that when there are really no huge public housing complexes even in ward one that compare with those in wards 7 and 8.

      You are right, I probably should not have made the “they were here first” argument, I will concede that, but I dont really think its fair to just move people. And I love the statement, how about move them further east. Why not just embrace mixed income housing. As long as there are high concentrations of poor people delegated to one area with no resources, those places will continue to be havens for crime, much like what happened to Clifton Terrace and other huge housing projects across the nation.

      • What is unfair about moving people? It’s not like you are shipping them in a box somewhere. Why is this an emotional exercise for you? It’s someones home, they grew up there, they will have a hard time adjusting? People get priced out of areas all the time, things change. If it happens to people not in public housing, why shouldn’t people in public housing have to deal with it? It’s part of life.

        Land values from 16th to GA ave have increased over the last decade. Land values east of GA have not appreciated as much, meaning you could sell the land you have at a profit and use it to enhance and expand affordable housing options. That sounds like sound decision making and a good investment.

        • I mean I get what you are saying, but it actually is kind of like you are shipping them in a box somewhere. And all I say is you can’t just constantly move segregate people on the basis of income, which is why the federal government has started moving towards the hope VI (although I do tend to have a few issues with the program). When you constantly move concentrations of lower income people into one area, and then do not provide services to that area, there is no wonder why crime skyrockets. The affordable housing issue is not something that can be dealt with by just moving people east. I dont know if you know this, but residents of the eastern part of dc are tired of their neighborhoods being dumping grounds for low income residents, but I am sure your answer to that would be so what.

          Also you never really answered my original question to you guys, “Columbia Heights has the highest percentage of subsidized housing in the city” please cite your source or show me the numbers, that statement seems like the statement of someone who has not been exposed to other parts of the city.

          • I didn’t answer your question because I didn’t make the claim. The federal government created this problem from the beginning, HUD created the problem. 40 yrs later they are trying to change that, I get it.

            I understand the problems, I spent a month on the grand jury hearing over 60 cases, mostly homicides. Many of these places have generational reach, kids are born 16-22 yrs apart, and the process repeats itself. It’s sad, it’s scary, but the government created this mess. Eliminating the concentrated public housing in Columbia Heights would lead to mixed income development, but to make it mixed someone will have to move. I would have said move them west, but we all know the limousine liberals won’t let that happen. From a resource allocation standpoint, moving them east is a more productive use of taxpayer dollars. Expediting the elimination of the concentrated housing in Columbia Heights would allow the mixed income investment to follow, but you started out saying there isn’t that much.

          • Again there really is not that much PUBLIC housing in Columbia Heights. There are no concentrated public housing options to eliminate in columbia heights, because they do not exist.

            The places you are talking about in Columbia heights are privately owned, and you cant just throw people out of places where they pay their rent on time in DC. Would you prefer there was no rent control as well?

          • I feel like you are talking about two separate issues. I think your issue (and I may be wrong) has more to do with rent control in DC. Since there are not that many public housing options in Columbia Heights and no new ones really opening, there are public housing options to move.

            The reason there is a high concentration (a contraction that is shrinking) of low income tenants in Columbia Heights has more to do with the fact that those people lived in that area when rent was cheap and DC tenant right laws will not let you just throw someone out because you want to charge more for rent. Public Housing has nothing to do with the situation in Columbia Heights. Trust, if it did the government could just close down shop. Much like they did in the area now referred to as NoMa and over by the Nationals Stadium.

    • Also, the affordable units you talk about are not advertised very heavily and most people don’t even know about them. Also, the amount of affordable units that is set aside relative to the net loss of housing really is not that much.

      While that article is about condos, I’d be willing to bet the same holds true for rentals as well

  • You’re right, public housing is surrounded by buildings that accept section 8, and that is depressing whole blocks. Would the 100% occupied section 8 buildings exist if the public housing wasn’t there first? No. It’s all HUD, tomato, tomatto. 14th and Columbia to 14th and Fairmont. Hubbard Place to 16th from Oak to Parkwood/Otis

    • I get what you are saying, but where are the public housing properties on 14th and Fairmont, and on Hubbard place and 14th and Columbia. There is one that I saw on DC housing’s website, just one. The places you are talking about are just maintained by bad mgmt companies and owners. And I really don’t want to hear about oh, its because they dont make enough money they cant afford to maintain their properties. Chances are a lot of those places are actually paid for because they have been owned by the same people for so long. So A lot of these owners are paying taxes (which I know are not cheap), maintenance, and in some case utilities.

      Have you actually looked and seen how much HUD pays these people to take in section 8 residents, there are actually some nice places in Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights that charge less than what HUD covers. Part of the problem, amongst other things, is Sh**y Managers and owners.

      And again, please tell me where exactly these public housing buildings that are the catalysts for block depression in Columbia Heights Are.

      And before you say it, the building on 14th and Columbia Rd (to the best of my knowledge, and please correct me if I am wrong), is NOT public housing.

      • 1475 Columbia Road and 1456 Oak (both from your list, surrounded by all the Section 8. Either way you slice it, HUD should be policing the problems, getting new management companies, revoking charters…

        14th and Columbia has a HUD charter.

  • I can’t reply to your replies anymore. Public housing, section 8, Hope pick a number, is all HUD. If HUD wanted to revoke the charter for a property it could. Throw people out, no. Revoke charter, yes. Mandate mixed income, yes, create jobs, yes. What a perfect use of stimulus dollars? Yes. You can’t do it all at once? Yes. It could be done more quickly, yes. Look no further than Hubbard Place, the model doesn’t work, yet they spent $100M to re-do the place, why? I know its Sec 8 and not public housing, but its 100% Sec 8, might as well be the same thing.

  • Yeah I’m kind of over this as well. My whole argument originally was that there are not a whole plethora of Public Housing properties in Columbia Heights. And it seems like Hud is doing exactly what you just said. They are revoking charters, they are mandating mixed income.


    • Ironically, I started with subsidized housing, mark specifically mentioned Sec. 8 and public housing and you were talking about public housing, project style. It all comes back to concentrated subsidized housing brought to you by HUD. The less concentrated the better… good day to you.

  • Dirty wins.

    With a wrecking ball we will all win.

    Oh, and the defeat of Jim Graham.

  • Does anyone know what the legal ramifications of the sale on W Street are? I know it is currently occupied by people with Section 8 vouchers. What rights do the existing tenants have to stay, and how are those rights likely to affect plans for the property?

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