Horse’s Ass Award – Daisy Building

As previously noted, I’m a huge fan of the painting but it’s time this property has been called out. It’s been boarded up for as long as I can remember. It’s located on 7th and L St, NW near the Convention Center.

So how exactly does this work, one guy/company buys up all sorts of vacant properties and then just lets them sit until he/they can get top dollar? I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m genuinely asking if that is what happens? I’m not a communist or anything, I just can’t stand all these vacant boarded up buildings… Do you think the current system is working well? If not what changes (besides tax rates) can/should be implemented?

40 Comment

  • 1027 7th st nw (large bldg)
    purchased: 07/02/2001
    Assessment: $1,796,800
    Blighted: No
    permits: 2009/01/09 – setup a tent, 2007/12/11 – interior demo

    1033 7th st nw (middle)
    purchased: 07/02/2001
    Assessment: $364,400
    Blighted: No
    Last permit: none listed

    1035 7th st nw (corner)
    purchased: 07/02/2001
    Assessment: $334,000
    Blighted: No
    Last permit: none listed

    Other properties with the Douglas 702 H St mailing address in square 0450. These may or may not be vacant

    632 L, 638 L, 630 L 626 L, 624 L
    1005-1011 7th, 1023 7th, 1025 7th, 1027 7th, 1033 7th, 1035 7th, 649 NY Ave, 635 NY Ave, 639 NY Ave

    625 NY Ave

    605 NY Ave, 601 NY Ave, 612 L, 1024 6th

    Blighted – does it appear on DCRA’s list of properties that should be taxed as blighted.
    Assessment – 2010 assessment

    Tax, owner info:
    Blight list:
    Permit source:

  • Take a look on DCRA’s vacant list and see which properties are not listed.

    Another fun fact, apparently, there are only 7 properties in ALL of ward 2 that meed the vacant-blighted standard. I count at least 7 on that block alone.

    According to DCRA:
    “Total cumulative time for any exemption to any property shall not exceed five (5) years in any twelve (12) year period.”,A,1342,Q,640818.asp

    These have been owned since 2001, why aren’t they listed DCRA? Do your f&*(ing job

    • ah

      Yeah, the city’s vacant/blighted property system is a total mess.

      DCRA won’t enforce it in a meaningful way and the DC Council keeps changing the law so DCRA has to come up with new standards/approaches/practices every year.

      We’ve debated this before, the basic things that need to be put in place are (1) some form of financial penalty (higher taxes or fees); (2) meaningful limits on exemptions; (3) an actual exemption or stay of the high fees for any new purchaser so long as they rehab expeditiously.

      None of the proposals seem to have all three elements.

    • Even if the city wins that lawsuit, the council still has to come up with the hundreds of millions to fund a convention center hotel. It’s far from a done deal.

      • The financing has already been approved by the city. The lawsuit was the recent hold-up. It’s been settled. Ground breaking is supposed to be in Sept. We’ll see I guess!

    • thats not the hotel corner.

    • There is no hotel planned for this lot. The entire lot minus the yoga studio and furniture shop are owned by Douglas Development which is working on plans for a potential entertainment arena (Madison Square Garden). The buildings will be preserved with a large setback building built in the entire block. The hotel you are thinking is on the lot between Mass, L, 9th, and 10th. Another hotel is planned for 9th and L where all the other boarded up buildings are. Financing is holding up all of these projects but the big Marquis hotel is said to be breaking ground in September.

    • Nope – the hotel will be on 9th St., not 7th Street.

  • I’m with you Pop…this area around the convention center has always baffled me. Why hasn’t it been fixed up yet?
    I mean, it appears those buildings havn’t been touched since the late 60s.
    I don’t get it. It must be about the money.

    • a lot of those people owned buildings and stores. when barry set the convention center in motion he met with the business owners but not much could be done. the demolition of the land and the construction of the convention center took forever to finish. there was nothing up that way except for an arts venue and AV’s and the eagle. clearly not all that much to get people interested and to overcome the convention center construction site. then jamal got in line and convinced the city to raise the taxes on these sites.
      the struggle to hold on has been tough and most failed around the same time the market started tanking. credit was then too tight to build. development has been slowly moving toward this areas, but didnt quite reach it. there are still a few parking lots to the south. development to the east centers around the ny ave metro and will work westward.

      development to the north starts at u street metro and is working southward. o street market is a big hurdle too.

      development to the west has gotten halted at 9th street.

      so the block in this picture? jamal owns the entire block. we’ll see development on it as soon as the market gets better and has the financial backing to build.

      i give it to jamal that he made chinatown what it is today. used to be a really shitty area with lots of crime and prostitution and aggressive and threatening panhandling. he spawned that entire neighborhood. but it is what it is.


      • Jamal did not make chinatown. Abe Pollin made chinatown. Jamel just rode the wave.

        I’m not saying he’s a good or bad guy, but your marketing of his talents is laughable.

        • you’re right. i would largely credit abe also.

          and actually, i was bitching about jamal over the tax issue. and he’s been sitting on dumps in my hood for a decade. i have no love for the guy. but chinatown would not be what it is without him.

    • corporate squatters

  • Look at the developer, Norman Jemal. That’s Douglas Jemal’s (as in Douglas Development Corp) brother. The Jemal family used to own The Wiz stores in NY. I think you’d have to have to look around a long time before you found a bigger bunch of a-holes than that family.

    • Oh my gosh The Wiz. I haven’t thought about those since I was little and growing up in NYC. Thanks for an extreme dose of nostalgia. (“Nobody beats the Wiz / Nobody beats the Wiz!”)

  • The little joint at the SW corner of 9th and L has been abandoned since at least 1975, and probably since the ’68 riots. We’d roll past it on the way to the old 930 Club back in the 1980s. Used to have go-go and boxing posters about a foot thick on the side.

    7th St NW & L St NW, Washington, DC 20001

  • It all has to do with the convention center hotel. People are sitting on it hoping the city pays top dollar to buy them out to build the hotel. The sad thing is that Gaylord hotels go after situations like this – DC can’t get its act together so Gaylord builds out in Maryland and now all the big conventions and all their hotel room taxes and per-attendee spending are going to MD instead of DC. I work in the meetings industry and all associations want to have an annual in DC, but they are all giving up hope on this hotel and will spend their money in MD instead. It’s a significant hit to the city’s budget.

  • Those Jamal creeps are deeply intertwined with District government, so don’t look for anyone to ever allow any action to be brought against them for their slumlord practices.

  • If this gem is torn down, where will the transvestite prostitutes urinate?

  • I am a little curious as to what all you obvious corporate geniuses propose to do with the vacant or empty buildings?

    It isn’t like we are in the worst recession in 7 decades or anything. It isn’t like retailers, large and small are going out of business, filing for bankruptcy and laying people off on a daily basis in DC and beyond.

    Perhaps you guys know of cash stocked retailers itching to open in neighborhoods like this?

    People should be thankful that atleast someone is paying the property tax on these crap properties and leave it at that.

    When the market can support it, something will be done with these properties.

    • If they’re not even for lease, then you don’t have any idea if someone wants to move in there and start a small business. And just because you’re paying the property tax doesn’t mean you’re not depriving the city of revenue. Sales taxes and income taxes are just as important as property taxes. There have been plenty of new businesses opening up on H ST throughout the recession, so your analysis is faulty. Someone’s waiting for a big payoff.

      Then there’s the blight that encourages shady people to do shady things.

      • So what if they are waiting for a payoff? There is nothing remotely shady or illegal about it.

        And is english your first language, this article has a picture posted that says in big letters “FOR LEASE, Build to Suit”?

        If there was so much pent up demand then someone would approach them. Apparently there isn’t. If you are so sure, I suggest you get a loan and start your own business at that location instead of trying to tell everyone else how they should conduct their lives and business.

        • Read the small print.

          “start a small business”

          And don’t play games with the “for build or lease” signs. That game is as old as the city.

      • Umm…there is a big sign there in the picture that says “FOR LEASE”.

      • I’m sure H St leases have long-term options in them, which make them more desirable for both parties. If Douglas already knows they are going to redevelop these parcels, how are they going to attract tenants that want to build out the space but only get a 5 year lease. Douglas can’t give extension options because then these won’t get touched for 20+ years. Could they attract a couple tenants, probably? Would they be creating more of a headache with chasing down minimal rents, eviction costs, and general maintenance, absolutely? There also is the issue of getting everything up to current code, which is potentially very expensive, especially when you plan on redeveloping.

  • \When the market can support it, something will be done with these properties.\

    Sorry, a typo there:

    \When the city grants a 10yr tax exemption and offers financial incentive, something will be done with these properties\

    Also, as the first post noted, he has had the properties since 2001, so don’t give me the recession excuse.

    • The city has some blame for dragging their feet on the hotel. Had the hotel been built in conjunction with the convention center, there would have been a more incentive to do something. When the hotel breaks ground, I’d imagine you’ll start to see activity here, assuming the market isn’t saturated with large volumes of unsold condos, empty apartments and vacant commercial properties.

      • Funny, that hasn’t stopped all sorts of other development in the city. The properties are practically on top of a metro station, so the waiting for a hotel is bulls*(&.

        Since you say he’s waiting for the city, it is nothing more than large scale speculation. Just like chinatown, someone else takes the risk and they just rode the wave.

        In the meantime, class and tax these appropriately. Vacant, blighted and 10% that way the city has money to pay for the hotel he will benefit from.

      • Actually, there’s a shortage of available condos in the entire city. Given the fact that there is no new condo development that has broken ground, this means that we will continue to see this very, very low inventory of available housing in the old city neighborhoods for at least two if not three more years. Apartment rentals are also scarce. Both 9th and 7th Streets have a lot of opportunity but it seems that potential businesses are waiting for the hotel to take shape.

        • Right, that was more in reference to the last 4-5 years and why nothing was done even as the convention center opened. Now that the existing inventory has been sold/leased, there is more demand for additional units. As we seem to agree, the hotel will further enhance demand in the area, as projects will finish after the hotel has opened. The alternative is you build your project and then the hotel construction starts and people don’t want to live in a work zone for two years.

  • Read the small print.

    \start a small business\

    And don’t play games with the \for build or lease\ signs. That game is as old as the city.

  • People who took 1st year contracts in law school should recognize the name “Walker-Thomas” on the building.

  • Does the idea of a ‘convention center’ make any sense in this day and age anyway? I figured these colossal empty halls would be gone as Internet replaces information sharing and deal making.

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