Dear PoP – What’s Going on at 13th and Park Rd, NW?

“Dear PoP,

Howdy. With your vast intelligence and informant network, have you heard anything about the work that’s going on in the building on the SE corner of 13th and Park? It’s a big house right across from the Park Market, and looks like it’s going to be condo-fied, or maybe something commercial. Lots of below-the-radar construction going on, but no real public news about it. Just curious if you’d heard of anything…”

Yup, it’s gonna be 5 condos from Capital City Real Estate:

20 Comment

  • They are jamming FIVE condos in that building? Wow, that is nuts. I could see three, MAYBE four, but those are going to be some seriously small units.

  • This is awful. Columbia Heights is going to be a ghetto again in 10 years or less. This is exactly how ghettos get created.

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    • How do you think Columbia Heights has improved so dramatically over the last 5 years? It’s not magic…it’s developers who put lots of money out there to build, renovate and improve the area. If this never happened half the people who live there now would be afraid to even drive through Columbia Heights! If a developer builds an awful looking building then complain, but if someone is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve an area where there is a demand for housing and they build a quality product – why are you going to complain? You honestly THINK it’s going to turn Columbia Heights into a “ghetto”…?? It took a massive riot following the assassination of Martin Luther King, fires, looting, years and years of abandoned properties and even more years of corruption for Columbia Heights to spiral down from the great place it once was to what it became before its recent renaissance. So I ask you…is this really exactly how “ghettos” get created?

      • take5 isn’t blaminig developers but the manner of development. tiny apartments create grottoes of really cheap rent when markets fall. this can create a ghetto.

        • Actually I think ghettos are more typically created when there is a dramatic fall in prices. So for instance the once tony, high rent districts of Columbia Heights or even the Bronix — when the process of disinvestment takes hold there’s a much bigger drop between the existing and the new residents.

          If you take a neighborhood that falls less far — say a Petworth — you don’t see the dramatic kinds of problems.

          So the problem is either that the original is overpriced or the adjustment in pricing is too steep. Or a combination both.

    • Why are luxury condos “ghetto?” Just curious. I thought ghettos were created by poverty, not renovating run-down properties into luxury condos.

  • Actually the units are going to be pretty good sized, its going to be 2 in the lower level and then one per floor going up. Does anybody remember what it looked like before??? I DO! Its going to be an improvement to the area!

  • Ghettos are created when blighted properties are fixed up and sold to hipsters/yuppies at 450k plus? Explain that one to me.

  • uh, maybe if they were chopping the house up into a rooming house… anyone who has bought a fixer upper house in Columbia Heights has probably had to deal with every bedroom having its own deadbolt and chains (and phone line). That’s how you drive down a neighborhood.

    But a large house split in to individually owned condos should do well. There are tons of these around Dupont Circle I think created back during the 80s…the previous construction boom. Don’t think they sparked any new ghettos.

    • This definitely rings a bell. For us it was phone lines – definitely plural.

      One of our bedrooms has 10 outlets (10! in a 10 x 12 room!) and four phone jacks.

      I can hardly imagine what sort of very cramped little call center must have operated out of that bedroom at some point or another.

  • I sure hope they preserve the original front porch but the image above suggests they won’t. Too bad.

    • Absolutely. Are they seriously removing the screen porch? That’s one of the best features of houses in this neighborhood.

  • I bought a condo unit in a row house renovated by Capital City right next to the Petworth Metro a little over a year ago. They did a great job with mine, so I’d give them the benefit of the doubt on the new project.

  • I also wish that the developers of this property would preserve the porch. I mean, please do take out the screen, but please leave the porch intact. It’s an important part of the street-scape. A porch softens the transition between the street and the house. Where porches are removed, the overall quality of the street suffers. It’s like having a missing tooth.

  • Porch will block natural light to the lower levels so it probably won’t fit with their current plan

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