Horse’s Ass Award Nominee – 14th and Wallach St, NW

I’ve always thought this was a beautiful building on 14th St, NW just south of U St. I believe it has a working salon in one of the retail spaces but otherwise the building seems to have fallen into serious disrepair. If fixed up this place could be a real gem. I’m particularly fond of the two bay window currently boarded up. With a location this good, I can’t believe it’s been in this state for so many years. How many apartments do you think would normally fill this building?

15 Comment

  • pablo .raw

    I’m going to guess 4 apartments on the 2nd floor and 4 on the third floor + the 2 retail spaces on the first floor.

  • Thanks for posting this PoP. Word on the street is that the owner simply refuses to sell or renovate. Probably the definition of the Horse’s Ass award.

    • Renovating is not cheap.

      Fixing up the place will cost at least 200K. Not a lot of people have that sort of cash laying around. The owner probably bought the place many years ago when things were much cheaper. Banks don’t just give out money easily for random investment projects like this. Basically, a lot of old timers are stuck with what they have and can’t really do much about it. Eventually they will sell to someone with deep pockets to actually renovate.

  • It used to have a great sub shop in the first floor – you could get the “hustler” sub to go along with the rest of the ambiance on 14th street. I don’t think the upstairs was borded up until the mid 90’s.

  • Its been like this for over 15 years? How does that happen? How did they miss the housing boom in 2005/2006? They could have made millions.

  • There’s some shady people that go in and out of the boarded up house on C ST NE. I assume they’re using it as a location to get high or stock drugs. When the the owner of the property refuses to sell for less than $1M (for a decrepit shell), I assume that he’s making enough money off of the drug sales to cover the taxes.

    • You know what they say about people who ass-ume.

    • That’s the thing. They don’t need to be making anything.

      It’s much better to lose $5/year in taxes for 10 years and sell in 2020 for 2 million than to save yourself $50K in taxes and selling for 1 million today.

      In other words, the carrying costs are minimal and the potential payoff is huge.

  • sketchy sketchy sketchy needs to be fixed up or sold. shame on the land lord

  • There should really be a tax for substantially vacant properties. This joker is totally flouting the spirit of the law.

  • When i was looking at those pictures of DC from the 80s and 90s that were posted a few weeks back this was one of the few (Barrel House Liquor being the other) things that looked exactly the same now as back then.

  • Probably an owner who doesn’t wanna participate in so-called gentrification.

    Tax the hell out of this dump. 5% of assessed value would be a pretty penny.

    • If there’s a salon here, it’s not vacant. We know the owner isn’t paying vacant tax rates because it would be costing him around $50,000/year, and there’s no way he just wouldn’t sell at that point.

  • i was gonna say the same thing nathaniel said. those old pictures of 14th street showed that this building hasn’t changed in about 20 years. it even had the same picture in the window (now faded into shades of blue)

    there oughta be a law…

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