Dear PoP – Would You Rent Near a Soon to be Construction Zone?

“Dear PoP,

Would you rent an apartment directly across the street (P and 7th St, NW) from the incoming O Street Market construction zone? How do you think the immediate neighborhood will be impacted by the construction that’s slated to start soon?”

Hmm, this is a good question. Personally I think this development is going to be huge for the neighborhood but is def. going to take time. If you asked me would I buy here – I’d say yes in an instant. But renting – I’m not sure it’s gonna be worth the aggravation until construction is completed. What do you guys think – would you rent across the street from a soon to be construction zone?

26 Comment

  • There is construction all over the city. Take Sherman Ave for example. How is this any different?

  • pablo .raw

    I lived next to a house that was being renovated in CH. The problem we had was that some contractors would go to work on Saturdays and Sundays starting really early when we were trying to rest. We had to call the police several times during the construction period to come and stop them.

  • buy, yes. rent, no. unless it’s cheap.

  • Agreed. This project will take years. So unless you’re dedicated to sticking around, or are a heavy sleeper, I’d try to rent somewhere else.

  • I’ve lived near several construction zones over the years and the common problems they each brought to their respective neighborhoods include but are not limited to:
    1) loss of parking spaces
    2) utility disruption, especially water
    3) large amount of debris that invites illegal dumping of bulk items
    4) noise, of course, but the worst is
    5) displaced vermin. Mice, rats and roaches looking for a new home and yes, yours will do.

  • I rented across a condo building under construction, and it didn’t bother me. I’m very noise sensitive, but they started around 7 a.m. when I needed to get up anyway. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re at home during the day, though. It was annoying even on the occasional sick day.

  • This development would be a lot more exciting if they were restoring OStreet market as a proper market. But isn’t there just going to be a Giant Foods in there? What will it take for DC to get some real markets with character and independent merchants. Eastern Market is ok. Flo Ave Market is alright. The SW fish market it cool. But there should be a proper market in each ward. Baltimore has some great markets but it seems that most of DCs have been razed over time.

    • “What will it take for DC to get some real markets with character and independent merchants.”

      money. there was a plan to clean up and expand the capitol city markets. stalled. and the property owners didn’t really want that. they envisioned a greater project called New Town.

      the fish market will remain and get a makeover. not sure the time line.

      nothing else. whats the motivation and incentive for it? very little. a developer wants to shop out their space so they have to do as little work as possible. no one is offering up a pre packaged multi vender option, unless the people that run multiple farmers markets could handle a brick and mortar situation.

      more than likely we will see bigger before we see smaller but higher quality.

      and yeah, there used to be a lot in dc, but all gone. dean and deluca in georgetown was once a market. so was the navy memorial. and city vista.

  • forget the construction zone, that building in back is an enormous housing project. the money you save in rent will be offset by the number of times you are robbed.

  • if you’re planning on renting in one of those apartment towers just south of this site, HELL NO. A house in the surrounding area, absolutely.

  • Yeah, it’s going to suck. At least this project looks like it will be adequately financed. A couple years back a condo development across the street from me was found to have major mold problems. They sued the developer which diligently worked to correct the problem from 7 AM (or more often than not when they felt they could get away with it, around 6:30) until 8 or 9.

    The best part was about six months in when they suddenly abandoned all work on the project, yet left their equipment, trailer, and jersey barriers blocking half the street. They finally came back when DCRA started fining them $100 a day, backdated from the date the permit expired. They resumed their 13 hour days and still took another 9 months or so to finish.

  • i live (rent) not too far from this site, and walk by it every day. not only would the construction be an issue for someone, but the neighborhood in that area is generally TRASHED. broken glass all along o street from 6th to 7th, and i mean like EVERY DAY. it never seems to go away. loud people from the apts near by, not to mention the gangs (remember the shooting not too long ago right around there?).

    i LOVE this area, shaw, but would probably not live *right* there next to the giant and that site.

  • Only if you prefer the incessant pile-driving noises to be coming from somewhere other than your bedroom.

  • I have lived in Shaw for many, many years and would probably recommend against renting an apartment at 7th & O because of the crime in the immediate vicinity (i.e., one block in any direction) of that intersection. I would be much more concerned about safety than about the construction on the O Street Market, which is unlikely to begin anytime soon. (Roadside Development, the company that owns the property, has been threating to start construction on that site for years….)

  • There are noise restrictions on these sorts of developments, but I come down with the crowd that draws the relevant distinction as between buying and renting. This thing won’t be done in 1 year, and it probably won’t be done in 2. During that time, you’re going to live next to a lot of noise and dust and diverted traffic patterns during the day and a big, empty construction site at night. If you’re in it for the short-term, why would you choose that as your neighbor?

    I didn’t live next to the Allegro in Columbia Heights, but I was close enough that I heard the construction noise every morning and any free afternoon. Did it make for an unlivable situation? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But given the choice, would I have hit mute on the project? Yep. Still, I owned the house, so at the end of the day, I was excited for what it meant for the neighborhood’s activity level and available amenities (not to mention property values), which clearly were more in my long-term interest than the short-term annoyances. The calculus would have been different had I rented there.

  • This blog is mostly dedicated to development and new buildings and how wonderful it all is. But time and time again people post how horrible construction is and that it’s the biggest possible inconvenience to their life, and that all construction workers are degenerate scum bags. You live in the city, it’s noisy. If you want your neighborhood to improve with new development, you kind of have to have construction.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I think you’re missing the point of the question.

      And this blog is mostly dedicated to no one single subject. Except maybe beer and where to drink beer.

  • I moved out of Columbia Heights as the huge redo was started. I rented a basement condo at the Irving Station Condo’s – and I had a patio that bordered the empty field (noew borders the alley). I lived through the first building going up (I think it was the one border by Park abnd Kenyon) – but left even before that was finished. I had to move – the pile-drivers going at all hours, everyday, made it impossible to sleep past 8 am.

    Noise is something I can generally sleep through – I slept through the drum corp practicing at the YMCA on W st when I lived across from it – but the construction was too much.

    Buy: yes.
    Rent: No, not unless it is dirt dirt cheap.

  • Buy: I would strongly consider it, but I think the area’s crime problems while not as bad as they once were, will be around for as long as those giant housing projects are there. Maybe I have a high tolerance for this sort of thing, but I found it a constant annoyance that was worth tolerating for the sake of the location’s other virtues. I’m still kind of jealous of my neighbors there who owned.

    Rent: If you mean directly across the street on P or whatever, I wouldn’t do it, unless it’s way below market prices.

  • It will be a cold day in Hell when that site is rebuilt. I mean, you watch the sun come up day after day and after a while you get the idea.

  • They’re finally doing something with that place?! Wow. Never thought I’d see it.

  • I live on the other side of the lot and a block in and since the noice and construction debris won’t be seen by me, my main concern is an increase in prostitution that comes with large construction projects in devleoping areas. Anyone remember what K & 10th looked like 3 years ago?

  • Hell no. I once rented in a building where they failed to tell me they were doing roof work. I worked from home, it was misery.

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