34 Comment

  • that broken stained glass makes me sad 🙁

  • ah

    Is that the house of the guy who grows all kinds of vegetables (Ed Bruske)?

  • That is a monster of a house. A bit impractical for one family/couple but kind of sad to see another property of this type get cut up into condos.

  • It will be nice to see that corner finally maintained. The chicken wire fence & trash always looked terrible. I applaud their attempt to be green, but ultimately the green cash trumped the lettuce.

  • Ugh – do we really need more condos? I’m going to miss the vegetable gardens.

  • Yes, it’s high time this building was brought into the 21st century. Density is key to success of urban neighborhoods. We’ve suggest to Capitol City that they market the vegetable beds along with the condos since we have spent years improving the soil and people are waiting years to get into community gardens. Sorry our compost operation offended, but that was our sole means of maintaining soil fertility.

    • Marketing the soil fertility?! Hah! The condo will end up with the generic landscaping of any other new condo building, something easy for the management company to maintain.

      I’d suggest you negotiate to take the soil with you!

    • And those units couldn’t get much denser, unless you were looking to market eight walk-in closets. Three of the bottom floor units are miniscule. Showing the round room with a bed in the floorplans is a bit whimsical.

    • Ed,
      You may not remember, but you and your wife were gracious enough to speak with me in 2006 when I was writing my my senior thesis on gentrification in Columbia Heights. Of all the stories I heard when I was doing that research, yours is one of the ones that has stuck with me. I think of the changes you described from when you first moved in, from the open air drug markets to the neighborhood watch you organized, each time I pass by. Best of luck in your new home, and thank you for your part in making Columbia Heights a better neighborhood.

  • Aww, I’ve always loved this house! One of my favorites in Columbia Heights, and I envied the veggie gardens. I hope they do a good job with the renovations and keep the character intact.

    • No way, that place has already been gutted from the basement to the roof. There is nothing original left, except a fireplace. That rich soil will become parking and some green space.

  • I live nearby, and I for one will be sorry to see the vegetable garden go. Best of luck Ed.

  • I used to live on the next block. I bet these condos will be super cool. I just hope they keep a lot of the unique arch. features.

  • I second most of the comments, I love the veggie garden and hopefully the new owners will continue this!

  • Hehehe…I like the “Having six units will allow you to have more moderately priced units”.

    Oh how naive the zoning administrator is to think that Cap City, or any other developer of projects like this will actually reduce the pricing of their units because they got an extra one. No, they will price all of them as high as the market allows them.

    It isn’t like they are now going to purposely reduce the average price of the units by ~50K because they got an extra one.

    Disclaimer, I think everyone should sell their RE for as much as they can and that market manipulated “affordable housing” is ridiculous, especially in high rent locations. I just think it is more ridiculous that a Zoning Administrator was naive enough to both believe that, and write it down for all to see.

    • I think it’s funny that you’re naive enough to believe that a Zoning Administer actually believes his own justifications for granting a connected local developer a perk.

    • It’s a matter of right development. The affordable housing angle is irrelevant.

      • The term is by-right, but thats the entire point.

        There are no requirements for affordable housing in this project, it was never going to be part of the deal, so the fact that this rube zoning administrator actually put those words on paper as his rationale for granting a varience (albiet small one) is just asinine. It either proves that he is a complete and utter idiot (now Mr. Developer you can lower the prices of your other units…someething I am sure the folks at Cap City got a good laugh on when they read it), or he wasn’t even trying.

        Either way, I am glad that the neighborhood is going to get more market rate units. Better for the city and better for the neighborhood, I just hope our zoning administrators aren’t generally that stupid.

        • Actually, the term is matter of right.

          Not sure why you’re obsessing over the affordable housing angle, since that was a single sentence in the letter and wasn’t the basis of the minor deviation variance. Have you been involved in zoning cases before? Or is snark just your standard default?

          Maybe it would help for you to take a quick look through the applicable zoning regulations: http://www.dcregs.org/Notice/DownLoad.aspx?VersionID=518385

    • I was reading the letter and looking at the floorplans, and–although the Zoning Administrator’s letter could’ve been better worded–I don’t think anyone was under any illusions that the developer was going to reduce the pricing of the units.

      I think the (not very well made) point was that having some smaller units would mean that there would be multiple price levels in the building — i.e., that it wouldn’t be composed solely of (say) $500K units, but would also have some $400K and $300K units.

      In contrast, if they’d split the building up into 4 units, probably all of them would be $500K.

      (Note that I’m just guessing on the prices there, and that presumably the basement unit and maybe the first-floor one would be less expensive than the others.)

      • Gahh, those en-dashes above should’ve been em-dashes. I didn’t realize it would format differently if I didn’t leave a space on either side.

  • I’m more annoyed with the mess on the sidewalk and the huge dumpster associated with this project that has been taking up about 4 spots on 13th St. I’m all for renovating stuff … just wish it could be done with a little more consideration for the other people living on this block.

  • Based on the floor plans submitted with the zoning letter, the only units I would consider are 5 & 6. They are pretty spacious 2 BRs. The one bedrooms and the other 2 bedroom are pretty small. Don’t understand why they didn’t go with 4 floors with spacious 2 BRs, as opposed to shoehorning in a small 2BR and a 3 small 1 BRs. Let’s be honest – There’s no affordable housing going on here. If you’re going to do high end, do high end.
    Reminds me of the Logan Lofts post. Instead of 2 unique duplexes they go for 4 identical and unimaginative 1 BRs, and wonder why no one was willing to pay top dollar to buy any of them.

    • The one bedroom units will appeal to property owners that want to pick up an easy manage unit that can be quickly leased to tenants for a ridiculous amount of money because it’s located near a Metro and a Target. The upper floor two bedroom units will probably go to dual income couples in their mid-30’s making over $200k combined. The smallest two bedroom unit will probably stay on the market for a few months before some desparate sucker buys it.

  • 13th and Euclid! Doo Doo Doo Doo Please Help ME!

  • 5 or 6 units is a disgrace. That house isn’t that big. Zoning in Columbia Heights obviously means nothing to the DC government.

  • Let me clarify a few things about the house. It had been an apartment building for at least a decade before the owner, I was told a professor at Catholic U, decided to turn it back into a single family home in the late 70s/early 80s. Jim Wallis told me the story when years ago when he found out we owned it. He’d been arrested trying to fight the last tenant’s eviction. The incident is the one referred to on the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail marker on the NE corner of 13th & Euclid.

    The building was completely gutted by the guy who renovated it then. When we bought it in 1996 there was nothing original in the house other than the window trim. There were no mantles, or any other original decorative details. Even the staircase was new. Though the knewell posts and railings were of the period they weren’t original to the house. So the only historic thing about the house is the facade which will not change.

    In DC the number of condos a developer can convert a rowhouse into is based on the square footage of the lot. The zoning calculation is 900 sq ft for the area, the lot 5325 sq ft. Cap City by lot size right could do 5 condos. The lot was a mere 75 sq ft shy of being able to do 6 condos which wasn’t a big stretch for the zoning administrator.

    We can argue all day whether a 615 sq ft condo is too small. But having just left a house of over 5000 square feet a condo that small is very appealing. The buildable area is over 7000 sq ft with the garage and space above it, so the house is in fact really big.

  • Thank you PoP for posting! As more info is available it will be on the developer website! http://www.capcityre.com

  • I will share more info to PoP as I have it as well.

Comments are closed.