Old Church Property at 13th and S St, NW For Sale

Thanks to all who wrote in about this property hitting the market. Daryle writes:

“After four decades in the neighborhood, the pastor of the Beginning Church of God has put his large property at the corner of 13th and S on the market.

Many PoP readers may know Rev. Sutton (now in frail health, and living with family in the area) as a familiar face at the corner of 13th and S streets, where he would greet passersby most mornings throughout the year and without fail on on summer afternoons. Until his wife passed away in 2009, the reverend and his small congregation were also known for the rockin’ music that came from the church on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.

The physical condition of the three-story brick house on 13th Street (adjacent to one of Duke Ellington’s childhood homes) and adjoining church on S Street is very poor. There are numerous issues for a landlocked (no off-street parking) lot the sits at the intersection of two historic districts (Greater U Street and Greater 14th Street). But, the potential for a fine rehab at a fantastic corner is tremendous.”

Ed. Note: In the dozens of times I’ve walked past this property I could always count on a friendly smile from Rev. Sutton. He will be missed.

The flier for 1801 13th St NW says:

“ENTER AT OWN RISK, vacant property needs full rehab. OFFERS DUE MONDAY NOV. 7 by 5pm. Formerly used as 3 units, enter upper units on 13th street side. Enter main level unit from S street. Please conduct all inspections prior to offer submission.”

It’s going for $599,000.

31 Comment

  • Only if I had the money. No doubt someone with long paper will scoop this up and make that much more off of it.

  • To be fair, it’s going for a lot more than $599,000.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      You mean you think it’s going to sell for more than $599,000? Because it is listed at that price.

      • Oh I know that it’s listed for $599,000. There’s just no way that it won’t “go” for much more than that.

    • Yeah, it may be listed for 599K, but that is just to get the bidding frenzy going so they can get rid of the place pronto. I imagine it will go for the 700’s, to then be completely gutted and 450K 1 bedroom condos will start being marketed in May/June

  • Man, this place needs a ton of work though…

  • Rev. Sutton is the real deal. He took very good care of the neighborhood. He made everyone welcome in the neighborhood. I hope he and his family makes a killing on that property.

    • make (not makes) gah.

    • I live on the block across 13th St from Mr. Sutton. What is missing from his story is that until very recently, Mr. Sutton would go around with a rake, brown and trash barrel and clean out all these leaves and debris from everyone’s entrance gates to the street. I offered him some cash a couple of times but he wouldn’t take it.

      I hope he makes a lot of money from this and has someone to wisely manage it. He deserves it!

      For all those saying this will go near $599 I have witnessed a steady stream of developers, flippers, flipper- wannabees and real estate types in and out of that property ever since the sign went up. It will be interesting to see what this goes for.

      • I think the complete gut is probably easiest. Rent the big dumpster, come in with sledge hammers and take everything out. Redfin indicates 4500^2 feet. If they can get 4 1 Br units in there, should be worth more than 599. I am guessing 700 or maybe even 750-800.

      • shout out to Rev Sutton! somehow, i don’t think overpriced condos will ever top the Rev…

  • I live just up the block from this building and will also miss Rev. Sutton, who until the time he moved out a few weeks ago would invariably greet me and my dog during our morning walk while leaving bread for the birds. I wonder whether the family who purchased and rehabbed 1809 13th St. (also a total wreck when it was purchased, and now rehabbed into tidy and fairly small rentals) and is in the process of rehabbing 1805 13th St. will be interested in this property as well.

    • yeah, i saw him most mornings as well. he always said hello to my dog.

      question: is leaving bread on the street for birds a health concern? pigeons aren’t exactly clean animals. nor are squirrels or other animals/bugs that might be eating the leftovers.

      • jburka

        well, he did it almost daily for the nearly 10 years that OTBerbur and I have lived a few houses down from him and it never caused any issues that I saw. It’s not like we don’t have birds and rodents running rampant around the neighborhood anyway. Though our dog does her damnedest to rid us of the scourge!

        Reverend Sutton is really a great guy and I was really bummed when I heard about his wife — she was just as friendly when sitting out on the sidewalk. He turned 85 last month, and it really seemed like it was only a matter of time before he’d had to give up the house. But he was still physically well enough to wander up to the 14th and U McDonald’s every (or nearly!) morning for breakfast.

        He never seemed to have an issue with the ongoing gentrification and welcomed all of his new neighbors pretty equally. We’ll definitely miss him!

      • Reverend Sutton sounds like a great and neighborly guy, except for leaving bread for the birds.

        I think the New York Times had an article a while back saying that just one person feeding pigeons can sustain a HUGE population of them. Will see if I can find it.

        He really does sound like an exceptionally nice person, though.

  • I think this will go for closer to a million. I don’t think people recognize how huge this place is. It could easily be converted into 3 large two bedroom condos or a mixture of 1 bedroom and 2 bedrooms.

  • Wish it wouldn’t be converted and just left alone and renovated.. However, money talks so we’ll see another beautiful home converted into small condos that are overpriced.

    • you’d rather it stay as one huge home for a crazy wealthy couple that might have 1.3 kids (or likely none, and this is their second home), rather than adding some density to the middle of a city and allowing maybe 10-15 people to live in there? yes, that makes total sense.

      seriously, since they have to leave the outside alone (historic district, remember) why do you care so much what they do with the inside? this isn’t the 1920’s anymore where the district’s population was a fraction of what is today.

      • Hopefully you appreciate the irony of your post.

        Captcha: F5KU

        • hmmm. the irony of my post. in which i state my desire to see large buildings used more efficiently, thereby allowing greater density in a small city.

          um, no i don’t. care to explain?

      • Just making an observation…

        Plus density in the middle of the city– look at all the condo buildings going up on 14th street, u street, etc. Not too mention that we also have plenty of density in Chinatown and some density coming to H street.

      • i think dc could use a few more crazy wealthy people. it sucks that most of them live in potomac or wherever.

    • @ jch — you got the “money talks” part right. In this neighborhood, and at that size footprint, I’d say you’re certainly going to have interested developers, who almost certainly will render this into 4+ condos, but you will also see bids from very rich people who might make it a bitchin’ SFH. For a house this size, I could see someone with time and a ~$1.7M budget outbidding the developers and then putting in a lot to renovate it to their exact tastes.

  • When I just felt that there could not be more exposure for this house, PoP put it on free advertisement… Nowadays it’s just hard to do business.

    • I’m sure that prior to online MLS, those who were “in the know” via word of mouth on real estate sales never had to worry about Joe Schmoe learning about a listing via RedFin or Trulia and showing up, cash in hand, to butt in on a deal that would otherwise had only been known to a handful of realtors.

      What I’m surprised about is that it went up for sale via MLS. If this place is truly a gem with tons of potential buyers, why was it not a private sale?

    • Don’t worry none of us can afford that place anyway. Good luck with your purchase.

  • Thanks for this post. I would see Rev. Sutton daily on my morning runs (feeding the birds, McDonald’s breakfast in hand) and am happy to know the back story. I hope me makes a mint.

  • The problem with converting this property to condos is that the R-4 zoning district will not permit (as a matter of right) such a development scenario given the lot size. The R-4 zoning district requires that there be 900 s.f. of land area for every “unit” created. In this case, the lot is only 1,100 s.f. thus you cannot redevelop this property into multiple units as a matter of right. Nevermind the fact that the R-4 district only permits “flats” which are 2 dwelling units under one roof. Furthermore, the parking requirement is 1 space for every 2 units, and since there is no parking here that is problematic as well. An area or use variance would be required, which are by no means easy to come by. I think you will find the property will sell for not much more than asking price (at best) given these limitations and others.

  • Does anyone know what the heck happened? Offers were due yesterday and the MLS listing completely disappeared. It’s not listed as under contract, sold, withdrawn, it’s simply gone. Anonymous’ analysis of the building restrictions is spot on. I’ve seen the district make exceptions for parking, but not familiar on lot size. Anyone know where I can look into these regulations?

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