Good Deal or Not? “Needs complete renovation!” edition

This shell is located at 3602 16th St, NW:

The listing says:

“EXCELLENT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY! Potential for FOUR 1000+sf CONDOS in a gorgeous building in MT. PLEASANT / 16th St. Heights area! Walk to METRO, etc. Property has EXISTING ROOFTOP DECK! GARAGE plus off-street parking spaces! Needs complete renovation! Build your DREAM HOME w/ rental unit(s) income & enjoy the hilltop city views from gigantic private rooftop terrace!!”

This shell is yours for $750,000. How much do you think it’ll cost to make it a dream home?

20 Comment

  • That sounds like a lot for a complete shell. Haven’t we seen non-shell houses in Mount Pleasant going for this much or not all that much (relatively speaking) more?

    • But this could end up as 4 condos selling between 350k-600k. Question is, how much would be re-development cost? And would the total investment be less than, say, 1.5mil.

  • This place burned maybe six months ago. Would really have to question whether this is even a shell that is usable and not a place you will also have to rip everything down in and start new. If so, $750k for a lot seems insane.

  • A man died in that fire. Look up the Post article about it.


  • Like others had said, this place caught fire this summer and the old gentleman that had lived there forever died in the fire. It was pretty intense, one of the bigger fire’s I’ve ever seen. Being a place that’s gutted vs major fire damage is a big difference.

    The front yard/fence/back alley also needs a lot of work. I love on the block on the other side of the street. Our row houses are only 3.5 stories, so this place is probably a bit bigger, but all the houses on my side are valued between 550k to 650k and are mostly quality finished interiors. No way this place is worth 3/4 of a million. May be the most overpriced house posted here yet.

  • Anyone know of the legality or just general issues with building a greenhouse-ish structure like the one in picture 7 on to an existing rowhouse? I have a tiny patio that is all but useless but which would be LOVELY if I could do that.

    • It would require permits, and if you live in a historic district (not sure if the above was included in the Mt. Pleasant boundries or not) you would need approval if it is street-visible. I’m not sure about any greenhouse-specific regulations though. Anyone know?

  • I used to pass this house every day, and the yard is insane. I was always mesmerized by it. also, sorry to all who disagree, but that particular strip of DC is definitely in transition, and the traffic from 16th street is loud, especially since there’s a bus stop right there. so, armed with that knowledge (plus the fire knowledge, which I was unaware of) this is prettttttty steep.

    • …but that particular strip of DC is definitely in transition…

      WOW… clearly you are talking about another 16th street.

      That section is one of the most establish residential areas in Columbia Heights with many great old homes, all leading right into the giant houses just a few blocks up the street.

      The prices sounds a little high to me considering the fire. That can cause incredible invisible damage such as weakend beams or melted wires.

      But for that price I am sure a developer will make a bundle on several condos.

  • That area is right around all those one-way streets, tucked back in that corner. Thats where all the car fires were set and the petty crimes. This area is def. slowly in transition. It not too far from being right behind Hubbard Place, and all those roads that lead up to the cement park on 14th. Very shady area.

  • It’s turning into Upper Caucasia East™

  • I’m amazed they are selling it as a shell, it really will end up being a tear down, at the most you’d save maybe some of the facade. Way too $$

  • That property is definitely worth every penny, and will probably earn more for its location, and condo potential. It is a very BIG property….Yes there is heavy traffic, and it can be considered transition, but it is definitely on its way, and I bet that it has a contract for 800K…

  • I’m not a contractor or real estate professional but judging from my own renovation (which was not a gut job although we replaced and enlarged our entire third floor), I would guess that renovation costs would be a MINIMUM of $300,000 to $400,000 and probably quite a bit more if this house was completely gutted by the fire. I agree that the asking price seems a bit high for a house that needs such extensive work but on the other hand, it’s a great location.

    • BTW if you look at the other photos, the rooftop views are truly spectacular. There aren’t many properties in the city with those kinds of views, and that definitely factors into the cost (although I would also note that there is no back yard). Regarding traffic noise, I live on a pretty busy streeet (Irving) and while there can be noise at the front of the house, you get used to it and the back of the house is pretty quiet. (Sirens and drunk or otherwise loud people are the main noise culprits for us.)

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