Scaffolding Partially Comes Down Revealing New LivingSocial Building at 7th and NY Ave, NW

Dear PoPville,

For months now, I’ve walked past the corner of 7th and New York, across 7th from the Convention Center, and wondered what is going in there. It looks like a pretty hefty renovation, with most of the building covered by tarp. Now, part of it is uncovered, but still no clues as to what it will eventually be.

It’s always been a place that I’d love to see developed, as the building and location have so much potential. Now I’m just growing impatient!

This is going to be more LivingSocial office space. Thanks to all who tweeted/emailed that much of the scaffolding has been removed. LivingSocial def. knows how to pick cool buildings. Here are a couple of shots I took yesterday from 7th Street looking east:

25 Comment

  • Spectacular!!! Looks amazing. Hopefully there will be some progress on the north side of that block of 7th St too. I know on the other side of NY Ave there will be a handsome looking building constructed this year.

    • Douglass Development came to the Feb. ANC 2C meeting and said they’re renovating all their properties in the area, including along L. Those are due to be finished by June, though they don’t have any tenants yet.

  • This is a wonderful building – really glad that Living Social are bringing it back to life. I’ve wanted to put a pub in the corner portion of the building forever, at least LS will put it to fun use.

  • i’m dumbfounded. that’s gorgeous.

  • Looks great. Beautiful building. Nice to see where all of my Living Social purchases went!

  • So that makes 3 properties now for Living Social in DC in less than a year? Or is it 2? Am I the only one that thinks that bubble is going to burst?

    • I agree. My roomate works there and the amount of money that they spend seems absolutely outrageous to me for a company of that age. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that they are bringing jobs, development and great deals to DC but the whole thing just does not seem sustainable (or at the very least, profitable). I hope they make it but if Groupon or the write-off Amazon took on their share of LS is any indicator, they are in for an up-hill battle.

      • Agreed.

        I am glad Living Social spent the bread to renovate this place and it is much better for the city, but I think it will probably not belong to Living Social very long.

        A company that bled 600 million in losses last year isn’t going to have very much longer to figure out its business model. Yeah, yeah…start ups all lose money. Well, the company has such a enormous gap between what it makes and what it spends that it clearly has a fundamental business problem, not just the expense of expansion.

        That, and Groupon is so much larger they could take some losses just to put Living Social out of business if they wanted to.

        • Douglass Development is the one who is actually paying for it. LS is just leasing the space (per the Mt. Vernon triangle and Penn Quarter Living Blogs). Douglass actually owns that whole block and I really hope they get to work on the rest of it. I was walking on L St (the block behind this construction) a few weeks ago and was very surprised to see a raccoon walking around behind the fence.

      • Totally right on this – they are blowing through cash the way all the internet startups did out west in the 90’s. Totally irresponsible management, and no profits to show for it.

        +1 to all the Douglas Development comments – it’s really their money, and they will have the property long after living social is gone.

    • The people in charge know damn well that it’s not sustainable, and I feel sorry for the many bright employees if the whole thing fails.

      • Really? I hope so…because we had the entire dot com industry not know it was unsustainable and we saw how well that turned out in 2000

        Living Social will be like any one of the countless wall street failures. Its early equity investors will keep pumping the money just long enough until they go public , and reap rewards and walk away.

        I’ve just never understood how a company who gets to take a 50% cut for maintaining a website isn’t sitting on piles of money now, and it isn’t like they are paying their army of employees tons of money.

        For example, the deal today has been purchased 1700 times (at $25 per) so far today. Thats a gross of $42,000 dollars (21K in Living Socials wallet) just for the District of Columbia daily deal and doesn’t include the thousands of instant deals they sell on a daily basis.

        Now multiply by every city and hamlet in the country in which they operate.

        I can understand them burning through a bunch o fmoney getting established, getting their IT systems up, getting a heiarchy of managers and a process established but they’ve been around since 2007.

        • Livingsocial gets half of what it sold for, the business gets the other half of the sale price. so basically the business is taking a 75% hit (if the sale is for 50% off).

    • Has anyone seen their financial statements? No.

  • springroadintoaction

    Wow. That’s—that’s really nice.

  • I am so excited for any investment and development in this part of town, especially on a small scale that maintains historic structures, and I think this building looks wonderful.

    I hope other businesses and companies follow suit. It is embarrassing that the part of town that thousands of visitors see weekly–the areas directly surrounding the convention center–consists mostly of boarded-up buildings and empty lots with a few monolithic condo buildings.

  • This is a Douglas Development building… We have them to thank for the gorgeous exterior renovation. Living social is leasing the space when renovations are complete, not renovating the building themselves. The same is true for their new, fantastic, pop up space downtown… Douglas renovated the building, Living Social is leasing. Douglas Development continually invests in Shaw, which is great, considering they own just about all of it!

    • when they do actually finally get around to doing something, douglas dev. certainly pulls off nice work.

  • Douglas knows that they will be able to lease that space for real money when Living Social’s lease is up. I’ll bet within 5 years that building will be a restaurant or something of the sort.

  • Why all of the hate on Living Social? It’s a cool start up business that is bringing creative talent to the city. They have also publicly stated that they will not relocate to the suburbs under any condition.

    They have renovated or leased office space in historic buildings and are investing a ton of cash into the city. What if the next big internet company is founded in DC by former living social employees?

    Who cares if they go bust. They are trying to start a new trend in an otherwise boring city.

    • jesus, you’re doing something wrong if you find dc boring.

    • mostly because it is actually a dead weight loss to the economy to make investments in unprofitable companies. the hubris shown by their choice to rent the most expensive real estate in town is a sign of their impending doom.

      whenever a company, a new company with no profits, starts building monuments to itself – it is time to short that company until it goes bust

  • And to think, the rest of 7th Street, north of this block once had similiar buildings lining the street. Now, nothing more than ugly, soul-less, low income aparments occupy the space. What a loss.

    • Au contraire! Those ugly blocks north of L on 7th are mostly market-rate conversions, and they’ll likely be torn down in the next decade or two thanks to their hideousness. I happen to live in one and it’s actually not too bad on the inside. Cheap as hell, too, but not rent-controlled.

Comments are closed.