71 Comment

  • I think this could end up being a good sign as it hopefully indicates that they will eliminate the facade on the first two floors and go for a cohesive look over all 5 floors.

    • I believe that has been the plan the whole time. if you see similar condo developments in this hood, this is how they do it.

      • Agree 100%. Also, the sides won’t stay concrete blocks, obviously.

        • i think the sides will stay concrete blocks.

          • Yes, they probably will. There’s already a few cinder block buildings in the neighborhood. They tend to paint them (either red or beige) to mimic real brick from a distance, but they’re still cinder blocks once you get closer.

            Awful. I blame prison architects.

      • But why would they leave up the facade, only to tear it down later on? Wouldn’t it just be easier to construct the building from an empty lot?

        Hell, they could even add a basement level if they had pulled down the old place first.

        • That’s a good question. I’ve seen it done the exact same way with other properties in the hood. Maybe there’s a regulatory reason. or it’s to exploit a loophole (renovation vs. new build). I honestly don’t know.

        • I’m guessing a raze permit would have been a lot harder to get for a building that was otherwise structurally sound. It may have actually been easier (and possibly cheaper) to “renovate” by rebuilding bit by bit.

          It’s like the old thought experiment: if I replace one part on my new car every day, at what point does it stop becoming the car I originally purchased?

    • Just wait until he launches the big solar umbrella and blocks out the sun for the entire block! Rags to riches! LOL.

    • Most of the property outside of a building’s footprint tends to be public space in DC, even if it’s your fenced in yard. If that’s the case here, I don’t see how they would be able to pop out the facade on the first floor.

      • ah

        There’s an exception for bay windows. I forget precisely, but I think it’s something like 3 fee of projection into public space is allowed.

  • Sorry for the neighbors – this is so hideous. Ugly and uglier.

    And I’m so grateful I live in a historic neighborhood.

    • The blue house on the right was on the market last year. Sold pretty quick. I wonder if the old owner got a whiff that this was coming and sold before the property value was destroyed. I would be pissed if I was the buyer.

      • Nope. We didn’t know. By the time that house was sold, the developer was in the 8 month permit process to get it approved. Neither one of us knew the extent of the construction until I looked up the permit online.

      • Seems to me it will only increase property values, perhaps dramatically. All those houses on that block will now be able to sell out to developers on the basis that their units can also be converted into 5-story condo projects. At this stage, the worst thing the city can do is allow for that one house to be the only one on the block that tall. Seems the entire block should just become uniform.

      • Will this really destroy the value of the neighboring house? If I’m correct that house last sold for $469k just last year http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1011-V-St-NW-Washington-DC-20001/407517_zpid/ and would sell for quite a bit more than that whenever it goes up for sale in today’s market.

    • I’m a neighbor, and I think it might end up being kind of cool

  • How did this permit make it through!?

  • For some reason it reminds me of some sort of alien eggsack… can’t explain why my brain is going there, but I fully expect ravenous aliens to burst forth out of those bay windows.

  • I personally find the formstone on the neighboring house to be a worse eyesore.

    Formstone reminds me of the B’more ghetto.

  • i just about spit out my coffee.

  • Meh, give it time. Once a few other buildings here pop-up, this won’t even stand out.

    Feel bad for the new residents, seems like there will be plenty of neighbors who hate them already.

  • it’s not a tumor!

  • Hey, PoP. Sent you a PM with contact info of the developer of that hideous property. Thought readers might like to hear from him.

  • Goddamn people, it’s not that bad.

  • will they pop out the first 2 floors also?

  • Maybe God will confuse the language of the construction crew and scatter them over the face of the earth. That seems to be the direction we’re going here.

    Now let’s see who in PoPville will understand this reference…

  • Emmaleigh504

    As an aside, I really dig the white and blue paint job on the right.

  • Gladys thinks it’s a good thing this is happening on this particular block – let’s face it, as is, the block is ugly. I suspect the other homeowners / developers will follow suit and build up, making the entire block a four-story row

    • Gladys,
      You’ve got your head crammed so far up your keister that you are not seeing reason here. I’d suspect that that block’s residents don’t all have the spare $500,000 to spend in making their homes 5 story condo’s. Just because one inconsiderate slob decides to stand up and yell obscenities in a public place doesn’t mean the others have to follow suit.

  • Looks like the DC permitting department accepts drawings on napkins now.

  • First of all, this building is being built as-of-right, which means the city doesn’t involve itself in aesthetic considerations…just makes sure that it conforms to the zoning code. Which it does.

    Second of all, some of you still act shocked that land near a high density desirable nightlife corridor a few miles from the Capitol building of the most powerful country on Earth is expensive and is a target for development. That’s pretty much how it should be.

  • People need to calm down and let owners improve there property as they see fit. Too many nannies in DC mind your business !

  • In all honesty I didn’t think this could get worse. Sadly I was wrong.

  • To all the haters – learn your local history. The bay windows that are being built on the third and fourth floors are a very traditional DC look – if anything, they will make this project look better and more appropriate.

    The reason so many 19th century DC houses have bays and turrets in the front is not just to make it look “Victorian”. It is because the city allowed (in certain neighborhoods) the building’s main facade to be built to the property line (most houses in these areas don’t own their front yards, or didn’t originally) but then also allowed a projection – the bay or turret – to stick out into (or over) what is (or was) essentially city property.

    I am not saying this is the case with this property but it is why the bay window is a common DC bulding form. So here we have it, re-interpreted.

    Also, I am liking the cinder block wall agianst the blue sky. I hope they don’t paint it.

    And really – with all the formstone – definitely NOT a DC tradition – on that block I can see why the block isn’t in the historic district. I can only hope more of these properties are redeveloped, popped-up, and freed from that nasty stuff coating the fronts of those poor little buildings. They must be suffocating!

  • The poor little grey and green houses on the left suddenly find themselves in a canyon.

  • the DC law for bay window projections allows for bays to project no more than 4 ft beyond the property line. It’s hard to tell, but this view looks like it’s more than 4 ft (i could be wrong though). I would assume these rowhomes were built to the property line so a rightfully disgruntled neighbor should check to see how far these warts project.

    • Let me get this straight – people don’t actually own the front yards to their rowhouses?!?! It’s city property? Does that mean it’s also public property? (ie. someone can have a BBQ or hang out in your front yard, even if it’s gated)

      Is this everywhere in DC?

      That’s nuts.

      • In the original L’Enfant city (basically, South of Florida), front yards are often, though not always, owned by the city. This doesn’t mean that it’s a public right of way. In the “newer” part of the city, front yards are usually, though not always, owned by the property owner. This house is south of Florida, and so the yard is more likely to be city property. I can’t comment on whether these bay overhangs would violate some city code, even if the yard is owned by the city.

        • Gotcha. It’s a fairly interesting property rights issue. As in other places, I always knew that the area between the sidewalk and curb are city property. However, it’s kinda crazy that at these high prices, many townhouse owners don’t own their front yards (depending on location and building date).

          I guess if DC decided to widen the sidewalk on a block where no owned their front yard, the owners would be without recourse to stop the city. You’d also probably have to incur the costs of removing your fencing and replanting anything that was destroyed.

          • the recourse might be normal hearings about the project, right? has this ever happened in DC?

          • I think that usually, the city only owns part of the front yard, but they could conceivably take that to widen a road or sidewalk. I think this is somewhat unlikely because the political fallout would be intense.

      • So given ht. limitation of 65ft and FAR max. of 3.5 in C-2-B zone, I’m guessing this basically represents that largest residential structure that can be placed on this property … interesting …

  • there has got to be at least 1/4 of a hundred people that hate this place.

  • Engineers, what am I missing? How can they build such a massive cinder block wall only 1 block thick?? Steel cross beams?

  • i don’t understand why everyone has their knickers in a knot about this place. It’s a neighborhood without historical protections, which is why there are some awesome, eccentric condo buildings and houses next to mechanics, next to hipster bars, next to homes with the same owners for 40+ years, next to a coffee house, next to a maintenance facility next to a school, etc.. It’s a funky eccentric neighborhood and anything goes. with the new condo building a few doors down, and now this crazy 5-story place, the block looks awesome. And anyone from the second floor and higher is going to have million dollar views. Why are the pop out windows judged so harsh? We don’t even know what it’s all going to look like. I live around the corner, and I think it’s all kind of cool. Urban density is the best way to save green space. And what do we need, a design approval board? Can you imagine the lowest common denominator crap that would result? There are PLENTY of protected neighborhoods in DC; it’s great to live in one where the freak flag flies high.

    • Sorry, while there are plenty of million dollar homes in DC, there are no million dollar views. DC’s skyline is quite dull.

      That being said, I do agree with your general point. It is nice to have some variety.

      • That’s your opinion, I guess. But I’ve been to places in dc that have absolutely beautiful views. Views of the river, views of the Capitol, views of the cathedral, and at least from Arlington views of our “skyline”. Just because dc is unique in the hight restrictions, doesn’t mean it’s views are worth less.

        Personally i love our city and think its beautiful.

    • With emphasis on the “freak”??

      I don’t think the “individuality” argument flies with this project. This is about a developer trying to make the most money possible, with zero regard for aesthetics or for the rest of the block (and questionable regard for structural integrity).

  • can the existing brick really support two additional floors – i would just think that puts the existing and the neighboring structures at risk with two floor pop-ups like this one.

    certainly these tiny little narrow ~100yo rowhomes were not built to support that kind of weight.

  • The neighbors could put racquetball courts on their roofs, or a climbing wall, or graffiti, or…

  • So given ht. limitation of 65ft and FAR max. of 3.5 in C-2-B zone, I’m guessing this basically represents that largest residential structure that can be placed on this property … interesting …

  • Took a look at this yesterday and agree with some posters that it’s not as bad as it seems in some pictures. The surrounding area is quite eclectic, several row houses on this row already have (tasteful) pop-ups, and the builders would appear to be competent.

  • Since when do buildouts look pretty?

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