Bloomingdale Scuttlebutt: 9 one bedroom apartments and a restaurant coming to 1700 2nd Street, NW

2nd and Florida Ave, NW

One reader passes on some scuttlebutt about the renovation that has started at 1700 2nd St, NW:

“Rumor has it that it will be 9 one bedroom apartments and then a restaurant on the ground floor. As is the nature of a rumor I can’t confirm any of this… but just seeing that this place is getting attention is great news.”

And thanks to another reader, Caitlin, for sending the photos. Stay tuned for more info and updates on the renovation as construction progresses.


31 Comment

  • This is great news. It’s disturbing how many places in Bloomingdale are vacant or abandoned. There are about 6 houses within one block of my house alone. I wonder how hard developers are trying to get their hands on these places, cause I hope they succeed.

    • really? i can’t think of any blocks in bloomingdale that have 6 empty houses.

    • Trust me, developers are trying very, VERY hard to get their hands on these properties. Usually its a combination of families who do not want to sell for whatever reason (or who can’t agree with each other if it’s in probate), people who have unrealistic expectations on pricing (no, your rotted out shell of a 3BR/2BA is not going to sell for the same price as the newly renovated 3BR/2BA next door), or buyers simply not being able to track down who actually owns these properties (it happens more than you think). Look up the tax records on houses you would like to see movement on; if they are abandoned make sure they are being taxed at the appropriate rate and then lobby the city to slap the blighted designation on them if they are in truly terrible shape. It can usually get things jump started when yearly taxes make a 10x leap in a single year.

      • Yup! The house next door to the house I’m renting in Eckington has been vacant for a very long time, we have been calling the city because of squatters in it, and they finally slapped it with $5000 tax increase. I’d actually like to purchase it myself!

    • where do you live? people are bombarding me with obnoxious demands to buy my house… can i send them over by you?

  • This place was/is a real $hitbag… looking forward to the renovations! I hope hope HOPE they take some time and re-landscape the massive concrete area out in front. I recognize that they might not be able to depending on where the property line is… looks like there might be an opportunity to put in a new tree box though…

    • The property line stops at the face of the building unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean they could get permitting to use the space for seating and maybe even planters, etc.

      Glad to see they are back to work on the place…I think there was a stop work order at one point.

      • maybe this is where the restaurant rumor came from… it certainly would make a nice patio once cleaned up a bit.

  • i walk by this place at night very regularly. i would love to see some nighttime activity and street life here.

    still, this area of florida avenue is a hard sell for retail. it’s a bit dreary, even in the daytime. it’s a bit canyon like with narrow sidewalks and speeding cars.
    the 200 block of florida has a bunch of buildings that could really become something.

    • not for long. y’all should have seen 7th and Pennsylvania SE when my friend bought her house. only Banana Cafe and a Popeyes around there and was sketchy sketchy… now it’s Barracks Row…. it won’t take long.

      • actually, i remember when banana cafe opened and there were a bunch of other places on 8th street se then. the trattoria was there, las placitas, a great but greasy dinner, a decent chinese restaurant, the soup/icecream place. 8th street was not as desolate as this stretch of florida, at least in the past 20 years.

  • I heard they were going to cover it with Formstone, add metal awnings, and turn it into a funeral home. Or did I get that backwards and confused with a different intersection?

  • I’m just happy that the metal monstrosities on the windows were removed.

    +1 on the need for use of the gigantic concrete space out front. If the property line ends at the front of the building, does this mean that DC owns that triangle? Who do I lobby for some kind of greenery or improvement to that space?

    Speaking of awkward concrete triangles, I’m hoping someone develops the empty lot (the one with the “for rent” sign) across Florida Avenue from this place. And the retail space for sale at 3rd and Florida. And the Horse’s Ass Nominee across the street from that. And…

    • +1000….. on all of those. I would encourage you to write to DCRA and include the ANC member (in this case it’s Teri Janine Quinn)

  • Glad to see people embracing the neighborhood improvement and not bashing it as another sign of gentrification. A few great restaurants and shops can change the entire neighborhood.

    The other possibility regarding the blighted and abandoned houses is that large developers/speculators buy them through shell companies and let them sit empty in order to keep down valuations in the neighborhood while they scoop up many properties. Once the developer, or group, has amassed a significant number of properties, they can begin development and increase their value, sell, and make significant profits. A project like this is a sign that prices have bottomed out and you’ll probably see a lot of development across the neighborhood.

    • I think we’ve already seen a lot of development across the neighborhood. But yes I think this is particularly a good sign about the Florida Avenue retail strip. Now we need traffic calming on Florida, like an island in the middle and a light at R street.

    • Ummm, hello Spike. it is gentrification if you believe it or not. I dont know how long you’ve been in the neighborhood but I’ve been here for the past 10+ years and believe me, it is gentrified. Now, before you say I don’t know what i’m talking about, I’ve been in the development world for 10+ years as a consultant and developer. Bloomingdale is the classic case study of class gentrification. It’s not always about race. I do have to say, I feel like I’m in Boise, Portland,Madison, Scranton or Salt Lake City every time I step out of my house. There are white people everywhere, with yoga pants, mats, baby carriages and all. For the record, not all gentrifiers are white but majority are. Another thing, I strongly, strongly employ people (white and black) who move into these gentrifying neighborhoods (Bloomingdale, Eckington, Petworth, NOMA (my ass) Shaw, Trinindad, LeDroit, H street area, and now Kingman park to learn about the history of your neighborhoods.

  • I hope they don’t build another horrible Bloomingdale “bump up” addition on the roof!

    • If done well, that wouldn’t bother me at all. The building is not all that special, and as a corner building, it could use something extra going on. They’re able to pop up matter of right.

  • See this comment from the ANC, which was posted on the Bloomingdale email list:

    Late last week, Commissioner Quinn spoke with the new owner of 1700 2nd Street, NW. The owner, an experienced developer, plans to develop the long vacant building into 8 one bedroom condominiums, with the possibility of adding an additional studio unit in the basement of the building. One of the issues Quinn addressed with the owner was neighborhood concern over the impact on parking in an area which often has few available parking spaces. Quinn asked the owner to consider incorporating a bike garage into the building’s design to make the building more attractive to buyers who do not own cars. Creating a special storage space within the building for bikes is especially important as one bedroom condos are not likely to have a convenient place to store a bike out of sight. The owner was extremely receptive to the bike garage idea and committed to investigate the idea further with his construction team. The owner indicated that neighbors should expect to see the renovations extend to the exterior of the building as well, including new grassy/planted areas in place of some of the concrete that surrounds the building. The owner also noted that he has received some interest in the commercial space located on the first floor of the building. The interested parties have made inquiries about the feasibility of a café or bistro in that location. Quinn noted that the more neighborhood centric a commercial proposal is, the more likely that the neighbors would support the idea, especially given the parking woes that might come with a destination restaurant. She also noted the strong community support Bloomingdale businesses have enjoyed.

    This building has long been a source of concern to neighbors. It has been vacant for years and has often been a target for graffiti and left unsecured. Within the last week, the owner removed a low hanging exterior staircase which trespassers have long used to access the roof and other parts of the building. The building has been under construction for the last couple months. To date, the owner has been very responsive to requests to address issues related to the construction work and securing the work site. The units are expected to hit the market summer 2013. Quinn will meet with the owner again in a couple weeks and expects maintain contact with the owner throughout the project. Stay tuned for more news on this project as it progresses.

    • Thanks for posting. I’m excited for any commercial development and would be thrilled with a local cafe, but let’s not rule out “destination restaurants”…

  • Adding green space on the roof would be nice.

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