Dear PoPville – 12 Volt Electronics Building for Sale in Mt. Vernon Square, Could 6 Stories be Added?


“Dear PoPville,

Noticed this listing in Mt Vernon Square. The business was busted last year for dealing in stolen goods.

The listing states zoning will allow for up to 6 stories for construction. How can they add 6 stories it the structure w the Sonata condos on the right w windows that would be blocked? Or am I just missing something?

Address: 309 Northwest H Street
Price: $1,500,000″

14 Comment

  • “How can they add 6 stories it the structure w the Sonata condos on the right w windows that would be blocked?”
    Simple, they block the windows.

  • Sonata Board should acquire to prevent that from happening but might cause a special assessment to owners and not many units.

  • Just because it has a zoning label does not mean its actually buildable. Certain hieghts have to be built on a certain footprint with various set backs etc required. Due to lot size, some will never be ‘built out” to existing zoning. As for window, I would guess Sonata knows they can’t built out/up so the windows are there. However, there are times when a side of a building is considered “at risk” meaning a building can be built in very close prximity. A seller is supposed to disclose that to the buyer.

  • I expected to dig into the property records and see some weird issues with property line and window placements, but these look to be put right along the property line in direct violation of DC code. I’m also sure these windows are a second form of egress for the units.

  • Holy crap! That’s 72 Volts! How’d they get the power to do that?! Sorry, had to be posted.

  • Too bad for the Sonata. It’s just like an ugly pop up, except a much, much closer view for the neighbors. Ah, urban density.

    • +1. Another pop-up. When will the insanity end?

      • Pop up? Really? It’s a crap-tastic one-story building in the heart of one of DC’s downtown neighborhoods and you’re comparing it to a residential top-off? DC is going to continue to grow, people, and an underutilized lot is an underutilized lot, especially in a location like Mt. Vernon. In terms of architecture, you can’t do any worse than 12 Volt, which looks like a billboard with a door…

        • It’s not going to be a pop-up. They would likely just demo the current building and start from scratch. I’m pretty sure the building next door will buy it to prevent them from building up. It means more to them than anyone else.

          In DC property owners can block the windows if somebody puts them right on the property line. In some other cities it’s different. So if you build an extension on the back of your row house and it has a window on the side of your house then the neighbor may have X number of years to build something blocking that window. If they don’t build in that time then the view is protected. That takes out some of the uncertainty.

  • this is the risk you take when you put windows directly facing a property line.

    this could really screw over the adjacent building with respect to egress requirements.

  • It’s possible that the building bought the air development rights to the volt shop. That would prevent them from popping up and make the window issue moot.

  • The Tunnel liquor store next door should buy it and expand. Perhaps they could start selling artisinal cheese? A wider assortment of local craft beers?

  • Perfectly legal and ok by zoning to build up for that property. The Sonata will need to buy the air rights to that building in order to prevent them from building up. That’ll be a pretty hefty assessment but it’s happened a lot more than you realize.

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