Eyesore at 9th and O St, NW Finally For Sale in Shaw

Image via google maps. Note currently the building has been painted gray.

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“This horse’s a++ is finally for sale. Old carry out corner of 9th and O. Across from Cambria Suites hotel and Azi’s Cafe.”

The Craigslist ad says:

1400 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Bedrooms: 2 Beds
Bathrooms: No Baths
Floors: 2
Parking: None Other
Laundry: None
Lot Size: 1300 Square Feet
Property Type: Multi-Family
Potential Investment opportunity, near new hotels ,grocery, convention center.
Historic District
Zoned CR2
Former Restaurant/Carry Out with apartments. .needs a developer with a vision

43 Comment

  • What a bargain!

    • Yeah, is that a serious listing? Seems crazy expensive for the structure but I guess it’s all about that location across from the O Street Market condoplex.

      • This has to be a greedy, unrealistic seller. Even if this place needed no work at all and was ready to rent (and obviously it needs serious work) in order to earn a 5% return on a $5 million investment, you’d have to be able to rent the space for $21,000 a month.

  • Almost certainly a tear down, so is this land worth $5M for the commercial zoning and the ability to go up a couple more stories? That area is blowing up, but this seems pretty high.

    • Yeah, but it’s in the historic district, so you’d need a special permit to raze it, then anything new is going to be subject to HPRB, which is going to increase costs tremendously. So maybe mixed use with a bunch of million dollar condos on top?

      • Yes, the structure is blighted but local lore says the owner attempted to replace windows but because the building is in a historic district, local neighbors made a fuss & worked stopped completely several years ago.

  • If we’re talking eyesores , what about that church across the street?

    • How is that church an eyesore? It’s a beautiful, unique, well-maintained, active building.

    • Pretty sure the church and adjacent parking lot has been sold and is slated for redevelopment. I don’t have links handy, though.

  • $5Million??? Are they just listing it b/c they are getting heat from the city? That’s nuts.

  • the area is booming but i don’t think the land is worth that much.

  • seems high imo

  • $5 million on Craig’s list? Seems like a serious attempt to sell the place….

  • I love that they’re trying to sell it on Craigslist. Maybe it’ll come with a bunch of old IKEA furniture too! To Anon 4:21, the church across the street has already been sold to a developer.

  • This is a way for the owner to list is as ‘for sale’ and probably postpone paying their deserved blight tax. Stupid DCRA will fall for it too.

    • So what’s the purpose of this? I mean, it wouldn’t sell for $5,000,000 but it seems like it may well sell for $1 million. So who’s the owner of this property who prefers to hang onto this vacant property and jump through all these hoops to keep it away from the blight tax, rather than have a clean sale and earn hundreds of thousands, if not a million, dollars? What am I missing?

      • it wont go down in value anytime soon.

      • Look at the properties on eastern U st that people just sat on waiting for development to approach. He could sell that shell today for 500k or wait a few years when the pickings are slimmer and sell for 700. In the meantime, just alternate between setting it for sale, then for ‘lease’ then pull a permit and replace a window to stay one step ahead of the blight tax.

        I’ve seen developers/investors do this loop for 5-6 years on a property and DCRA will never enforce blight. If you attempt to call and fax dozens of times to get them to tax the property correctly, you’ll see it listed as blighted for one round, then removed from the list even though nothing changed.

        I’ve seen enough shady wilful ignorance from this department to believe the pay to play comment below is still in full effect. Maybe DCRA could save us all some time and just post their offices’ current bribe rates online.

        (ie, Structural permit is $ plus $-$$ gets approval in 1 week, $$-$$$ gets next day approval, and for $$$$ you can build whatever the f you want, where you want and how you want)

        • Why all these accusations about bribery? This is a loophole pure and simple.

          • If not bribery, then gross incompetence. Read the regulations and the reasons for not paying the blight tax and take a look at the time limits. Most buildings like this have long since blown past all time limits. When you look at their history, you see them entering and exiting the blight list (even though legally they should never have been removed) ever year or two. When this happens the clock resets (though it shouldn’t) on the property and the owner can step through the hoops again. Given the apparent ease and frequency that these buildings exit the list its clear that DCRA isn’t doing ANY checks or drive by to see if the owner i submitting factually accurate documentation. So your choices, gross incompetence/laziness or corruption.

  • Eyesore sounds like a great name for an American-style eatery that serves small plates, $15 burgers, $7 cans of PBR, and $15 artisan, free-range cocktails. The neighborhood is ready for this.

  • I’m sure the land is worth a lot… but not that much.

  • Even on 9th Street this property is not worth $1 million, and is assessed below $500k.

    About nine months ago they posted a plastic “For Sale” sign and told people the price was $3.5 million. This is only so that they can contest the DCRA vacant property tax rate, they have zero interest in selling. In a month, they’ll go down to DCRA, hand over their customary $100 bribe to some old buddy, and the tax rate will be reset. What makes me say a bribe? Go look at their tax records, the property has repeatedly been up for tax sale and assessed either vacant or derelict tax rates, but the official record from time to time gets wiped so all that appears is years of faithfully paying the low tax rate.

    • the assessment is irrelevant to its market value, and you are smoking something if you don’t think this land is worth at least $1M.

  • Ask Jim Graham about how this works

  • Anyone know how long someone can play this game of avoiding blight taxes by passively listing a place for sale or lease? The former Horse’s A$$ at 300 Florida Ave NW has been doing this for months now. DCRA came out for an inspection, declared it a blighted property, and then suddenly a few signs appeared. No effort whatsoever to actually improve that place or the one across from it

  • brookland_rez

    I hope they save the historic facade in whatever gets built there.

  • What a waste. Maybe to avoid this practice of a passive attempt to sell to avoid the blighted tax there should be an increased assessed property tax based on the asking price. Not an immediate jump, but if a property owner lists a property over a certain percentage above the assessed value (in this case over 12 times as much) for a period over maybe 6 months (a year?), then the tax assessment should be assessed at that asking price. Obviously, no rules are going stop the alleged corruption mentioned in the comments.

    • that’s actually a really good idea that addresses a very real challenge in trying to put in place regulations that would keep this from happening that wouldn’t punish homeowners who were legitimately trying to get difficult properties rehabbed.

    • I think they should just limit the number and length of exemptions. Vacant property gets a single twelve month exemption, and then gets taxed at the vacant rate. Blighted property gets six months. Blighted property that gets brought out of blighted status goes directly to vacant status if it’s still unoccupied.

      No exceptions, no extensions. Fix the property, sell it, or pay the vacant/blighted rate.

  • How do we change the blight tax law?

    • get a council member to introduce legislation, then get enough members to vote for it. Not going to be easy, given the amount of money developers/owners of blighted properties donate to the council, but there are some ethics-minded folks on or coming to the council so it could just work.

      I like the idea that if a place is listed as blighted and put for sale at a multiple of the assessed value and doesn’t sell within 6 months the assessment goes up to to the sale price but wonder if that would be enough of a deterrent. I’d rather just have the city aggressively enforce tax sales when there’s a larger lien. I’m not talking about an old lady who forgot to pay a single $300 bill but some of these long-standing issues, especially on commercial properties..

  • DCRA rules require you to certify that the owner is actively seeking to rent or sell the building, and present a listing agreement with realty agent contact information AND MRIS or MLS electronic listing. No evidence that there has ever been a MRIS or MLS listing, yet the vacatn/blighted rate keeps getting removed. Hmm. Also, the form indicates that the owner/agent is certifying that the information is correct “that the owner is actively seeking to sell or rent the building” or face “further penalties” from filing a false statement.


    Yet, for some reason, no delinquent landlord is being prosecuted. Hmm.

  • New ‘For Sale’ banner by Papadopoulos Properties. I think this signifies a legitimate desire to sell.

Comments are closed.