Will Blighted Bacon Funeral Home Property Ever Progress?

3449 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Any movement on the Bacon Funeral Home property? This ‘construction project’ has been on going on for 6 years, and it has been well over 6 months since Jim Graham’s response (Dec 2013) yet it still continues to sit with no tangible action. The new timeline feature on Google maps certainly highlights this fiasco. I wonder if this will continue to languish in its current state now that Graham did not win re-election. It is painstakingly obvious that this project will never be finished, so what is the city prepared to do?”

Maybe there will be a new opportunity with a new Council Member here to kick start some progress? I’m not holding my breath but certainly worth giving to give the new CM a chance first?

18 Comment

  • Probably not in my opinion… The era of DC being a murder capital are gone, the Bullets changed their name, I doubt there’s enough business to support such a massive building, especially when they only cater to dead bacon.

  • I have contacted Graham repeatedly. He can’t keep his story straight, he says he took action that can be proven to have never been taken, he lies about (or completely misunderstands, which is almost as bad) the permit process, and generally attempts to bury questioners in horseshit with a smile on top.
    I’ve also tried with the ANCs– first Laina Aquiline, who acted like it was nothing to do with her, and then when Lain left town I talked to Morgan Corr, who blew me off with the standard “I’ll look into it” followed by silence. I don’t know what their excuse is.
    The new CM is a new hope, I suppose.

  • I just don’t understand why they don’t sell it. Interest rates are super low, so prices are high. They probably would clear a couple million for it. They obviously don’t have the funding to develop it, so why hold onto it? If anything, it’s just costing them money in annual property taxes.

  • i walked by yesterday and fantasized about organizing a flash mob with sledge hammers to demolition the building.

  • Another thing I want to know: Bacon Funeral Home currently has an outstanding property tax bill of $146,698.62 that they owe to city. How can they continue to own this parcel with such a massive outstanding payment due?

    It appears that there was a tax sale in 2010, but it seems Bacon somehow retained control of the lot.

  • They have a beautiful new fleet of vehicles that consists of a Cadillac, a large van, and an impressive hearse. I guess paying the outstanding tax bill is optional?

    I have spoken to their staff when they are coming and going from the building. I’m not saying they should be on the television show Hoarders, but there was something a little off about them.

    Bonus if we can get the Exxon station owner on Otis and 14th to sell!

    • I like having a gas station in the neighborhood. It’s reasonably priced. Granted there are people who hang out there, but they have never bothered me like groups that hang at other sections of this 14th street strip. If a gas station is to go, perhaps the one near 14th and Euclid.

    • The gas station provides a valuable service. Do I go there after dark? Uh-uh. But I definitely use it and don’t have any trouble with it.
      Bacon is straight up blight. No redeeming value at all.

    • Speaking of real estate, blight, and gas stations, anyone want to bet which will happen first?
      a) Bacon Funeral Home gets reno’d
      b) Joe Mamo sells off / develops his lot at Florida and NCap

  • I’ve about given up on the DCRA Vacant Building Enforcement Unit. There’s no transparency, they do a terrible job of releasing updated information, and they get gamed by people all of the time. How is it possible that this building is not listed as vacant or blighted? It was blighted back in 2012. Now it’s class 02 commercial. I hope our next mayor makes problem properties like this a priority.

  • The Bacon Funeral Home is essentially a monument to DC’s self-governance. Because I have to look at it everyday, I submitted a FOIA request regarding the property. (That in itself didn’t go so well. First, because DCRA has dead links and nonexistent email addresses for their designated FOIA officer. Second, because despite the 30-day statutory response time, they repeatedly missed deadlines for over 6 months and only sent me documents after an administrative appeal for their inaction, to the Mayor’s counsel.) Here, in a nutshell, is what I learned- For a period of time back in 2010 and 2011, CM Graham and ANC reps did put a good bit of pressure on DCRA to take action. DCRA repeatedly dropped the ball, up to and including the former Director (Nicholas Majett) being nagged by his own staffers for failing to respond to Graham and failing to look into the property. Each time the Bacons offered up some weak excuse along the lines of “we’re getting financing and will start back building,” DCRA bought it. As far as I can tell, DCRA has never issued any violations whatsoever for the property. The only actions seem to have been minor quibbles over the scope and expiration of the various construction permits. Graham tried, unsuccessfully, to broker the pathetic mitigation action of allowing local artists to paint temporary murals on the front barrier, but Bacon nixed even that.

    Graham has long claimed that the city has limited legal authority to seize and mitigate blighted properties. Yet anyone who lives nearby knows that the building is in constant violation of basic codes, most notably with wide-open access from the rear and sometimes front. This is a city that will ticket the same parked car repeatedly for some minor violation, yet can’t manage to use its existing authority to cite an awful and dangerous eyesore like this. When I first contacted DCRA’s vacant buildings staff, they had never even heard of this property. In 2013. Only recently did OTR manage to start ratcheting up the tax pressure, and of course Bacon will get away with never paying those bills.

    This place harbors a huge rat population and vagrants. It’s no coincidence that a disproportionate number of businesses in its view have gone belly up and remain vacant, or that drug dealers operate with impunity just outside of it. Yet, the Bacons are still in business and just go right on using the back of the construction site to park their ever-growing fleet of Cadillacs. I know the dominant culture of this city and its government won’t change overnight, but here’s hoping Brianne can clean things up a bit, somehow!

    • I wonder if local businesses can get together and file suit against them. This stretch of 14th could be so much more, but I’ve heard plenty of people state that they do not want to look at blight while brunching. Wonder how much it would take to prove a detrimental effect on other business. That eyesore pretty much kills that block– it feels unsafe, and as Paul states, it draws rodents and criminal activity.

    • Thanks Paul for your diligence and commitment to making our neighborhood a better place. The Bacon Funeral home is the definition of DC’s long standing issues with inconsistent enforcement and special treatment for some busineses.

  • When was the last time PoP ran a Horse’s Ass contest? This structure would be among the finalists for sure, if not the winner.

  • I don’t want to jinx anything, but walking down the alley this morning I saw 2 workers in the unfinished portion of the Bacon Funeral Home. They had a small front loader like they were going to do some excavation.

    Perhaps movement on this place will be Grahams farewell legacy?

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