11 Comment

  • I don’t understand all of these vacant commercial properties on Georgia Ave. I can’t imagine it makes much financial sense to hang on to these and not develop them or just sell them. Maybe I’m missing something obvious.

    • DC planned a streetcar route going up 7th/Georgia that has since been scrapped/put on indefinite hold. Investors bought out properties along Georgia hoping for an eventual payoff akin to what happened around H st, but ROI isn’t as clear now that the city reneged on its own promised infrastructure investment.

    • Slowly but surely the vacant and/or run down storefronts on Georgia near the metro are being developed, and the development is moving away from the metro in both directions. If you have property down by Howard, you think it’s just a matter of time before something bigger is coming your way, and have the scratch to keep paying the taxes in the meantime, it makes sense to hold on to the property. I’m sure that some percentage of these holding costs are being deducted as investment expenses.

      Also, you have to consider what can be done with a particular property. I’m not sure that I would invest any money in a new restaurant, bar, or retail space on that corner. But if I got hold of that corner and a couple of other properties on that block, I would throw up a building with market rentals in a heartbeat. Some of these storefronts may be sitting vacant because what the owner can do on his or her own isn’t economically viable, and they may be waiting for someone with a bigger plan to come along and buy them out. And of course, once you find out that someone wants or needs your place to complete a plan to build something bigger, the price is going to go up.

  • I wonder that too. I live right off Princeton in Parkview and we have a boarded up property two doors down. Its a disaster and getting taxed at the blighted rate. The owner is up to date on the taxes and its in the 10s of thousands annually. One point last summer the owner pulls up in a mercedes to meet some contractors. I actually knew one of the guys and he said the owner was getting bids on the house. It needed a full gut. He said he was definitely intererested in buying as flipped houses around us are now going for 800k. But then absolutely nothing happened. I have no idea how it makes sense to pay 20-30k/annually in taxes when contractors are ready to hand you 400k in cash for your rat trap house. And because the owners actually do pay the taxes there is nothing we can do. I know from the line of work I am in that as far as commercial properties go, you would surprised how many are owned by family trusts from way way back in the day and the kids/trustees live no where near here and no one is bothering to deal with the businesses.

  • I thought this was going to be a restaurant / bar with a roof deck. It looks like they created an opening for doors on the second level. I wondered if the developer / owner ran into trouble getting a liquor license since the building is so close to a high school.

  • Excellent (on the property getting hit with a much-deserved “Vacant” designation). I wonder if the PoPville publicity prompted DCRA to come take a look? I meant to forward the PoPville page to Brianne Nadeau but hadn’t gotten around to it.

  • It has confounded me for a few years how that space hasn’t been gobbled up and renovated.

  • Looks like some good lumber in there. If it’s not exposed to the elements above, I’d like to get my hands on it!

  • I’ve seen a lot of these signs around. I’ve never seen them before. Is this a new campaign by the city (finally) to collect the higher tax rate?

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