Popping up on Kenyon near Georgia Avenue


A reader writes:

“This has been going up really quickly. I tried to get the contrast with how far it pops out into the alley relative to its neighbors.”


22 Comment

  • Up, and back. But who needs light and air?

    In all seriousness, I am all in favor if increased density on main thoroughfares where the taller buildings don’t block off light due to wider streets and actually improve the surrounding neighborhoods due to noise-blocking as well as additional density helping support more local businesses – look what’s going on around 14th and Quincy right now for a good idea of these types of buildings. Going up as high as you can and as far back as you can in the middle of a simple neighborhood, though… that just makes thinks uglier.

  • This looks pretty ugly and way too big, but we’ll see. The end units always seem to look better than the ones right in the middle. On a semi-related note I was running on Sherman and noticed there were at least four houses being gutted, but only one looked like it was actively being worked on!?

    • A lot of the work on these places can be pretty stop and start. It’s a ton of different contractors working on the job so work will stop for a few weeks for a specific subcontractor to do part of the job, for materials to be delivered, to pull permits, or to get inspected. Unless it’s been months it’s probably still ongoing.

  • Pretty early to tell. At least the kept the front window size consistent. One big thing is whether or not there will be a brick facade over that particle board. If it’s cheap siding, that would look horrible. And damn, that does go way back.

    • I hope they don’t go with cheap siding but I doubt they will use brick. I imagine that would be an extremely heavy and extremely expensive option. We’ll see!

      • The classy look these days would be fiber cement (Hardie board). FWIW I think that stuff actually looks pretty nice and it’s supposed to be super durable.

  • Emmaleigh504

    there goes the neighborhood

  • Sad. I guess this one got permits before the new legislation? Or that has not gone in effect yet?

  • Cool. We’ll have to see but I think this looks nice so far. That top unit will have a cool walk-out roof deck. I think places this size make a lot of sense for the blocks closest to GA Ave.

  • I am a neighbor and can say I’m pretty upset about this house. It is exceeding zoning height restrictions of 40 feet and I’m pretty sure it is exceeding zoning restrictions of not taking up more than 60% of the lot (remember that they also have to build a parking pad in back since they have two units plus, their property line starts 25 feet back from the street in front). So I am unimpressed and frustrated that despite calls to DCRA, they have yet to go out and inspect and stop these violations. I have not seen anyone in the near vicinity as blatantly disregard the zoning regulations and I can only imagine that once they get away with it, this will become the new standard – new proposed laws be damned. And never mind anyone wanting to put in solar panels. I’m having to skip it since I have no idea if this same kind of thing will pop up next to me. I can’t find a single solar dealer who will put the panels on posts, which seems like the obvious resolution. I don’t mind the popups, but I dislike the developers who disregard the law and the neighbors.

    • You do know that the zoning revision to R-4 districts prohibits popups that block solar panels, right?

    • I don’t know the address so it’s hard to say for sure, but from the pictures this does not appear to exceed 60% lot coverage. There’s a lot of space in the back and while the city retains some rights over the 25 foot “parking” in the front, that area still counts towards the unbuilt portion of a house’s lot. It also does not look to exceed 40 feet.
      Yes, some developers either fail to get permits or build beyond the scope of their permits, but just because you do not like a house does not mean it’s illegal.

    • You can also very easily get a variance to go to 62.5% of lot coverage I think

    • The R-4 downzoning (case 14-11) has passed one vote by the Zoning Commission (by a narrow 3-2 vote) but there will be a second vote next month before anything becomes final. So any currently permitted development project is still operating under the R-4 zoning rules that have been the law for decades. When and if new regulations for R-4 zones are finalized, there could be a grace period of several months (we’ve heard perhaps as long as 18 months) during which developers (and yes even home owners) can continue to work under the old rules.

    • Except those buildings are the same height as neighboring buildings so this isn’t at all the same. Also as discussed above they are very unlikely to use brick.

  • I really have never had that much problems with pops like this but none of the developers seem to be able to marry the old with the new in such a way as to not look cheap and/or badly executed. I always thought if they spent the time, and yes a bit more money, to make it look like a mansard roof they would blend better and not look so big and out of place. The sharp cut between the old and new just draws the attention and cuts it in half.

  • The address of the property is 710 Kenyon Street NW and so you all know – they ARE NOT using brick. They are installing cheap ugly siding on the property. I know this, because like the other commenter who posted about how large the property is compared to the lot, I am a neighbor. There is nothing pleasant about what they are doing to this house and to our neighborhood and if you lived near or adjacent to it, you’d feel the same way. GA Avenue doesn’t need more condos. We liked the nice family that lived in this home prior to it being purchased from them for a laughable amount of money so some developers could make a quick buck and ruin our street.

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