What’s Going on at the Former Italian embassy on 16th Street?


“Dear PoPville,

My husband and I were walking home past the former Italian embassy at 2700 16th street, and these signs were posted. It’s been marked vacant as of today, 5/28 and the white flyer on the right lists violations for overgrowth of the yard and graffiti. Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve noticed any work being done since maybe last summer, but this seemed like it was going to be such a cool development and use of a great old building!

Curious if you or anyone else knows what’s going on here.”

7 Comment

  • It has definitely been the case that the city seems to be having a push to ID vacant property. I assume they are doing that based on either lack of payment of taxes or whether they or someone seems to think a property is unoccupied. My cynical take was this was based on what someone (neighbor or hopeful developer) thought and not though any rigorous ID process (my even more cynical take is that the developers via DCRA were doing this to shake some potential projects out in the more desirable/lucrative areas). There were three of those notices on houses on the Hill that I saw. I think that in fact at least 2 were occupied, though they didn’t “look” occupied from the outside, because the notices came down in less than a week.

  • It seems DC has done a whole ton of labelling of vacant properties in the last couples weeks. I’ve seen those signs all over NW. Probably a precursor to adjusting taxes.

    • They have been VERY aggressive in labeling these recently, even on properties that are currently under renovation (with the proper permits on display) which I thought was the prime exception for vacant status. I hope this is a wide net to crack down on people trying to evade the vacancy tax (which has been far too easy to do i the past). There is probably no other single statute they could enforce that would bring in more money to the city and motivate owners to clean up their abandoned property or sell to someone who will.

      As for the former Italian embassy property: I think this is the 3rd or 4th attempt to get these redeveloped in the past decade or so. There was a very flashy promo campaign sometime right before the housing crash for new “luxury” residences with some dopey Italian tagline (“The Palazzo” or similar). When that was foreclosed on it was sold and another attempt was made but I guess that has fallen through as well. A shame, because the property could be gorgeous again.

      • Yeah but, all the properties I’ve seen these signs on — long overdue, including this smoldering heap. Not what I would call aggressive. More like “patience has worn thin.”

  • Seems like “The Flats at Il Palazzo” is still a go. IIRC ownership changed hands once HPRB recommended stopping the old development from going forward.

  • It’s about time. Why wasn’t this done years ago?

  • The redevelopment of this site is back on track. The developer – Mill Creek Development – was at a recent ANC meeting to introduce themselves.

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