bacon_funeral_home
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?

IMG_2272
3449 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I was wondering about the progress on the Bacon Funeral Home at 3449 14th St. NW, and wonder if you have any information regarding recent developments on this property. From your last blog post on 03/21/13, Bacon Funeral Home was given 30 days to enclose the building by the city council. In any case that this did not occur, (still remains open to the elements) it would forward this matter on to DCRA. 30 days has already occurred, many times over.

I find it frustrating that we are talking about raising the building height restriction in DC, when developments like the Bacon property are left to languish for years without repercussion. Imagine if a huge, towering development like Louis at 14th and U had all the issues that Bacon Funeral Home has had. This sets a terrible precedent for other property owners and developers.”

Ed. Note: I’ll tweet this query to Council Member Jim Graham’s office and DCRA and post any updates they send. Anyone else hear anything about the status?

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07/16/13 4:00pm

537 FL Ave NW 02

“Dear PoPville,

I’d like to nominate 537 Florida Ave NW for a Horse’s Ass Award. It’s right across the street from Shaw’s Tavern, so you’d think that the potential revenue alone would get a developer going on this thing. Not so much! It was bought in March 2012 by a developer, and has been pretty much dormant ever since. You can see right through it – it’s open to the elements at least in front (where it is without windows on the top level). That tree out front continues to grow, undermining the façade as it does. The rickety wood stoop may have seen better days at some point, but I’m not sure when that was. If the yellowed piece of mail hanging out of the door slot is any indication, nobody’s even been inside for a while.

537 FL Ave NW 03

Exception number one: homeless people, who use the flimsy basement apartment entrance at will. I’ve seen them sleeping there, nestled just feet from the nearby bus stop. Exception number two: the rats, which I’ve seen clawing their way in with little care for anyone who may stop them. The strangest thing is that the houses on either side are perfectly fine – the one on the left is almost done being remodeled, and looks very nice!

The other thing that irks me – this place is being taxed at the normal tax rate. There’s a construction permit in the window from ages ago (probably from around the time they put that sagging banner up there). That must have been enough to keep DCRA from prying any further. They need to start prying again – this place clearly meets the criteria for blight.”

07/02/13 4:00pm

lenin_u_st_2007
1357 U Street, NW in 2007

“Dear PoPville,

Any idea about what’s going on with the old State of the Union Building at 1357 U St?

Looks like there were plans 4 years ago to develop a swanky lounge. But I walk by it every day on the way to & from the metro and nothing positive seems to be happening there, and the “Kindred Lounge” web site from 2009 is no longer active. The building is still boarded up and still smells like pee pee. As it gets hotter, the smell is unbearable. It’s hard to imagine that, with so much development going on all around it, this building would sit blighted for so long.

But wait! Mystery! As of March, DCRA lists 1357 U as a Class 4 Blighted property, presumably the naughtiest of the classes. Curiously, although DCRA also lists it as unregistered, I couldn’t find it on any of the DCRA public auction lists for the past few years and there still seem to be realty signs on it, so clearly someone thinks they have it registered and are trying (albeit half-assed) to sell it.

Might anyone in PoPville know anything about this smelly eyesore?”

Bacon_Funeral_Home_columbia_heights
14th and Meridian Pl, NW

From CM Jim Graham:

I wanted to share with you an update on the empty building at the Bacon Funeral Home at 3449 14th St., NW.

As you may know, for years I have been involved and worked to have this dreadful cinder block shell finished and put to productive use. District agencies have responded. The Office of Tax and Revenue placed the highest real estate tax possible on the property, the blighted rate. This has also come before DCRA’s Board for the Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings, which took up the matter on November 14 and ordered that the building be secured, windows and doors boarded up and a missing portion of the roof replaced.

On Wednesday, March 13 the condition of the structure was again taken up by the Board. I was holding a hearing but a member of my staff attended. Documentation was presented showing the windows and doors have been secured, but a significant portion of the roof is still open to the elements and has not been enclosed.

The Board again took action and approved a motion to wait for thirty days to allow the owner to take concrete steps to enclose the roof. After thirty days the request will be forwarded to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Branch to do this work. In other words, if the owner does not put a roof on the building, the city will hire a contractor to complete the entire roof and charge the owner by placing a lien on the property.

There was a welcome announcement. Counsel representing Mr. Bacon informed the Board that financing to resume construction on the property is moving forward and presented a letter of commitment from a bank and closing is expected by the end of the month. I am certain this is welcome news to all.

Securing the building is necessary but not enough. I have received multiple complaints over the years that this building is an eyesore to the community of benefit to no one. I commend the owners for their efforts to finally get this building finished and look forward to the day I can share that news.

03/13/13 4:00pm

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Dear PoPville,

Curious to know if you know the story with this house at: 1402 12th St, NW. Certainly not horse’s ass status, but the facade has looked like that for as long as I’ve known it. I had heard a rumor that it was covered in copper, which was stolen/stripped(?), but even if that’s true, I don’t know why it’s been left like this. Any idea?

This was actually nominated for a horse’s ass award back in July 2010.

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03/11/13 4:00pm

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Multiple readers have sent in this property at the corner at 8th and Webster St, NW. One writes:

“I remember you showcasing it in Good Deal or No Deal a few months back. There were quite a few comments. I drive past this house everyday and I noticed about 3 weeks ago it was totally gutted and the roof was removed. Soon there after, a orange sign was posted over the existing permits. All work stopped at that point. Is that orange sign a stop work order? Did they not have the proper permits? This is depressing and a huge eyesore.”

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Ed. Note: This was a GDoN post back in Dec. 2011.

Here’s what it looked like in 2011:

4327_8th_st_nw

02/21/13 2:00pm

The reader writes:

It is located at 300 Florida Ave NW… there are several building permits in the window, but there hasn’t been any substantive work done on the place in at least a year and from the PIVS documents it looks like they “planned” to start construction back in 2006 with the issue of their first permit to turn the building into a restaurant. However, it just sits vacant these days. The basement windows are all broken, and I can only guess that this property needs serious work inside. Giving credit where credit is due… PIVS does have a new permit for “supplemental/plumbing and gas” issued on 1/30/2013, but forgive me for being skeptical of the sincerity of this request. The number of building permits issued in the past doesn’t give me any faith that work will start soon.