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“Dear PoPville,

Does anyone know what the waka is going on with 3228 Hiatt Pl NW? When it was last featured on PoPville back in 2011, it was nominated for the Horse’s Ass, which may have spurred on the property’s owners to achieve even greater levels of decrepitude. Rather than just letting it rot, they’ve been actively tearing off architectural details, and making and then “patching” mystifying holes in the brick facade and window openings. It’s sad to see what’s been done to this once-handsome building, and I can’t find any recent info online about the property.

I’m not normally a historic preservationist hand-wringer type, but walking by this building almost daily puts it on my mind a lot. My curiosity finally got the better of me, so I thought I’d ask around.

Thanks for any insights!”

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A reader writes:

“I walk past 1325 Irving Street NW every morning on my way to the metro and it always makes me so sad to see its shuttered and shattered windows. It has been this way for a year or so, I believe. I wondered if any of your readers know what’s going on with the property?”

Another reader digs around and finds:

“The house is owned by several family members, maybe also some kind of church or organization as well; that seem to be having conflicts over what to do with it.

Meanwhile – more galling – the house opposite – 1334 is STILL vacant!”

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Ed. Note: We last noted the property was gutted back in May 2013 and before that when a car drove into it back in May 2012.

“Dear PoPville,

This is the (former) Labamba Sub Shop, on the northwest corner of Euclid Street and Georgia Avenue NW.

From the tax records, it looks like this property was purchased or perhaps foreclosed upon by one “Uniti Bank” in late 2009 or early 2010. (The recordation date is 1/14/10.) I don’t see any indication that this property is being taxed at either the vacant rate or the blighted rate.

And it gets even more curious from there…

I had never heard of Uniti Bank. The street address in the tax records — 2479 18th Street NW — puts it in Adams Morgan, in the building that houses the takeout place North Sea. The door to the left of the North Sea entrance says “Tech Printing” in the Google Street View photo, and the sign for the third floor says “PINKY,” which I think is a manicure joint. No sign of Uniti Bank.

The website for Uniti Bank shows only three offices in California — no offices anywhere near D.C. Hmm…”

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?

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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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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.

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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.”

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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?”