Horse’s Ass Award Nominee Getting Fixed Up at 329 Rhode Island Ave NE

Below the reader, Steven Conn, details the process he took to encourage the property owners improve or sell the blighted property.

“Dear PoP,

I am just happy that the building is being returned to being a productive member of society.

1. My community members and I urge DCRA to designate the property as blighted (composed evidence with pictures, etc)
2. DCRA agrees to blight the property after my neighbors and I convinced the Board of Unsanitary and Condemned Buildings at one of their hearings.
3. The building owner panicked, and went back to previous buyers that he previously declined offers from, and asked if they were still interested (so he could sell it before he had to pay the increased, blighted taxes)
4. Before buying the building, Ramin Bassam (principal of PERS Development) reached out to neighbors and I to see if we would support an effort to get DCRA to temporarily lift the “blighted status” so he could get financing to re-develop the building (apparently banks won’t give financing for re-development of blighted buildings).
5. Neighbors and I agreed that if Ramin Bassam would agree to 1) not seek public financing keep all financing private, and not seek public financing which would bring with it Section 8 housing, etc 2) begin construction by 30SEP10, and 3) keep the previous owner from being a going concern in retail planning etc, that we would support the appeal to DCRA to temporarily lift the blighted status of the building so he could secure his financing
6. Ramin agreed to our 3 criteria, and we went forward to lobby DCRA to temporarily lift the blighted status, which they did two weeks ago (tomorrow).
7. Ramin got his financing the next day, closed on the bldg the following day, and started re-hab (first he has to clear out the debris) the following Monday!

So, it turned into a success story (so far so good), that hopefully other communities may use to abate their streets of vacant buildings owned by negligent landlords!”

Here is the article from DCmud about the new developer. Ed. Note: The article incorrectly gives me credit for the power point presentation which was submitted by Steven Conn (who wrote the above note as well).

You can see the original Horse’s Ass Award nomination here.

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