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Vacant lot/playground to be Auctioned in Shaw

by Prince Of Petworth October 31, 2011 at 11:30 am 11 Comments

Back in Feb. ’10 this lot/playground was the subject of a What the Helen of Troy is This? post. It is located at 910 S St, NW. I’m psyched to see it will be part of a government auction on Nov. 10th. You can see a list of all the properties to be included in the auction here. Hipchickindc explained a previous year’s government auction to us here.

It’ll be great to see this old lot finally get some love.

  • cbr

    One of these signs went up outside the an empty sliver of land on my street (Ridge St. NW). Hope someone buys it!

  • Anonymous

    Why is it only Businesses and Non-Profits can bid. Why couldn’t an individual bid on a lot to build a house?

  • Flippy McStudfart

    In order to participate in the auction, you must be a registered nonprofit or a locally-certified business. Sounds like more government handouts to those with connections.

  • MH


    Yes, it is in fact that in practice.

    In theory, the city wants to make sure the land is developed, and that it becomes a good place, rather than an eye-sore. Therefore, non-profits that provide affordable housing or CBEs can bid.

    A CBE is a business that has registered with DC, has primary offices here and at least 50% of their assets or employees are from here.

    In short, the DC developers that are CBEs have more cash on hand to outbid the non-profits for the prime sites. They get to purchase it at a steal, then develop over-priced condos on it, catering to the upper-level buyers. They then reap a great profit, while excluding competition from legitimate middle-class owner-occupants who might be able to secure a construction or 203(k) loan.

    If the city want to exclude outside investors that may not care about the city, that is one thing — but I believe at the least potential owner-occupants should be allowed to take a class, become registered and have a pre-certification from a bank and be allowed to bid as well.

    • mmm

      Excellent explanation and I 100% agree.

      Although I am glad that it is most likely that the sites will be developed into housing (bought by a CBE) rather than a nonprofit, I don’t understand the exclusion of individual buyers from the process. Particularly since at least some of the parcels are in choice residential neighborhoods.

      • MH

        The thinking is that they don’t want to give it to an individual who may be able to pony up $20k or so to win the land at auction, then not have money to develop it — thus leaving it as a blighted property.
        I get that.

        However, I do think there should be some mechanism to allow potential owner-occupants to get involved in the process, particularly with the empty lots. Heck, I could see the city backing financing of those construction loans as an extension of their housing department or HPAP programs. They are already zoned, and when it all comes down to it, a potential owner-occupant would likely get outbid anyway, but at least they would have the chance to bid.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to buy it and reopen it as a playground.

    Then, once all the drug dealers start hanging around in there, I’m gonna lock the gates, shoot them all with animal tranquilizers, and chain them to the monkey bars, where they will be left to die.

  • Mike

    Would it be hard to form a quick LLC and become a CBE if you were a DC resident? Probably not, right?


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