Permits Issued for Mt. Pleasant Apartment Building that Burned Down in March 2008

by Prince Of Petworth June 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm 19 Comments

3145 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW June 2013

@DCRA tweeted the good news Friday:

“Yesterday, we issued bldg permits for the reconstruction of 3145 Mt Pleasant St NW.”

On March 13th 2008 a reader alerted us to the sadness:

“We are homeless.

the former residents of 3145 mt pleasant st. washington, dc

(it burnt down)”

Another resident writes:

“i was living on the first floor, the fire started in the basement. i saw the fire started on some machinery, after i put a extinguisher on it, it kept reigniting, by the time the fire engines showed up, the first basement was out of control.”

On March 17th 2008 a reader updated us:

“I can only imagine what those without renters insurance are going through but the community has come together to help make things a bit easier. Unfortunately no phone calls have been returned/and no statement has been made from the management company/owners of the building (just goes to show you how concerned they are). We hope all the other residents are doing well.”

It’s been a long time.

You can read all back posts on the former Deauville, now the Monseñor Romero Apartments here.

  • wahoomatt

    Took way too long, but great news!

  • brittany


    do we know if former residents get priority in application? is the rent going to be priced fairly in order to allow them to return to the neighborhood?

  • So, Just Sayin’

    Will there be a final tally of how much the taxpayers of the District of Columbia have subsidized this blight by the time it is finally turned around?

    • Anonymous

      Guessing that tally won’t be shared with you.

    • DC resident

      seriously. On last count (last year), I thought it was $60K per unit.

      My understanding is that these people got subsidized rent (the difference between old rent and market rent) for the last 5 years, a low cost loan to pay for the land… and that they were then asking the city for money to re-build their building. A temporary safety net is one thing, but free housing indefinitely is simply abusive, especially considering that many of these people shouldn’t even be in the country.

      • Another DC Resident

        You should read the WaPo article in the link above. It might inform your “understanding.” According to the article, many of “these people” have already moved away. And the cost per unit is not $60k. The building will be low income rental, limited to a family of 4 with a total income of $64.5k.
        But somehow I doubt the facts really matter to your opinion.

        • Anonymous

          So who owns the (soon-to-be-built) building structure and land – the city? A private real estate developer?

        • Anonymous

          one of the residents is a waitress. So do all waiters in DC get subisdized housing, loans from DC govt etc…for years? the answer is no. The problem with this approach to affordable housing is that its so selective. this was a management failure and a colossal waste of money.

        • Anonymous

          Seriously. I think a lot of the anger stems from people who already have the things they need being jealous that it’s not them getting a handout.

          • Los

            I came to this country only with a suitcase full of second hand clothes and $200 from selling all my things. Never got any money from the government other than free high school education.

            It really grind my gears that there’s a bunch of people who instead of taking advantage of opportunities presented, try to game the system. On the 42 bus I constantly hear Salvadorians teach people that just here how to get free bus passes, housing, food. Some even have the gall to complain while talking on their iphones or clutching a Coach hand bag.

            Life’s a b1tch and if sh1te hits the fan, why should we help people who didn’t have the foresight to purchase renter’s insurance, but chose to use that money on brand name shoes, purses, gadgets or alcohol?

          • DC resident

            nope, I don’t want a handout. I’m pissed off because I work hard, and my money is being taken from me to give to people who aren’t, who are living above their means, who are criminals, or shoulnd’t be in this country, etc..

            It’s really simple. I learned the lesson in middle school – When I asked my parents for something, they told me – work for it.

        • Anonymous

          Okay, I read the article. Did you? I see a $4 million loan, $2 million in rent subsidies (1.8 so far, 275 to come), and another $3 million in tax credits for 36 remaining families (and a total of 61 units). That’s about $150k/unit, $250k per displaced family that might ever move back there. I also see a lot of Jim Graham headlines. It’s fair to ask whether this is rational housing policy and a good use of funds or grandstanding.

          • Anonymous

            I concur; apparently ‘Another DC Resident’ is the one that issues with reading comprehension.

            Absolutely ridiculous that the taxpayers are subsiding to this level. Insurance is available for a reason.

          • Anonymous

            I think the 275K is included in the 1.8M of rent subsidies. Assuming it’s divided equally by 36 that’s 50K per family. The article implies that this is in addition to the 14M needed to buy the property and rebuild it. For this 14M, as of January 2012 when that article was written, they got a 4M loan from the D.C. Gov to buy the property from the PA based owner implying that it will be repaid back to taxpayers/DC with interest (probably low interest). As of January 2012 they still needed another 10M. The article says they expected to get 3M from the D.C. gov (doesn’t explain how they get/got this). The remaining 7M will come from selling Low Income Housing Tax Credits to investors (not sure how this works but it implies that this isn’t a taxpayer bill). So if my accounting is correct, taxpayers funded at least 1.8M in rent subsidies so that they could come back to that exact spot 5+ years after it burnt down plus 3M in an undefined way from D.C. (loans?). I see the value of rebuilding the same number of burnt down low income units, but not in the exact same location. If if units could have been built nearby in less time saving taxpayers money that would have made 100x more sense. Arguing against low income housing in general is totally different. I’m sure that this is a drop in the bucket when it comes to how much D..C. taxpayers spend overall to subsidize housing throughout the district from year to year.

        • Anonymous

          Who needs to understand things when you be a kneejerk racist?

      • Carrie

        I find the use of the phrase “these people” to be offensive. The residents of the former Deauville are real people, actual human beings, and were awesome neighbors. No one was seriously injured in a four alarm fire in a building with approximately 200 residents, because neighbors banged on doors and made sure EVERYONE got out. Complaining that taxpayer money has been used to insure that these residents are able to move back home is your right, but you (and the other commenters) don’t need to use insulting or degrading language. The residents of the Deauville were not “criminal”, for example. It wasn’t a hot bed of vice. It was an apartment building that was home to regular old folks, many of whom were and are low income.

        • um sorry

          “these people” is insulting and degrading language?? Wow.

        • So you prefer “these residents” to “these people”?


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