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  • Anonymous

    Ella? More like “Hella Ugly.” If that were the owner’s phone number and not the listing agent’s I would be prank calling them right now. I would try to organize a boycott, but I doubt there will be many suckers willing to live in this piece of crap anyway.

    • Tim

      …” I doubt there will be many suckers willing to live in this piece of crap anyway.”

      New to DC, huh?

      • Anonymous

        More wishful thinking. Been here 8 1/2 years.

        • Jack5

          That’s wild… Doesn’t look finished, but still even if it was it’s probably cavernous and wildly overdone inside. Based on what I’ve seen thus far, I’d be scared to go up to the top floor out of fear of building collapse, but I hope for those prices there’s an elevator to the $800k penthouse suite. It’s hard to believe that TTR is selling this, maybe because the dirt under it is extremely valuable? WTF.

  • Anonymous

    How much for the Glory Hole unit? That commands a premium, right?

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      Is it safe to assume that the glory hole unit, being the top floor, is the one in the mid-800s? Or if it’s a 4th/5th floor walkup, does that take the price down a notch?

  • Anonymous

    Sotheby’s agreed to market that piece of *poo*?!

  • Anonymous

    The website is down

    • And it’s not on Sotheby’s website either… smart, it’s not an attractive property. Woof. How did something like that ever get approved? Feel sorry for the neighbors, they will have a hard time selling.

    • It’s not down–they haven’t acquired the URL. If you do a Network Solutions WHOIS search, you’ll see the domain name is still available for sale, if anyone enterprising PoPVille readers are interested:


      • textdoc

        Sheesh. Totally unprofessional of them to list a website when 1) it’s not operational, and 2) they haven’t even secured the domain name!

        • Anonymous

          Looks like someone snagged it earlier…

          • Looks like within ten minutes of my post pointing out it wasn’t owned, some enterprising squatter went and acquired it. I also posted this on Twitter, so it’s quite likely the squatter isn’t from PoPVille. But either way, yeah, it’s amateur hour.

  • Anonymous

    Grr- I get angry every time I see this place in pictures or in person.

  • AW

    I love the visible seams on that pop-out in front. Quality construction for $850K.

  • Anonymous

    The best thing everyone can do is to not buy the units. Show this “developer” that building something not in character for the neighborhood is not financially viable. The next idiot developer might think twice.

  • cspk

    Should be part of the Photo Caption contest.

    • Anonymous

      well the obviously the winning caption would be: Come live at the Ella, the middle finger of V street.

      • textdoc


  • textdoc

    Ugh. Not only is it figuratively giving the finger to the rest of the block, it even looks like a big middle finger!
    I say we should continue calling it “The Monstrosity.” Or dub it “the Hella.”

    • _

      or “Cruella”

  • Anonymous

    Buying any of these units is an invitation for long-term surprises and special assessments. I live down the street and watched the quality of construction that went into this place. The semi-finished interior was exposed to the elements for months, the exterior plywood sheeting looked warped and waterlogged before it was covered in Tyvek, the masonry and wood-framed projections appear to be weatherproofed with a single coat of paint/sealer.

    • spicey

      I would very much be suspect of the construction quality as well. I too have walked past this unit while it sat exposed to the elements for months. My father is a retired construction architect and taught me all sorts of things to look out for when it comes to new/renovated homes. This place had at least 12 things glaringly wrong with it. This one is definitely buyer beware.

      • AnononFriday

        You should write a Pop-ed about this, I’m sure a lot of new home buyers would find this kind of information useful – I know I could have used it when buying my renovated condo!

    • charlie

      Tyvek? Come on, they didn’t even spring for that. It was generic plastic wrap.

      I’d say at least 3 months exposed. Good luck on that.

  • anon

    It is so hideous! Sigh, the future residents will probably love that their views are not obstructed, without feeling guilty about supporting such hideousness. What could that part at the top (with the circular window) be?

    • Anonymous

      It’s a weird lofted area in the master bedroom. Not sure if there will be some sort of ladder/access or if it will just be a glorified plant shelf… Some armchair architect probably thought it was cool…

      • Anonymous

        are you not an armchair something or other?

  • Anonymous

    one does not simply walk into the Ella.

  • Kathryn-DC

    Right around the corner are two major condo developments with all the amenities for similar cost. But someone will buy this.

  • russellupton

    Perhaps before any of the units sell we’ll have Derecho 2.0 strike V St. Just the middle of that one block though. Timber?

  • Anonymous

    Is this a walk up?

    • Anonymous


      • textdoc

        A walk-WAAAY-up.

  • Anonymous

    Now that it’s done, I really think they should put rotating lights on the roof.

    • Ward2Dad


  • I. Rex

    Open the bay doors HAL!

  • gamephase
  • Anonymous

    in 10 years this won’t stand out at all.

    • In 10 years, we’ll be lucky if this is standing period.

      • Anonymous

        you think the steel was compromised?
        pretty wild speculation.

        • WestEgg

          What steel? Ain’t no steel in this here pop-up, no sir.

  • lovefifteen

    $800,000 to live in the most hideous building in the neighborhood. Gag!

  • bb

    I can’t wait to read the realtor’s narrative on this one. “Live in an iconic DC landmark…” The neighbors should pitch in to buy the place and knock it down.

  • Anonymous

    Mid-800s FOR WHAT??? I can’t imagine any sort of configuration in this piece of crap that could possibly sell for that much. Has any sort of condo sole in that area for that much before? You could buy a REALLY nice single family home around there for that much.

  • Meg

    It’s DC’s own Eye of Sauron.

    • Anonymous

      haha, that’s great.

    • Anonymous

      I was just going to say it was like Isengard!

  • ExWalbridgeGuy

    I think it’s hard to see how they’ll get $850,000 for a 2 bedroom. There’s a 2-bedroom unit for sale in the same building as Eatonville for $729,000 with really awesome wall-to-wall windows (and garage parking). What’s this place going to have to justify an extra $120,000?

    • AW

      Clearly a $120,000 gloryhole…

    • Anonymous

      And this is a walk-up. $850 for a walk up.


      If anything, this place will be a monument to the most recent DC real estate bubble. In 10 years, as it sags under its own weight of shoddy construction work, we’ll say “Yeah, that loan should have never been approved.”

      Playing with other people’s money.

    • Me

      Eh, I can see $850k for a 2 bedroom. 2-bedroom condos come in many forms and sizes. I live in a new building nearby where some of the 2-bedrooms went for $500-550, but the 2 bed + den 2 story penthouses went for over $800.

  • Anonymous

    Why would they paint it such a dark color?!?!

    This place is going to be a hot box. With so few windows, air conditioning bills will be out of control.

  • Anonymous

    My first realtor told me that to maximize my investment, I should consider the worst house on the best block. I’m pretty sure that this building will turn that age old advice on its head… I’m ashamed of Sotheby’s for putting their name on this monstrosity. Their stock just plummeted in my book.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting to look at 1013 V Street NW on Google maps. All that construction on a foundation built in 1890.

    • ustneighbor

      YES. This is a real problem. I live right down the street on 10th, and my rowhouse was also built in 1890. When I was doing my renovation, I was not pleased to learn that the whole BACK HALF of the house had no foundation at all. Just dirt a few inches below the floorboards. That was a big job to fix. But, it did go a long way towards explaining why the house next door had actually collapsed a few years prior.

    • annonny

      Shouldn’t there have been structural permits approved for this construction that would have addressed/required analysis of any foundation issues? I’m not trying to justify this hideous disaster, I’m just curious if somehow an aesthetic disaster could also be built so unsafely it would be at risk of collapse. Because 5 or 6 story building put onto a 2 story foundation *will *collapse, eventually.

    • It’s Going Nowhere

      The steel frame probably is more important than anything built in 1890.

      • Anonymous


      • annonny

        Not if the weight of all that steel is mounted on something designed for timber frame construction. It’ll go straight down into the ground (albeit slowly) if the foundation wasn’t properly reinforced. See that somewhat famous tower in Italy as a prime example.

        • Anonymous

          or of course maybe it is mounted on a foundation that was designed for (super heavy) masonry construction, or maybe it was reinforced during construction.

          the proliferation of armchair structural engineers in these comments is hilarious.

  • John B.

    Short for “Ellaphant”?

  • Mike

    Fuck you, Ella.

  • Anonymous

    That gloryhole is too small for my schvantz. I’m gonna pass on this one.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t there some sort of law in DC that forbids altering the façade of a building? Because the second floor of the original structure has definitely been covered over. I thought you could only build above and behind the original façade.

    • Anonymous

      No. That only applies if you are in a historic district.

      I think every discussion of this building to date has turned into a discussion of “how is this legal” and “who at DCRA was bribed.” For all this building’s faults, there is nothing patently illegal about it. It complies with the height and density restrictions for an R-5 zoned lot. That said, I suspect every possible corner was cut in construction and it is probably going to start falling apart immediately after the new owners move in.

    • It Was Too Late

      This building, like the two visible to its left, was intentionally not included in the historic district (which is across the street) since the facade had been ruined – in historic preservatino terms – by the faux stone applied to it. So whatever you think of the popup, the renovation is no historic loss.

  • Psmitty311

    I’m kind of confused… I saw a plywood exterior one day, and then it was painted grey. Are they putting anything on the exterior like brick siding or… something?!? I can still see the seams of the plywood walls! Right now, someone might be paying $850K for the right to live in the fanciest shanty in DC! I’m really hoping they do a little more with the exterior.

    • AW

      My understanding is that this is it… At least based on conversations with the developer, who said he modeled it after something he saw and liked on 11th Street somewhere.

      This project has pretty consistently been one step forward, two steps back. Almost everything they’ve done they’ve pulled down to redo all over again… the siding, the brick in front. As I write this they are ripping up and replacing the fence in the back that they just installed a week ago.

      Maybe the units are $800K because they’ve consistently had to rip and replace so much of their own construction. I’d still never buy these units — all of fixtures are off-the-shelf from Home Depot (not that there’s anything wrong with that; just not for this price), and the construction is clearly shoddy. The fact that you can see each and every seam and nail hole on the front is just mind-blowing.

      • Neighbor

        Prediction: in spite of the carping from all people who don’t want to live there (and you are legion), all three units will be sold in the first 5 days.

        • ExWalbridgeGuy

          I’ll take the other side of that bet. I think they’ll have trouble selling a fourth-floor walkup 2-br penthouse at that price.

        • ead2020

          No, these will sit and sit and sit. There is a new building with 30+ condos getting ready to sell on the corner. If these sell in 2013 I will be surprised. Maybe the cheap one in the basement. But $800k+ will get you a very nice 3br or 2br+den in the same neighborhood without the ick factor and the need to replace all the fixtures from day one.

  • hilltopper

    Oh, what a typo–they left out the “godz-“!

  • Neighbor

    According to the construction workers, there is to be metal siding applied to the front of the building where now you can see seams and nails. And I’d be that all three units sell in the first 5 days.

    • textdoc

      Metal siding?? OMG. It’s bad enough as it is!!

      • Neighbor

        once the rest of the block does the same thing (and it will) this will blend in pretty well.

  • Neighbor

    Oh. and the admittedly hideous porthole at the top isn’t part of the upper unit, it’s just “decoration.” oy.

  • E in Rosedale

    There’s some serious architectural malpractice going on in DC right now. H Street is starting to see a lot of it too. These buildings remind me of a lot of the buildings I saw in Jamaica – totally disproportionate, details being all over the place, and no connection design-wise to the surrounding structures.

    • Planner

      I suggest you (and all Popville readers) become aware of what the zoning allows in your neighborhood. I think you will be surprised at the height allowed on your block and the lack of design contols, at least if you are not in an historic district. You may wake up someday to someone building something like this (or worse) which you don’t like, though the buildier will be completely compliant with DC law leaving you and your neighbors with no input on the design at all.

  • Eponymous

    Does this remind anyone else of Jenga?

    • Anonymous

      Yes! Careful with Unit #2 – steady fingers!

  • billionbucks

    Anyone stupid enough to live there deserves to spend that much money.

    • Neighbor

      Judgmental much?

  • Anonymous

    Phallic design + Glory hole = fELLAtio

  • bruno

    A more appropriate name is THE ELLA-VATOR.

  • dctruth

    Adding insult to injury is the swagger-jack of a name. The surrounding neighbors should host a sidewalk party the day of the open house, engage the visitors in dialogue.

    • Anonymous


  • Mike Tringale

    Sotheby’s should be ashamed of itself for representing this building. Their standards and reputation are officially at the bottom of the barrel now. Forget for a minute that the building is unsuited to the site and grotesquely out of scale: but it STILL is not worthy due to shoddy construction and a complete lack of any finishes (see the nails and seams of the plywood facade and the crooked window frames and uncovered insulation. This would all be laughable if it was not also dangerous and destined for gas leaks and water/storm damage in the months ahead due to so many code-related and aesthetic violations.

  • Joanna

    Barad-dur has risen, the Dark Lord has returned to Mordor…

  • Anonymous

    I walked by here this weekend just to see the beast in its wild habitat. Up until now, I have only seen it in captivity, in PoPville posts. It was pretty hideous in person. My main issue is the lack of natural light. I guess that’s why I am anti-row house to begin with, but this one is sooo long (deep) and has zero windows on the sides, so without a million and one mirrors, there will be no natural light in most of the units. That also ties into the ridiculously tiny circular window. Aside from the sexual inferences that I will leave for my fellow commenters above, I am disappointed again by the architect’s failure to provide natural light when he had SO much room in that space. Did a vampire design this thing? DracuELLA Designs, perhaps?

  • ET

    $800,00 to live in THAT. I am sure there is some fool that will pay that but honestly a fool and his money are soon parted.

    (the fact that they gave it a name as if somehow that makes that place better is a JOKE)

  • The developer clearly has a Rihanna fixation. If you really don’t want it in your neighborhood just tell Chris Brown about it.

  • BitterElitist

    Architectural Penis.


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