Auto Dealer coming to Bloomingdale at Florida Ave and R St., NW

by Prince Of Petworth March 24, 2016 at 10:55 am 24 Comments


A reader reports:

“I wanted to send you pictures of an ugly auto dealer being installed in the corner lot at Florida Ave. and R St, NW. We have had this type of business in the same corner before, and the experience has been no good.”

Ed. Note: The Fojol Brothers Buses, Elastic Highways took a crack at this lot too.


  • Glad you pointed out that it’s in Bloomingdale, as there are two Florida & R NW locations in DC – the other being in Dupont/Kalorama.

    • That is a random bit of trivia – nice!!

    • sproc

      Ooof. The Cosmos Club wouldn’t have been happy at all about that.

    • Truxton Thomas

      It’s officially in Truxton Circle (south of Florida). And no I didn’t relish making that statement.

  • Bloomingdale?

    only because I’m bored at work am I writing this:

    I believe this is *technically Truxton Circle, as it is south of Florida.

    Feel free to correct me!

    Also, I live on this block and that corner is honestly disgusting. There is never NOT trash/broken glass all around that lot. Usually it appears on the weekend mornings, and I always wonder what kind of mischief people are getting into in this exact spot late at night, while I am cozy in my bed because I am an old boring person.

  • dc_anon

    This was one of the lots shutdown under the Fenty crackdown on used car lots. Registration address for Kalala appears to be a cell phone ship north on Georga Ave. Given DCRA’s ability to give a sh&^ about what’s going on these days my money’s on this becoming a car dump and synthetic drug store ;)

  • Truxtoner

    Weirdly, I thought at first this was a similar lot at 4th and New York Ave. NW (near the Yale apartment building). I just noticed earlier this week that what used to be some random car repair/auto lot there was fenced up and all the vehicles gone. And the building behind the trailer there is being renovated. Hoping the empty lot on the corner (there and here in this article) eventually gets something other than an auto lot/drug den.

  • 11luke

    I’m the least NIMBY possible but this looks like a disaster. can we get some housing here or neighborhood oriented retail? Yikes

    • Dan

      I came here to say “what’s the big deal?” but my thought has evolved a bit. With all the zoning regulations in this city, how can you get away with such a crappy temporary trailer building on that lot? I guess you have to have some sort of indoor space to maintain a business there. But hell. We spend so much time arguing whether pop-ups “destroy the neighborhood aesthetic” while this trailer is allowed to go right on a major city avenue. It sticks out.

      I’d be curious to know whether the lot being zoned commercial (it is, isn’t it?) allows the owner/tenant to place whatever structure they want on the lot. If I wanted such a structure (even if a third as big as this one) on a residential lot, it would not go over well with the neighbors, DCRA, etc.

      Good luck to them, but this will be gone in a year. Then back to a vacant lot.

  • I’d be happier if it were a bike shop.

  • DC economist

    I live nearby and agree the corner is disgusting. Anyone has any ideas on what can be done to prevent this dealer from starting to operate?

  • Anonymous

    What the hell is the owner of this lot waiting for? They could sell it for a pretty penny and rates are only going up. The idiot needs to bake in his/her gains now.

    • ET

      I agree. You can’t tell me that can’t sell that lot for A LOT more than using it for a car dealership.

    • [email protected]

      This is a really small, weirdly-shaped lot that’s zoned for commercial use (C2A, pretty sure). The lot does have electric, water, or sewer hook-up (at least it didn’t 6 months ago).
      Building a new housing unit would be relatively expensive at this site, as you wouldn’t be able to fit in that many units due to the small, awkward lot. This will, at some future point, be sold and developed, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. The land value just isn’t high enough at the moment for that to be particularly profitable. (Also, the lot owner refuses to do anything productive with that lot – I think he’s just sitting on it until it appreciates much further.)

      • Truxtoner

        I mean, maybe I’m missing something but it looks like a reasonably sized lot and if I recall from other posts on here, if it’s zoned C2A, that should make it somewhat easier to throw up housing there without dealing with some of the residential restrictions. I’m not sure what developer couldn’t turn a profit on it. It is far more likely that the owner is just sitting on it hoping he’ll make more money if he waits. He’s probably right.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, but developers find ways to build on weird lots. I’m sure they would easily get a variance on the parking requirements. This lot could easily hold a 12 unit buildings of 1BRs if they do a basement dig out and build to the by-right max height.
        This jerk is just holding out in hopes that property values continue to rise, leeching off the hard work and capital of others.

  • DC Denizen

    A car lot? Really, how many cars you fit on that tiny little space?

  • reality

    Ugh. This is the worst thing that could go there.

  • Bloom

    Honestly it couldn’t hold more than 6 cars maximum so I feel like this is a front for something. So annoying as so many great local businesses are in the area improving the neighborhood.

  • Gloomingdale

    At least it isn’t a Dacha expansion…

  • Housewives of Truxton Circle

    The so-called “office” — a trailer propped up on cinder blocks — is an eyesore and should not be allowed. I thought the structure was temporary and related to Pepco’s work on R Street ( which, btw, was literally earth- (and -house) shaking and has created a mess of tar that is still getting tracked into our house, but that’s another discussion).

    Yes, the property is zoned C2A, commercial, but can DCRA seriously approve this trailer as a business structure? I don’t know what the guidelines are, but please, a little common decency for the neighborhood would be appreciated.

    The bigger issue is that this will no more be a used car lot than Trump’s wall-of-shame will be an honest response to immigration issues in America. It will be a open air drug market like it used to be. And it will take up parking places on the street.

    The owner of that property cares nothing about our neighborhood or its people. Snow goes unshoveled and trash goes uncollected. And now get a trailer ? No thanks. And no to Kalala Auto.

    This is not good for our neighborhood. Is there a way that we as citizens can reverse this pox on our house?

    My vote: Big Bear II

  • Isn’t it ironic

    So, I can’t pop up my house, but I can drop a trailer on a street corner? That’s logical, said no one ever.

  • AnonV2

    There is very little chance that this is NOT something other than a workaround to vacant property regulations. The owners are probably up against a deadline for tax increases, and the easiest thing to do is register a “business” on this corner to show active use. The domain name on their sign isn’t even registered. Cheaper to set up a business front and park a few cars there while waiting out a better chance to sell or develop.

    • siz

      definitely makes sense.


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