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Former Latney Funeral Home For Sale in Petworth for $2,795,000

by Prince Of Petworth May 25, 2017 at 10:05 pm 20 Comments

3821 Georgia Ave, NW just north of the Petworth metro

Thanks to Ben for passing on from MRIS:

“REDUCED $200K. One-of-a-kind development opportunity in the best location in Petworth, directly across from Safeway and one block from the Petworth Metro. Potential mixed-use with 20,000+ square feet of buildable by-right.

  • neighbor

    Strange. Any idea why the current owners aren’t going through the the development themselves? I thought this was a done deal.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. This is a prime spot! Hope there is fast casual food option on the ground level. It’d make bank being so close to the metro. Cava, Taylor Gourmet, Chipotle. Any deli or bakery.
    It’s a shame the city hasn’t done more with Park Place ABOVE the metro. Vacant space with tons of foot traffic and hungry commuters. Why isn’t filling these vacant store fronts a priority?

    • ftoast

      I’ve heard/read the owner is asking super high rents and not hurting much from lack of tenants due to favorable tax credits from the original development deal with the city. Or something along those lines.

      • Skip

        Yeah their rents are severely above market. There’s also a weird zoning/permit issue where fast casuals are sometimes considered fast food which is prohibited by the city along that stretch of Georgia Ave. They could argue that fast casual (cava, taylor, etc) are not ‘fast food’ to the city but why bother with the hassle when there are so many other options in the city. Plus without the daytime/office traffic/population other neighborhoods provide Petworth is sadly low on most of the fast-casual lists.

        • Anonymous

          That can’t be true because there is a Subway, that while not my choice does quite well, and a Duknin Donuts in Park Place right now. Both those places are always packed.

          • Skip

            Zoning wise they got in before the change in designation. Sales wise – sure they might do well for them but if you have the option to open a new location most of the major fast-casual brands are going to go where there is more daytime traffic over Petworth.

        • theharleyquinn

          That’s so irritating. An &pizza would clean up in that area.

  • Guillermo Brown

    I remember the ANC meetings on this project. It was one of these deals where the site makes it impossible to get the parking spaces required by the code because it’s a narrow lot. The only way to get to the parking requirement was to build an underground garage, which in this case was physically impossible because you don’t have the width for a ramp to turn once you get underground. This was totally lost on the neighbors in opposition, who thought this was just another greedy developer trying to build luxury condos, avoid paying for the construction of extra spaces, yadda yadda yadda. I’m assuming the developer thought the brain damage was not worth it, and simply parked their money elsewhere.
    You have a site across from the metro and, like, 12 bus lines (literally at your doorstep) and neighbors are screaming “where are all the residents going to park??” When in reality, this is likely a commuter building where most of the residents are picking this location because it is so well connected (if I own a car, I’m not buying in a building on Georgia with 3 spaces).
    Look at any study of parking requirements of developments in urban areas and you’ll see that municipalities are over-prescribing parking regs everywhere…. Washington Post recently had a piece about Bethesda, of all places (i.e., much more suburban than this spot), and the enormous amount of vacant spaces creating by zoning codes. Those parking spaces cost money, and when a developer is forced to build them, they pass on the costs to the consumer, which is one of the reasons we have such affordability problems.
    It’s a shame this project is back on the market, but I’m confident it will be re-purchased by someone because it is so well located, it’s a corner lot, etc… Donatelli, phase 2 for your recently-completed project next door??

    • Leeran

      That’s disheartening but not surprising. I live in SW and have already heard neighbors complaining about how “parking is impossible now.” People want to live in the city, have safe streets and a ton of retail etc, but also ample street parking at any hour…

    • stcohi

      A phase 2 to that new building would at least clean up that corner. But maybe Donatelli will include some ground-floor retail this time?

  • ET

    Am I understanding this right, but the property is owned by a developer who has a plan but hasn’t pushed forward? This situation seems odd.

    • SB

      I don’t know the answer, but I thought it was owned by the same developer who built the building immediately next door. Regardless, it does seem odd.

    • turtwigs

      It’s actually very common for developers to seek some preliminary approvals with the intention to sell to incentivize potential buyers. Basically they can be like “Oh hey, you’re already green lit to build this cool thing!” but may not feel up to making the investment themselves.

    • Bobert

      I’m guessing the person selling doesn’t have the funds/ability to build here themselves, so they’re trying to profit off getting the rights to do so.

  • PetworthGuy

    Current owner is Murillo and Malnati group, a small time developer in DC. I agree with Guillermo’s obersvation about the parking situation. That could be the reason they halted their own plans, but not the only one. A lot of times developers will buy lots and get them approved and through all the red tape of BZA/ANC historic preservation board etc with all the renderings, studies and plans drawn up just to flip to another developer. Going through that process is a headache (as most of you know) so it adds a tremendous amount of value to a lot if it is already approved and “shovel ready” then they can flip it for more money. This group purchased the lot for $1.5M last year and is they are about to double their money without dealing with the construction, complaints etc that goes along with a condo project. Not a bad plan.

    • Anonymous

      I find it hilarious that when people complain about parking, what they really mean is: I want to park directly in front of my house. It’s like they own that spot. Or they gripe about parking, but instead of two parking spaces on the alley, they choose to have a big back yard or use a existing garage for storage. Don’t get me started on all the illegal parking for Sunday church! But hey, in their mind that’s, ok!
      The Latney’s people got the parking waiver. I don’t think any developer has been denied. Sucks this fell thru, but with such a prime location, it’ll be bought in no time. I’m more worried about all the other vacant store fronts on Georgia Ave. Blows my mind.

  • wonder about

    These projects simply do not make any sense given the high cost of construction and land cost. Hard cost alone is middle of 400s per sellable sf, to include soft cost, that’s to the north of 500s.

    Those so called low cost builders are currently quoting middle 200s per sf–that means close to 300 per sellable (80% efficiency rate). If one adds the cost of IZ, that’ll be even higher. If you ask them why it’s so damn high, they would quote green review requirements, SWM, neighbor, security, labor cost, etc.

    The market for middle sized projects will shrink. Not to mention those small projects in R-4 zone.

    • Anonymous

      Similar condos are selling for between $600,000 – $700,000 on upper 14th St across from Red Derby, Mescalero etc. Granted, it’s three blocks from the Petworth metro, but there does seem to be a strong market. They all sold quickly too.

    • PetworthGuy

      Currently working on a 50 unit luxury condo project in X neighborhood that will be $410/ssf hard and soft costs included. with a 20% margin at sell out. I agree construction costs are rising with lumber prices and labor, but these 20-50 unit project are still doable. You are clearly familiar with the industry and bring up some very valid points – curious as to where you’ve seen these quotes (neighborhood/project size)? Always good to hear different perspectives in the development world.

    • Guillermo Brown

      I think the financials make sense on this project as a rental. And from what I remember, the units were in the 400-550 sf range. No way this would work as a condo unless you had a close to zero land basis


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