Monday, January 9, 2012

Shaw Deserves Better from This Abandoned Building: 1431-1433 11th Street, NW

This series is pretty much the inverse of the "Beautiful in Shaw" series. It looks at the abandoned, neglected, or derilect properties, public spaces, and art in the Shaw / Logan / Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhoods. As the blog grows (and if I can find a good volunteer to help!) I'd like to eventually include some quick sketches, renderings, or photoshop alterations to some of the original images to show what could be in the place of what is there. 

Restoring historic buildings, replanting yards and public spaces - all ideas on what Shaw's true potential is under some of the grit and plywood windows. Whenever possible, if something does happen to the space, I'll post a follow-up. Feel free to leave comments on your ideas for the space below, and feel free to send photos! shawdeservesbetter@gmail.com



This post has been updated - please see below. This building (or really, a pair of small buildings) at 1431-1433 11th Street is in a state of horrific disrepair. You know things have gone from "vacant" to "blighted" when the windows have been boarded up, and then even the boarded up windows have been broken out. 

Covered in graffiti and what I counted as six different shades of red paint, these eyesores blight an otherwise promising block of 11th Street NW between O and P Streets. Perhaps the most disappointing component is that these two addresses are part of a larger three-address structure, which includes the beautiful 1429 11th Street, shown below. 

This little charmer shows the full potential of the neighboring 1431-1433 structure. Sold in August of 2009, Triad Builders of Bethesda acquired this potential pair of townhomes for $510,000. The pair was assessed at $735,520, even in this horrible state (only 16% of that value is the buildings, the rest is the land) for 2011, and that amount is proposed to be raised to $743,480 for 2012. 

More graffiti covers the north facade. Though the buildings
aren't particularly deep, the lot appears to be generous.
The funny thing is, this property is not being taxed as vacant or blighted by OTR. When I called to ask, I was told a notice had been sent out recently to the owner to register the property as vacant (though, with no windows, it is clearly actually blighted, not vacant). Therefore, it's currently paying the 1.65% Class 2 Commercial tax rate, or just $12,267, for 2012. At the 5% vacant property rate, that would cost Triad $37,174 this year. At the 10% blighted property rate, they would be looking at a tax bill of $74,348. 

I'd think that if it was an issue of paying the extra $62,081 this year or actually developing or selling the properties, Triad might just feel compelled to move on these buildings. But at just over $1,000 per month, there is no real incentive to improve this pair of buildings. In fact, there's actually a disincentive there. That's enough to discourage spending more to make small improvements (like painting it all one color and getting rid of the graffiti) and not enough to actually encourage development. 

Shaw deserves better from 1431-1433 11th Street, NW. Shaw deserves better from Triad Builders of Bethesda. And Shaw deserves better from Sean Baker, the tax assessor, and from DC OTR. How long do we have to wait for this to get better? 


UPDATE from Councilmember Jack Evans and DCRA via Twitter: 


 DCRA 

@ 
  1431 11th St NW was included in the blighted prop list submitted to OTR in August:


 Jack Evans 

@ 
  Classified as blighted last year, but not updated in DCRA system. Blighted tax will apply for 2011 and moving forward.

 Shaw Deserves Better 

@ 
So they'll be responsible for the extra $61k for 2011 and the full $74k tax bill in 2012?  

 Jack Evans 

@ 
  Correct. DCRA has advised  that this is the case.

6 comments:

  1. FYI - graffiti and boards does not = an automatic blighted designation, although the owner does have to remove the graffiti and keep the place free of trash and debris. Went thru this with DCRA myself for a neighboring property last year.

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  2. @Anonymous 1:49pm: Even if it's just "vacant", that still provides a pretty solid incentive to do something with this place!

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    1. You should check out 1400 9th st NW, a blighted building across the street from the CityMarket at O. According to neighbors, the owners bragged about paying off the tax collector and have been avoiding taxes for months. It's a prime piece of property especially across the street from the new development. the payments on the DC tax assessor's website don't add up. Maybe a bit of noise will get people moving on it.

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    2. * avoiding taxes for years

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    3. @Anonymous 10:47AM - We did a post on that building a few weeks ago. You can find it here: http://shawdeservesbetter.blogspot.com/2011/12/shaw-deserves-better-from-this.html

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  3. Thank you for bringing attention to this building, it has been site for sore eyes for years.

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