A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.
Ohhh, this promises to be a great parking lot vs. rehab Frozen Tropics throwdown.I can't believe that there isn't more money to be made in rehabbing these places and renting them when the economy improves & the great streets is done. I suppose that takes a lot of capital up front, though...
Google Street View gives you a good picture of the buildings in question.
Off topic - anyone know what was happening on Wylie Street around 9:45 last night? There were 4 or 5 cop cars just sitting all along the street.
Inked- How can we stop this proposed demolition? It would set back this section of H by creating a huge unsightly void and destroying historic buildings that add to the appeal of the corridor.
I wouldn't sweat it. We have a great ANC that will take care of it and save the buildings in question! It should be a relatively quick and simple process to say "NO."
While I'd rather see updated buildings there than a freakin' parking lot, the problem with too much ANC and/or DC involvement is that you can't really force the owners to DO anything. They haven't done crap with those properties for years now so we can assume they have ways of making the tax payments to the point where having them be revenue generating isn't necessary.Unless someone is willing to buy them out and do all this themselves, just preventing them from putting a parking lot in will only really serve to keep the crappy buildings there now. It's not like anonomous suggestions from a blog or even at ANC meetings is going to convince these people to change their business model. If they had wanted to renovate and operate businesses out of that space, they would have done so already.At least with a parking lot there is SOME utility there, as opposed to fire-hazard eyesores. Again, it's not that I disagree about the "best use" of the space, I'm just being realistic.
This is not atypical of owners who are looking at short term. With a parking lot they could generate revenue with relatively little expense upfront. And in truth it would probably help other local businesses to have some parking.But this is the wrong way to go. Our city is giving big tax breaks to save and renovate these buildings, so we all have an investment in maintaining the character of the street.
haven't these buildings been condemned by the city?
The stupidity of a street parking lot here should go without saying. [Also, isn't there TIF funding for a city-sponsored underground garage? Whatever happened with that?]But that comedy club building looks awesome. What a welcome addition that would be. If the Sun and Moon and the Ohio are also rehabbed as planned, that corner will look fantastic.
Right--all these things would be more desirable from a neighborhood standpoint.But, with the difficulty of obtaning loans right now, it's MUCH easier and cheaper to demolish the buildings and, on top of that, in a parking-strapped neighborhood like ours, they stand to make a decent amount of money.Again, the ANC's opposition to this plan in and of itself, will really not accomplish anything other than status quo. If someone posting here has access to capital or a better business plan etc., by all means, try and convince these guys otherwise.
Hopefully Tom A. is right about the ANC nipping this one in the bud! As to the second half of the post-- a comedy club would be a neat addition!
Things like this could be avoided by designating H street as a historic neighborhood. Also, I did a quick look via google street view and 1309 may be dilapidated, but the other buildings are quite nice; at least on the exterior.
What "Things like this could be avoided by designating H street as a historic neighborhood."? The buildings certainly can continue to rot in a historic district. I hear it's called demolition by neglect. I think that H street has had 40 years of it already.Should we keep that historic library across the street also? There are better uses for both spots, and that can be done without a another layer of "bureau of permits"
Making H street NE a historic district is the best way to kill any revitalization. And on H street as the biz goes so does property values. Think about it. No business will want to move here because they will not be able to change the structure the way they want it. They won't be able to add a third floor. The footprints of the building are already too small. What we need is not historic protection but rather architectural review, so that you just can't build just any old crap or just tear down anything. We can protect the architectural look of HstNE without limiting ourselves to postage stamp sized stores that only sell wooden giraffes.
surface parking lot? man, creative thinking took a loss when that decision got made. even in today's credit crunch, i imagine there are several sources willing to finance construction on h street considering the success of several new bars that couldn't have required that much upfront money. joe englert, approach these people with cash in hand PLEASE.
I think it is just hystrerical and ludicrous that someone would post the words "joe englert, approach these people with cash in hand PLEASE." I love the plea for someone else to spend their hard earned money. Spoken like a true democrat.
I do know that the properties owners have been approached by H Street business people about selling. The problem is that they are asking crazy prices. For example, I'm told they wanted around 700k for one of the buildings. Nobody is going to pay that price.
With regard to the commends from anonymous from 11:09 and 10:05-- I think that you're being way too generous to assume that the owners have any kind of business plan other than a hair brained scheme that they think will yeild quick $$$. Inked's 10:33 comment is right on target. Owners of many HstNE properties are just being too greedy. Nobody is going to pay the price they're asking for buildings that are falling apart. Owners need to either be realistic about what they can get and sell-- or rehab the buildings and then maybe they'll get top dollar. Either way, it seem that the problem isn't going away until the property owners realize that they are part of the solution too... they aren't going to profit unless the neighborhood improves-- and that isn't going to happen when so many owners are sitting on dilapidated buildings with the hope of insane price tags.
Anon 1:05,Agreed that a "business plan" may be giving their thought process too much credit, but sufficed to stay I stand behind my suggestion that the simple cost-benefit analysis they are doing does explain the parking lot plan.That being said, and while I agree with the rest of your post as well, my original point was that the ANC blocking the demolition (and, now that it's been brought up, historical designation) does nothing to actually *force* these owners to do anythign more with their property than leave it as is. They certainly aren't going to take such rejection from the community and turn around suddenly to realize "oh, maybe we should be a part of the revitalization of this community". They'll likely just sit on their properties some more until either (a) they can no longer afford to, or (b)someone offers them what they want (or convinces them to accept a more reasonable price). But this is the job of real estate brokers and businessmen, not ANCs and Historic Review Boards. --Anon 10:05, 11:09
2:27,The job of the ANC is to protect the community's interests. If the ANC gets feedback from the community that it doesn't want the properties demolished and turned into a parking lot, I've got no problem with the ANC blocking the owners from building a parking lot. Even if it means we look at boarded up eyesores a little longer. I'd rather have that (with the hope that someday they will be renovated) as opposed to another AutoZone style asphalt eyesore.
Sorry I'm late, but I thought the ANC already had this one under control... I really thought I got an email from the 6A listerv describing the ANC's intentions to not approve the lot.Speaking on parking on H, there was a cop car in the Auto Zone lot last night. Was that to prevent nightgoers from parking there? That's so mean.
8th and El - The cops park in that lot all the time. I always see them in the morning when I am waiting for the bus. I don't think they are there to deter people from parking. I think it is just one of the spots where they go to take breaks or wait for calls.
Many places employee off duty officers as security guards.
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