A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Can a New Coat of Paint Help Kendall Row?


Long-term readers of this blog are well familiar with the history of the troubled townhouse project at the corner of 12th & K Street NE. The Kendall Row (AKA Capitol Hill Oasis) development has baffled many of us for years. I watched with interest as they stacked the original pre-fab elements. Interest turned to frustration as the builders made mistake after mistake. A wall collapsed (leading to a massive fire at Jimmy's Tire), holes had to be re-excavated, construction equipment toppled over into pits, and so much more foolishness took place as the years wore on. The townhomes recently went on the market, but they are not cheap (close to a million last time I checked). They suffer from a cookie cutter look on the outside, and a floorplan that might charitably be described as eccentric.

There isn't much the current owners (the project was foreclosed upon) can do about the floorplan, but it looks like they are hoping to give the places a little curb appeal. Though I think the white (primer) is an improvement over that weird colored brick thing they have going on, I hope they won't paint them all white (or whatever the final color might be). A little variation might be nice. Any guesses/votes for colors?


Blogger Alan Page said...

Since the doors are white, painting the houses white as well seems odd (and sadly is like throwing up the Bat-signal to taggers to ruin the place).

I'll leave to the people who have to live across the street from that development to suggest colors, although maybe some bright colors might cheer the look of the place up a bit.

ps: The fence for the construction site next door (for the condos) fell over onto the sidewalk. If the owners of the condo development are reading this and the fence is still down, I hope they send someone to pick it up.

Apr 8, 2014, 1:20:00 PM

Blogger Campy said...

Is white the final color or is it the primer before the finished coat? Either way this won't help much unfortunately.

Apr 8, 2014, 1:37:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think they have a word for that...primer, is it?

Apr 8, 2014, 1:40:00 PM

Blogger inked said...

I'm sure it's just primer. I'm curious about the final color.

Apr 8, 2014, 2:06:00 PM

Anonymous h st ll said...

+1 Alan p.

Apr 8, 2014, 2:37:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painting brick? Ugh.

Apr 8, 2014, 2:37:00 PM

Blogger pat said...

Painting Dry-vit. That place isn't brick,
it's just a molded stucco, with a print pattern.

It's crap

Apr 8, 2014, 4:04:00 PM

Anonymous MJ said...

Pig, meet lipstick.

Apr 8, 2014, 5:11:00 PM

Anonymous Donny the Idiot said...

The only thing keeping me from purchasing this hot mess was the unpainted brick. SOLD! Under contract, here I come. Can't wait to move in!!!

Apr 8, 2014, 8:07:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody is going to buy these pieces of garbage. Anybody in the market will google the development and find pages heaped upon pages of problems.

Knock. Them. DOWN.

Apr 9, 2014, 3:16:00 PM

OpenID RobbyCU said...

I guess wouldn't you all want people to buy them so they don't sit vacant. Some of the comments on here are short sighted. They are not my taste, but they may come someone's home. Those people may add value to our region. For that I hope these places sell. We can not go back in time and save the beautiful building that was there. We can be hopeful about the future.

Apr 9, 2014, 9:36:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The layouts are AWFUL. The location of the elevators (which were unnecessary) completely divides the spaces in half. The finishes are cheap. Lots of carpet throughout. Nonetheless, the main issue is price. No one in their right mind would drop $929K for these. Someone in the $700K range might find these a steal for that amount of space. The sellers should lower the price and offer an upgrade credit for buyers to be done with them.

Apr 10, 2014, 9:18:00 AM

Blogger Alan Page said...

Is there any financial incentive for a major developer to buy the whole lot, tear them down and try again? Does that even make financial sense for a prospective developer? How high could they build up on that lot?

Apr 10, 2014, 3:09:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Alan Page. Re if there is a financial incentive to tear it down - the answer is yes and no. If someone were to tear down the properties and, let's say, build 20, 1500 sq ft condos priced at 600K, that's $12M of revenue. Take out the cost of buying the lot and the cost of development, and the investor has at best walked away with $1M. And we're not even thinking about how long it takes to wade through the government approvals process. It seems somewhat unlikely that an investor would be willing to invest $8M (the units are currently priced at 929K) in this shoddy development just for a minimal return. That said, if the bank was really desperate and sold the units off for around $4-5M total, there could probably be some interest from local developers.

If I were a developer/generally wading in cash, I'd probably buy the properties and use them as rental units for a few years to get at least some use out of the place. I'd then redevelop in 5+ years when H street has truly established itself and there's actually a market for 1.1M townhomes. That said, there are few people willing to spend $8M on Kendall Row -- there are plenty of other more lucrative, less messy (and less public) investments.

Apr 10, 2014, 6:46:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be furious if I owned that beautiful home across the street from these ugly things... although they were there when that beautiful home was being renovated. But imagine looking out your windows and seeing these monstrositys- blech!

Apr 10, 2014, 10:56:00 PM


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