A blog for the Bloomingdale neighborhood in Washington, DC.
it'll look like hell. cheap bullshit vinyl siding or something instead of those nice slate tiles over brick.you should get historic designation for the neighborhood now, bloomingdale, before this becomes commonplace.
pretty ugly, did they get permits for this? Is it over the scope of what the permits are for? I would have thought they would have had to get a zoning variance for this.
I hope it is too early to say, but I guess this will be an average to below average eyesore in our beautiful neighborhood; Probably just another cheap & fast build up to make a quick buck off the high demand.Residents should designate Bloomingdale as a Historic Neighborhood. This will allow for more upfront enforcement of zoning and historic preservation—PLUS, aesthetics will actually matter in review!Bloomingdale is stunning, but is changing fast. Population & DC economy continues to rise on top of an already large wave of new residents coming into DC. Housing demand is high enough to allow a good profit off of poor quality homes. Zoning regulations are full of loopholes and DCRA is unable to keep up with enforcement of what laws due exist. Builders know that they can just build against the zoning law and a variance of the zoning law can be obtained by them or the new owner afterward. Please work toward designating Bloomingdale as a Historic Neighborhood and save the charm.
Mona: The residential part of Bloomingdale is zoned R-4. In general, R-4 allows for three floors. So this additional floor is being constructed as a matter-of-right under R-4 and does not require any zoning variances.
Mona: Also be advised the zoning regulations do not address "ugly." At.all.
As the person who's been living directly across from the condemned building for 3 years now (there were squatters living there when I moved in), I'm glad to see *something* happening over there and appreciate the clean-up and improvements. I can't imagine how it could end up uglier than it has been for the past several years. Call me an idealist; I'll choose optimism over pessimism any day.
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Andrea -- "I can't imagine how it could end up uglier than it has been for the past several years." Let's see what the end product looks like -- and then we can assess if it is uglier or more attractive than what has been there for the past several years.
Both duplexes will be remodeled, creating 1800+ foot condos. They are being expanded out from the back. As a result, a erious eyesore and drag on the neighborhood will be gone. These duplexes had little character before the renovation, and with one boarded up and the other deteriorating, the cleanup is an exciting addition to the neighborhood.
Will the exterior of the additional floor be brick, hardy plank, stucco or vinyl siding?
The first two stories will be brick. The front facades will be totally removed but brick will replace them. There will be some kind of terrace or garden extension from the front units. The third story (there will be a third story on the other duplex as well--look for it to be begun next week), will be stucco. It will look sturdy, I am told. Parking will be in the rear.
Ugh, stucco above brick? It's going to look chintzy.
Brick would be my preferene. But again, just about anything is better than a boarded-up-former-crack-house-building, next door to a deteriorating slum landlord building with a collapsing fence, unkempt yard and rotting roof.
I'm not trying to knock you, Sparta, but the "anything is better than total crap" point of view sets us up for "crap 2.0" all too often.
In theory, I agree. But these two duplexes had no redeeming architectural qualities to begin with. They are not on a par with any of the other quality housing types that set Bloomingdale apart.
of course, one's opinion on what has "no reddeming architectural qualities" is rather subjective. I happen to think those buildings are beautiful. Modest, for sure, compared to the victorians that make up much of bloomingdale, but still handsome. i live in trinidad, so maybe that's part of what makes my POV of what is a nice home is different than yours.
In that case, you should have bought the boarded up one and fixed it up. I think DC sold it for unpaid taxes--around $36,000, from what I've heard.
$36K eh? that's a great deal!