A blog for the Bloomingdale neighborhood in Washington, DC.
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Yes. The deep lots on the unit blocks of V and W Streets will be well suited for them. However, the economics of building a free standing dwelling (or renovating from such structures as there are) with all the required utilities, etc, and then profiting from renting it will mean it is a slow process, particularly as even restricted pop-ups and pop-backs still probably offer better profit margins. One or two test cases will be needed - either here or analogous neighborhoods- to see what people are willing to pay for such places. The other way it may happen over time are the case of owners building alley dwelling as additional space for long-term family occupancy (senior parents, etc). And then in time those come on to the market. In any case, I think inevitable but very slow.
Miller Development is getting ready to build behind 143 W St - 5 dwellings in the parking lot. Get ready Bloomingdale there is likely more coming http://bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com/2015/06/bza-denies-request-to-reconsider-143-w.html
So not only are there pop-ups and pop-backs adding to the density, but now alley-fills!
Alexandra is probably right that this would take some time. I think alley dwellings are an appealing option -- to add more much needed housing stock (and the accompanying affordability), giving residents more options to stay in their homes and/or neighborhoods (i.e. additional rental income, or a senior downsizing without having to move elsewhere), adding more "eyes" on the alleys for safety -- that doesn't screw up the local architecture or impact neighbors the way that pop-ups and pop-backs do.