Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jazzy Wright's Bloomingdale Bites: high home demand, Meats & Foods opens, Capital Bikeshare traffic adds up !

See Jazzy Wright's latest Bloomingdale Bites column in the September 21 Mid City East magazine.

Bloomingdale Bites

Home Demand Reaches New Highpoint
An August home sale provided us with proof that the skyrocketing demand for Northwest D.C. homes has hit a new high. Real estate records show that a 2,400 square foot, three-bedroom Bloomingdale home sold for $120,000 above its original listing price of $729,900. The house was on the market for a full five days.
Built in 1912, the two-story Victorian home features a recreation room, a finished basement, a skylight and a walk-in bedroom closet. The home’s kitchen is outfitted with quartz counters and a breakfast nook. Additionally, the home has a patio deck and a fenced-in yard. All great features, but do any of the home amenities justify paying more than $100,000 above the listing price for a home?
“While the home was very competitively priced, it was aligned with many of the [comparable home sales], particularly 67 W Street, which was larger, had more square footage, an additional bath and bedroom, and a garage, and sold for $765,000 earlier in the year,” said  Christopher Bulka, realtor and residential specialist for Coldwell Banker Dupont. 
“Our price point of $729,900 tapped into a lot of pent-up demand buyers are experiencing due to chronic low inventory in the single-family/row/town home category and contributed to getting 11 offers on the house, all with escalation clauses that pushed it up to $850k,” he said. “Essentially, the combination of a great house, pricing strategy, strong marketing, offer deadline and pent-up buyer demand helped us achieve a sale price $120k over list.”
Sausage Shop Opens
A new sausage shop and deli has opened in Bloomingdale. In August, the owners of pop-up food store 13th Street Meats brought their high-quality sausages to the neighborhood when they opened Meat & Foods, a retail store and diner-style counter that serves chili, half-smokes, sausage sandwiches and beer. The food diner is the first eatery from former Toki Underground bartenders and husband-and wife partners Ana Marin and Scott McIntosh. Previously, 13th Street Meats supplied sausages to local businesses Toki Underground, Breadsoda and DC Brau Brewing.
The store will operate out of the long-vacated retail space at 247 Florida Ave NW, and will include seating for 12 patrons indoors and a small four-seat sidewalk café. The eatery offers six different sausage sandwich options—from half-smokes to lemon basil chicken to spicy chorizo—for the affordable price of $6 each. Diners can also pick up a bowl of chili for $5 from the meat shop. Additionally, the small eatery carries beer options from DC Brau, Yuengling, Coors Light and Natty Boh. Meat & Foods is open from noon until 9:00p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Bikeshare Traffic Adds Up
With more than 320,000 total annual trips, the Capital Bikeshare system keeps growing. And growing—to the point where demand may be too high in certain areas of the city, including Bloomingdale. On a recent Monday afternoon, I waited in line on First Street NW for more than 20 minutes for an empty bike dock to no avail—I eventually biked to U Street NW to return my bicycle rental, then walked back to Bloomingdale.
According to data from the District Department of Transportation, the city agency that manages the bicycle program, the neighborhood sees a high demand for bicycle rentals. The Bikeshare dock on the intersection of First and Rhode Island Avenue NW is the 84th most popular station in the city, with more than 3,200 trips taking place in the year; the station on Florida Avenue and R Street NW is the 92nd most popular bicycle dock with more than 2,900 total trips. Just outside of Bloomingdale, the Bikeshare dock on Third and Elm Street NW has close to 2,000 trips total. 
While usage in Bloomingdale does not compare to some of the most popular bicycle stations in tourist locations—the Lincoln Memorial dock has more than 15,600 trips every year, for example—there is enough demand for another Bikeshare rental dock in the area. According to city officials, a new dock is not coming to the neighborhood anytime soon.
“With regards to expansion to new locations, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern right now while we wait for supply channels to open up, so it’s unlikely that any additional stations will be added in the near future,” said Kim Lucas, bicycle program specialist of the Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration for the District Department of Transportation.

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