CONGRESS HEIGHTS RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES GETTING A FACELIFT
Things are happening in Congress Heights! For the past 6 - 12 months, The Advoc8te has noticed a distinct uptick in the number of single family and multi-family residential units that are being purchased and renovated. It seems the first signs of an upcoming makeover are brand new windows and they are popping up on Mellon, Newcomb, Oakwood and Orange streets!
At least a dozen residential projects in a two block radius of my home have been renovated or in the process of some major renovations. The majority of these residential properties involve either vacant or underutilized multi-unit apartment buildings (about 4 - 6 units) although there are about 2 -3 single family renovations that are currently underway. The word on the street is that one of the single family houses was an active trap house (I can't say for sure but there was definetly some "trap like" activity taking place there from time to time). The majority of the properties weren't in the best shape to begin with but they are now getting a major upgrade on their exteriors and interiors. This aren't your usual patch and paint jobs of the condo boom of the early 2000's.
In terms of aesthetics, the renovations are going a long way in improving the beauty of the block. Peeling paint and broken windows are being replaced. Overgrown yards are become mini manicured havens. In terms of the former tenants, I'm only aware of two multi-family units that were occupied before the renovations began and even then, the properties were in such poor state that I know DCRA had closed one 2-4 unit building down months (or even a year before) because of building code violations.
I am not sure what the future is for these new properties. Two multi-unit properties on Newcomb Street have signage that indicate a condominium project but it seems work has stopped on that property a year ago. DCRA has some signage up that is making me think there may be an issue or building code violation.
An attached single family on Oakwood Street was once owned by a lovely elderly couple but I believe they sold the home and now their property has been renovated into a really cute starter home. While I will miss the former owners (I would wave to them every day while walking my dog) I am hopeful that the home sale allowed them the income to find something that they love and that was more suitable for their needs. I look forward to having new neighbors and I am hopeful they will be as kind and welcoming as the owners before them. The reality is that properties change hands and for a variety of reasons. While the reasons for the exhanges may be up for debate, it's nice to see formerly vacant or abandoned properties get new life so that they can become happy homes once again.
So with this in mind, I decided it might be cool (and informative) to include some snaps of residential projects in progress. Thanks to the power of Google Maps I can even include some screen shots of what the properties looked like before the renovations. So stay tuned!
Have you notice an increase in property renovations on your block? Drop me a line or send some photos! I would love to now about it!