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District Acquires Long-Vacant Brightwood Apartment Building

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Press Advisory for Immediate Release

(Washington, DC) – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Friday announced the District has acquired 6425 14th Street, NW, a 26-unit vacant apartment building that has been a blight on the Brightwood community for more than 20 years.

“Brightwood residents are sick and tired of dealing with this nuisance property,” Mayor Fenty said. “We are going to put this property back into productive use. We are building great neighborhoods that are clean, safe and healthy places for our residents and we have no tolerance for vacant properties.”

The District spent $3 million to purchase the property from Vincent Abell, who is one the 20 landlords the District sued in April for racking up serious code violations at their rental properties. The complaint named more than 55 buildings across seven of the District’s eight wards, affecting more than 330 rental units.

The District, in a partnership between the Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development used federally-constrained funds to purchase the property, which require the city to reserve at least 51 percent of the new housing built at the site for affordable housing.

Built in the 1950s, the four-story property was known as the Tewkesbury and has been vacant since the 1980s. During that time, it has been cited for more than 100 code violations.

On Friday, the District issued a solicitation for a development partner for the 30,000 square foot property. The solicitation does not stipulate a preference for rental or for-sale housing, but it does indicate preference for senior housing or mix-income housing.

Bids will be due in July. A partner could be selected by the end of the summer and the project could deliver as early as June 2010.