Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brightwood Tenement Set for Demolition

Plans are in works to demolish a dilapidated Brightwood housing project at 809 Kennedy Street, NW and a neighboring single family home, in order to make way for a new affordable housing complex. The developer behind the project, Washington Communities Inc. (WCI), was forced to shutter the current 2-story, 16-unit apartment building at the site - described by the Washington Post in 2008 as "a crumbling brick building" with "wet ceilings, broken lights, cracked walls, leaking sinks and defective radiators" and "one of the most troubled buildings in the city" - early last year.

WCI had ordered a buyout all of the building's tenants following complaints of below-freezing temperatures from residents, critiques from the DC City Council and a lack of funds of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (which spent a whopping $626 to “repair” the building over a three year period). The new building to be built at the former site of 809 Kennedy will include 70-units of affordable housing with rents starting at $900 per month. WCI President, Richard Deeds, did not respond to DCmud’s inquiries concerning the project.

According to DC tax assessment records, Deeds and co. have owned the property since May 2002. Their raze application, filed in December, is expected to proceed unhindered. New System Demolition and Excavation will carry out the demolition.


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