Today on Now and a Long Time Ago, GM merges the view of Dean and Deluca with the previous tenant of this historic structure: Southern Distributors Auto Parts (click on the photo for a larger shot).
This store occupied the building from 1945 until the mid-1970s. The old part of the photo above is from 1966. The building is actually owned by the city, although it’s held under a 99 year lease.
A federal mandate requires that the building be operated as a market. So after the auto parts moved out, the city attempted to have a farmers market. That promptly failed (early 1980s Georgetown wasn’t the foodie place it is now). In 1992 Dean and Deluca moved in and has been there ever since.
Airbnb, the controversial service that lets homeowners temporarily rent out a room or a whole house, has been in Georgetown for at least a year. But recently a new type of Airbnb listing is starting to multiply in the neighborhood: recently sold homes.
Specifically, among the dozen or so Airbnb listings in Georgetown, GM found four that were recently sold (i.e. within the last two years). The service advertises itself as a way for homeowners to “rent out some extra space effortlessly“. But these listings strongly suggest that in Georgetown, at least, it’s becoming a way for real estate managers to rent out investment properties.
And numbers make sense. One house was bought in 2013 for about $1.3 million. It rents out on Airbnb at over $6,000 a week. In the spring and summer, it charges $1,000 a weekend night. A similar house rented on a long term basis would attract no more than about $7,000 a month (for what it’s worth, Zillow estimates only a $5,800/month rent). Airbnb obviously has more risks since the property could remain empty most of the time, but it has significantly more upside. Continue reading