The District of Columbia is in the process of selling the historic Hurt Home at 3050 R St. Last November the city announced that the leading candidate was the Argos Group. Actually, they were the only party to submit bids for the property. In November they previewed their plans to convert the building (which was a home for the blind for most of its existence) to 41 condos. These plans were not well received by the neighbors. (Full disclosure: GM is one of those neighbors, although he is neutral on the developer’s plans).
The problem facing the developer is that the building is in terrible shape. To get the building up to decent shape will cost a lot of money. To recover its investment, the developer either has to sell a lot of reasonably priced condos or a fewer amount of more expensive condos. Fearing both a loss of street parking and an increase in traffic, the neighbors want fewer, but there’s a distinct possibility that the developer could end up building condos too expensive to sell (as was widely perceived to be the problem at Wormley Row, although GM has heard that recently they have made a good deal of progress actually selling those units).
It was left in December that the city would attempt the price the property in a way to enable the developer to respond to the neighbors’ complaints (in other words, lower the purchase price so that the developer can get away with constructing fewer units). Of course, any reduction in purchase price is money not going to the city just so some Georgetown residents can find parking more easily. That doesn’t sound good.
GM heard last week that the deal has been finalized. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any more details at this point. A community meeting has been announced for the plans to be presented to the neighbors again. It will be held in the Renwick Chapel in Oak Hill Cemetery on June 9th at 6:00 pm. Even if you’re not terribly interested in the project, you ought to stop by if not just to get a rare glimpse inside this historic structure.