Incredibly Rare Opportunity to Buy Waterfront Property

An incredibly rare opportunity to buy two of the only three truly waterfront homes in the city is available right now. Specifically, 3524 and 3526 Water St., are available for sale at $4.6 million.

These two rowhouses are part of a group of three homes located between Key Bridge Boathouse (the old Jack’s Boathouse) and the Potomac Boat Club:

All three of the rowhouses here were built in 1959. And the two for sale (the left one, which is twice the size of the others, and the center one) are currently owned by George Washington University. They had listed them for sale last year and even marked the sale as pending. But it appears the deal fell through, and the properties were re-listed May 31st. (The far right property is owned by another entity and is not for sale. However, all three are currently vacant.)

The interiors of the two listed properties reveal that the properties could probably use a renovation. But let’s face it, the reason they are selling for so much is that the homes literally back up to the Potomac River:

There is literally no other property like these in the entire District. Some apartment buildings, like Washington Harbour, are practically next to the water, but a boardwalk separates it. Some homes in Bolling Air Force Base are a stone’s throw from the water, but you’d be throwing the stone over a promenade. A few other homes are relatively close to the Anacostia. But no other homes are quite like this.

The reality is that whoever buys these will almost certainly seek to knock them down and build something else (as they were built so recently, no historic preservation concerns would block their razing). Shortly before the property was marked at pending last year, GM saw some developer-bro looking guys touring the property. Maybe they got cold feet. But will the next?

What’s most surprising about this whole thing is that GWU wants to get rid of the property in the first place. They have expressed a desire for a long time to build a new boathouse for their crew team. This property wouldn’t give a ton of space for them, but it would perhaps give them leverage with NPS to get land further up (where NPS is studying whether and where to build more boathouses).

If you’re a really rich person looking to build a truly unique home, here’s your chance.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Incredibly Rare Opportunity to Buy Waterfront Property

  1. Many years ago, I was looking for a house share and got to tour inside one of those houses, as the guys living there were looking for a housemate. I didn’t end up taking it, because in the mid-90’s that area was still very dark and sketchy at night. But I’ll never forget standing in the living room and looking out through the big glass wall of windows at the river just a few feet away. It reminded me of Oxford for some reason.

  2. Topher

    Probably all the rowers.

  3. My brother in law lived in the middle one in the 90s (probably the guy who took the housemate spot referenced above), and said it was great living there, but they had to be aware of flooding possibilities. While super cool to be on the water, someone putting down $4.8M for the privilege would surprise me because these are CERTAINLY multiple-flood properties and are essentially uninsurable under the federal program, and no insurance company would give you flood insurance specifically because THEY ARE GOING TO BE FLOODED. The 1942 flood (within the last 100 yrs) crested at 17′ above normal level, which would have completely inundated the first floor if these had been built then. The neighboring Potomac Boat Club has pictures of when they weathered that flood, and the water is nearly to the ground floor rafters.

    It’s one thing to have a club that may flood, but to live there with that risk would be quite another. I suppose it’s all just a development target with someone anticipating they’ll design the ground floor to be flood-able.

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