Some D.C. residents are crying foul over a development in their Northwest neighborhood. They call a three-story addition to a two-story row house an eyesore, but it’s a perfectly legal project.
At 59-feet-3-inches tall, the structure towers over the rest of the homes in the area of 11th and V streets.
“It kind of looks like the middle finger of the neighborhood,” neighbor Drew Leety said.
When finished, it will be home to three new condominiums.
“I’m all for real estate expansion but don’t destroy what a neighborhood looks like just because you want to put a five-story condo or five-story unit in the middle of the neighborhood,” Leety said.
“It is a bit of an eyesore,” said Joshua Meyer, who lives next door. “It just sticks out. I don’t think any of the neighbors are thrilled with the construction.”
In fact, neighbors have several concerns. The new addition blocks their views and has walled off their back yards because it’s not only taller than all the other homes on the block, it’s deeper. Neighbors said they also have had structural damage to their homes because of the construction, and they worry about the addition toppling over.
“D.C. zoning, whatever regulates the building, has said that it’s structurally sound,” Meyer said. “So we take their word for it that it’s not going to fall over on us.”
A spokesperson for the D.C. agency that issued the building permit said the building is structurally sound and has all the proper permits.
“While we understand some residents' concerns with the project's aesthetics, in a non-historic district, the District's building codes and zoning regulations focus only on safety and density,” said a statement from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
The new addition doesn’t bother everyone in the neighborhood. Some point to the development two doors down where condos will soon be selling for $1 million.
“I think it’s inevitable,” Mark Waks said. “I just think that eventually the entire neighborhood is moving in this direction.”
“This is what this neighborhood has become,” Christian Tabernacle Church Pastor Kevin Hart said. “Any space you find available, you go up as high and charge as much as you can.”
Hart said he is planning to put up a five-story office building where his day care is located across the street from the row house.
Follow Mark Segraves on Twitter at @SegravesNBC4