In 1988, developer Morton Bender purchased six buildings on the 1700 block of N St. NW through his limited partnership, N Street Follies. According to neighbor Jeremiah Cohen, most of the buildings have lain vacant ever since; 1755 N St. housed some tenants, but the last one was ousted in 1998. Cohen complains about conditions around the buildings and has snapped photos of debris on the grounds. The properties haven’t been taxed at vacant-property rates—a decision that Cohen, a tax analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimates has cost the city more than $270,000 per year. Alease Chichester of the District’s Vacant Property Unit, which was formed in 2002, says that the city added two of the N Street buildings to the vacant-property registry at the end of January, in response to a letter from Cohen’s attorney. Bender says he doesn’t know whether the properties have been taxed at the vacant rate or not. “What difference does it make?” he says. The bills come in, they get paid.” —Bidisha Banerjee

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