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Your reporter (“Dwelling in the Past,” 11/1) quotes the assertion that it would cost $300,000 to renovate the shotgun house, a number given to him by the developer. Because the number has, by repetition, taken on the status of “fact,” a correction is due. The house is 700 square feet, and the cost of reconstruction of a Capitol Hill house is $200 per square foot, according to Marshall and Swift, a professional appraising firm, and confirmed by several local developers I’ve asked. That makes $140,000 the maximum cost.
Given the simple design of the house and that total reconstruction is not needed, the actual cost of renovation would arguably be less than that. I have no idea how the absurd estimate of $300,000 came to be; but the developer, Larry Quillian, likes it (see his letter in the 11/22 issue) and pawned it off on your reporter.