UPDATE, 5:36 p.m. – Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs director Nick Majett emailed at 10:36 a.m. this morning to say that repairs would be made today, and a private contractor would be retained to fix the window.
The Takoma Theater up on 4th and Butternut NW hasn’t been looking good for a while now, but when windows start getting broken, you know you’re in blight territory.
Last fall, the Theater was cited for several violations, including trash, graffiti, and unsecured vacant property that posed a hazard to human life. The city ordered owner Milton McGinty to fix the roof and do some painting to prevent the building from deteriorating further, but no fixes have occurred, and as of the end of February, it’s now open to the elements.
Does that bother McGinty? Nope. He’d rather pay the series of $500 fines than make any fixes to a building he calls “useless.” After threatening to do so since last summer, he’s finally retained a lawyer and plans to appeal the Mayor’s Agent decision that prevented him from razing the theater and building condos behind the historic facade.
“I told them that I am not going to do any painting because that’s a waste of money,” McGinty told Housing Complex this morning. “I have lost thousands and thousands on that building, and I’m not a fool.”
The Takoma Theater Conservancy‘s Loretta Neumann is about at her wits end in trying to get the city to force McGinty to maintain his building—because meanwhile it doesn’t look like anybody will be able to buy it anytime soon. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B passed a resolution asking the city to kick in funding for the purchase and renovation (the Conservancy had requested $10 million)*, to which Housing Complex will just say: Good luck with that.
* Edited to reflect the fact that ANC 4B did not specify a dollar amount in its resolution.