View 14 is an erstwhile condo project, turned apartment project, turned sitting construction site. It’s located at the intersection of 14 Street and Florida Avenue.
Back in October, it was the subject of a story in the New York Times Key Magazine, one of the paper’s fancy, sleek, clearly-oriented-to advertisement-dollars publications. The piece—-“A Cure for the Condo Glut”—-described how developers Jeff Blum and David Franco had wiggled their way out of a tough condo sales climate by converting the building to rentals, thereby performing “an act of real estate hocus-pocus that’s starting to become common,” according to the story.
Favorable coverage, yes. But I walk by the site all the time, and haven’t seen visible progress for months.
The emergency resolution, introduced by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, that came before the D.C. Council—-and passed today—-states that action is required to “avoid jeopardizing the success of View 14 given the current unfavorable economic climate and need to efficiently continue construction, and to avoid the imposition of certain real estate and gross sales taxes related to financing, refinancing, construction, equipping, furnishing, and operation of the View 14 Project.”
Well, hmmm, aren’t many projects in D.C. struggling with financial meltdown? The resolution states why View 14 is particularly worthy. The developers contributed $1 million to a nearby tenants’ association that wanted to purchase their building. The partners also gave $40,000 collectively to several local groups: The Parent Association of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, The Children’s Studio School at 13th and V Street N.W., the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association, and the Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association.
Yeah, that’s great and all. But what happens when the next charitable developer comes a-calling for a government handout?