WaPo recaps saga of 433 Mass

In today’s Washington Post staff writer Paul Schwartzman revisits the story of the “Ledos” building at 433 Mass Ave. The owner, Austin Spriggs, turned down over $2 million from developers for a property assessed at $200K during the height of the bubble. Late last year the District threatened to demolish the property as it was and unsecured shell. Adams National bank took that as a cue to foreclose and put the property on auction. It appeared there was a buyer (for $715,000) at the auction, but Spriggs contested the foreclosure and is supposedly threatening a civil rights lawsuit against the bank.

This April the property has been put back on the market for $1,500,000. Realtor Charles York told WaPo there is interest while members of the development community retorted “not at that price“.

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  1. 2

    FourthandEye says

    For me it’s difficult to forsee a commercial use that generates a lot of trash. This location has no vehicular access to an alley and only a 3 foot wide pedestrian access to the rear. Therefore a dumpster in the rear is prohibitive. I’ve seen some establishments around the city create a dumpster enclosure on the sidewalk (like Louis Rogue) but I doubt the neighboring Mass Ave properties will concede easily to that.

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    All Joking Aside says

    Is it possible for the D.C. (Federal) government to claim eminent domain and turn this property into a bicycle/electric charging station.

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    Jeremy says

    Eminent Domain is not a tool that allows government to grab land for free. That’s a misconception. The government has to pay a market rate to purchase the property. In this case that would be atleast the $715,000 that the auction buyer was willing to pay for it.

    I would not want to see $700,000+ in tax money spent to purchase this land for a bike station or other niche public use. The private market will eventually develop this land into something that will contribute positively to the block. But the Spriggs family is too clueless and too emotionally invested. Progress won’t arise until they are no longer on the deed.