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Boarded-up, vacant buildings next to Tabard Inn to be redeveloped

D.C.'s Board of Zoning Adjustment approved Tuesday a plan to redevelop five historic townhomes that have sat vacant in Dupont Circle for decades over legal disputes with the property's former owner.

The townhomes at 1743-1755 N St NW will become 31 condos, and a lot behind the homes is slated to become a six-story building with an additional 39 units.

N Street Venture, LLC, a joint venture between Madison Homes, The Resmark Companies, and IDG, appeared before the BZA to ask for relief from the normal parking requirements for the space, since it is located within blocks of two Metro stations.

N Street Venture purchased the buildings in 2013 from its previous owner, Morton Bender, who had owned the properties since 1988 and whose development schemes for the buildings had failed for one reason or another. (Bender was not described in glowing terms in a 2006 Post article detailing his many lawsuits--against a bank he held shares in, against his ex-wife, against a neighbor whose retaining wall encroached 15 inches onto Bender's property.)

All that time, the N street properties remained vacant.

The new project has been approved by D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board, endorsed by the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and now has the BZA nod to proceed. It consists of 70 condos, a mix of one-bedrooms, one-bedrooms with dens, and 2-bedroom units.

Zoning Commissioner Robert Miller said during the hearing: "I wanted to commend the applicant for finally bringing the property to a point where it can be redeveloped...and the property's been vacant for some time... This is a neighborhood that likes to be occupied."

In lieu of providing the 15 required parking spaces, N Street Venture will provide 13 and, in what is quickly becoming standard for new buildings near metro stations, a screen in the building's lobby displaying real-time transit options and a free CaBi membership for new residents within the first five years of the building's opening date.

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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