A reader reached out to us the other day, having noticed some ongoing but low-level renovation activity at the southwest corner of 24th & Washington. Considering that our office is just a few blocks away, we confess we’re a little embarrassed that we needed someone else to tell us about this, but so it goes. With the heads up that there’s some work taking place, we did what we usually do in these situations and started doing some research into the property and the permitting. Sadly though, we came up relatively empty.
All we could find is that the owners of the property filed for an EZ permit to replace some windows. That’s… not much to go on. But we did learn some interesting tidbits about the property, like the fact that the entire block is part of the same property, including the building on the corner, the white warehouse along Ellsworth Street, and the building supply storage along Washington Avenue. We always sort of assumed that the buildings were owned separately, but it turns out they’re all part of the same 125K sqft property. That’s really big, if you’re keeping track at home.
The owner of this huge parcel bought it way back in 2001 for $1.2M. And as you can see, they’re not doing a whole heck of a lot with it. Back in 2007, the owners put together a plan to convert the property into a shopping center, with a supermarket on Ellsworth Street, a restaurant at the corner of 24th & Washington, a number of other businesses, office space in the upper levels of the building at 24th & Ellsworth, and a 125-car surface parking lot. It’s clear that they spent a bunch of money on architects and lawyers, as the project went through to the ZBA and got approval in 2008. For some reason though, that project never came to fruition. And since we have to assume the zoning permits have expired, they’d have to go through the process all over again if they were interested in pursuing something similar at present.
As we’ve shared on numerous occasions, western Washington Avenue is slowly improving, with an ongoing project at 25th & Washington being the nearest example. We believe the future of this corridor involves retail on the ground floor and residences upstairs, a concept that doesn’t really jive with the plan the owners of 2400 Washington Ave. put forth ten years ago. We’re encouraged that they’re doing a little work on their property right now, as it generally looks abandoned, and in a perfect world they’ll eventually pursue a project here that brings the entire block back into active use and also makes sense from a planning perspective. Alternately, that old warehouse sure would make a sweet storage facility.