- (Photo: Courtesy Martin Moulton)
Crews were out in Shaw this morning removing graffiti from one of the neighborhood's most troublesome development properties.
The D.C. Department of Public Works came out with their power washers to Kelsey Gardens, the infamous apartment complex at 7th and P streets NW that's now been waiting to be redeveloped into something called "Addison Square" for the last several years.
Hold-out tenants, subsequent lawsuits and the collapse of the lending market all combined to leave Kelsey Gardens in a rather messy state these days. Despite earlier estimates on the part of Metropolitan Development LLC that demolition would start at the beginning of this year and then sometime this summer, trash and graffiti have continued to be a problem at the still-standing, but now fenced-in property.
Francisco Fimbres, one of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's constituent services gurus for Ward 2, helped DPW gain access to the property after coordinating with Metropolitan. DPW is typically unable to move forward with graffiti abatement on private property, even vacant properties, without the consent of the owner.
But that's actually about to change. A new law passed earlier this year by the D.C. Council, expected to go into effect sometime in September, allows the city to move forward with graffiti abatement much more quickly. Property owners, after being served with a piece of certified mail and a printed door-hanger, will be given only seven business days to respond before the District may then act to remove graffiti.
As for a progress report on Kelsey Gardens ... developers did not return TBD's phone calls today. We'll be sure to update when we learn anything new.