Logan Circle is one of those almost completely gentrified neighborhoods. It’s also one of those hot areas where rents may increase by 10 percent. And residents of 54 townhouses in the neighborhood, who “give the neighborhood a modicum of income diversity” could be leaving, reports Housing Complex.
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Two big developers, one of which is Monument Reality, are interested in buying up the properties. In the 1980s residents began buying the townhouses, once city-owned rental units, for $100,000 to $150,000. Now, developers are willing to pay upwards of $800,000 per townhouse, clear the land and put as much housing or commercial density on it as possible. But before that can take place, the condominium associations have to dissolve. More from Housing Complex, who wrote about a meeting of residents that took place Thursday night:
Even though it might be in their economic self-interest to take the money and run, judging from last night’s meeting at the Washington Plaza Hotel, at least a few people seemed too emotionally attached to their homes to leave. Others seemed willing to listen—and hold out for a better price.
“We’re living on a gold mine!” one resident protested.
“You can live on the gold mine for the rest of your life!” said Monument’s Josh Olsen, whose patience started to erode after several minutes of audience chaos. “You’re not going to get gold out of the gold mine unless you sell!”
The residents were asked to fill out surveys indicating their interest in the offer, and Olsen said he wouldn’t pursue the project unless a majority came back positive. It’s an interesting case: Because of how their associations are set up, each person has the power to singlehandedly forestall a big lurch forward for gentrification. From an urbanist standpoint, that means a few acres of prime land stay underused. On the other hand, it’s difficult to get excited about replacing 54 mostly low-to-moderate-income households of color with yuppies who can afford pricey condos.