City Desk

The Needle: One Million Dollars Per Bedroom Edition

What Housing Bust? The manse next door to the former home of D.C. tycoon Herbert Haftof Crown Books and Total Beverage fame—can be yours for a mere $12 million. The Mediterranean-style villa was once two houses, but they were combined in a 2001 renovation. Today, it represents the second-highest residential listing price in District history. And with 11 bedrooms, nine baths, a pool, an elevator, a four-car garage and easy walking distance to visit Joe Biden at the nearby Naval Observatory, it's worth every penny. +1

The Central Vanishes: Once upon a time, Comet was a popular liquor store and deli in Adams Morgan. The store eventually bit the dust, and so did its iconic neon sign—reappearing atop the Connecticut Avenue pizza and ping-pong joint that took the same name. Could the same fate await the Central Liquors sign that until this week dominated the 900 block of F Street NW—even though the store it advertised had moved some time earlier. Now, the Location reports that the sign was sold to James Alefantis, owner of the new Comet. No word on whether a new Central will follow. -2

Streetcars, Not Bridgecars: Earlier this week, the first D.C. Circulator bus route across the Anacostia River began operation. Now it seems that streetcars, another new transit option beloved by D.C.'s smart-growth set, will not make the same journey: Trolley tracks have been deleted from the $300 million 11th Street Bridge project. Greater Greater Washington transit-fan-in-chief David Alpert writes that the blame can be apportioned to both Uncle Sam (the feds are funding the project, and their bureaucrats ruled that the tracks shouldn't be part of it) and City Hall (local officials wanted to save money and speed up the process). Alpert says it shouldn't be an opportunity for trolley-fan anger against Mayor Vince Gray, who he endorsed last year: Former mayor Adrian Fenty may have alienated the feds with various of build-first, plan-later efforts, leading to the current decision. The feds may disagree, with DCist quoting officials who say they encouraged the District to incorporate the tracks into their plans. -4

Celebs for Statehood: The good news: Some national-stage notables are getting involved in D.C.'s push for statehood. The bad news: The most notable among them, to non-Washingtonians, may be Hayden Panettiere, reality TV figure Omarosa, and Touched by an Angel actress Della Reese. Worse still: The TV spots that the celebs taped are slated to appear only on Channel 16, the District government's station. -5

Yesterday's Needle rating: 67 Today's score: -10 Friday Bonus Points: +2 Today's Needle rating: 59

Correction, October 10, 2011: This first item originally reported that the house for sale was the former Haft residence. In fact, it sits next to the former Haft residence.

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  • L7and

    What? The store eventually bit the dust? You don't really know what you're talking about, do you?

    Sid died. This made it virtually impossible to continue with the store.

  • Andy Patterson

    The expensive house is NOT the former residence of Herbert Haft, but is next door to his house -- big difference!

  • L7and

    Facts, schmacks.

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