Housing Complex

WaPo Looks at Mount Vernon Triangle’s ‘Doom’ont

According to the photographer, this shot was taken in 455 Massachusetts Avenue.

Today, the Washington Post takes a look at The Dumont, one of the many new condo buildings on Massachusetts Avenue in Mount Vernon Triangle.

And who can keep track of them really? The entire row of colossal glassy high-rises looks like a 21st century ghost town. In fact, one wonders what will be the enduring image of this era once it is over. Luckily, we're not (yet) looking at any Dorothea Lange-esque shots of destitute children.

But perhaps there will be images of collections of cranes pointlessly looming. And stretches of road with half-empty and half-completed condo buildings one right after another.

The Dumont is a 550-unit building, located at Fourth Street and Massachusetts Ave. N.W. According to the Post story, construction has stalled on the project, and the developer has stopped responding to inquiries from people who have put down deposits on condos.

The 550-unit Dumont was launched during a housing boom that saturated the region with condominiums. Now the ferocious economic crisis, already paralyzing new construction, is wreaking havoc on projects that are nearly finished or even newly completed.

Ensnared in the mess are unwitting buyers, who have given up other homes and had deposits frozen while they await the outcome. One buyer said he had put down $65,000 on a $1.2 million, two-bedroom penthouse.

David Weldler, a principal at Broadway Management, the New York-based development company that is building the Dumont, said the project stalled because Broadway Management sold too few units to satisfy the lenders. The building's future, he said, "is in the hands of the banks," which could decide to keep it as a condominium or convert it to rental apartments and return buyers' deposits. "We hope this should come to a resolution in a relatively short amount of time," he said.

Image by Mr. T in DC, Flickr Creative Commons

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