The Georgetown Heating Plant. Courtesy of GSA.
Ever since UrbanTurf heard the news that Georgetown’s West Heating Plant, a former plant located on a prime piece of real estate at 29th and K Street NW, would hit the auction block, we’ve been eager to see who would buy it and what they would turn it into. An informational meeting in October attracted a roomful of seemingly interested developers.
The General Services Administration, which owns the plant, decided to find a buyer through an online auction process, giving the highest bidder the rights to develop the property, most likely through a Planned Unit Development (PUD) process involving community meetings and approvals from various agencies. They indicated that they are open to residential and commercial uses.
Well, the auction launched about a week ago, and we’ve been following the activity closely. However, there has been no activity: exactly zero bids have been placed on the site so far. (You can find the auction through this site).
Is the delayed activity some kind of negotiating strategy?
Georgetown Metropolitan thinks the limitations placed on developing the property may be deterring bidders.
The problem is that the winning bidder almost certainly will not be permitted to knock the building down. While most developers would love to keep the sweeping views the unusually tall building will provide, the fact is that the costs to retrofit the building will be so high that they will quickly outstrip the value of that view.
Added to the uncertainty is the fact that the staff of the CFA [Commission on Fine Arts] have given strong indications that they will not look favorably on requests to alter the window openings.
Additionally, the developer will have to seek approval from the Commission on Fine Arts on their design and keep a significant amount of green space, abiding by the comprehensive plan for the area. According to Georgetown Metropolitan, the CFA staff is hoping that a developer interested in creating a non-residential project, like a movie theater, can be found.
We’ll continue to keep tabs on the auction as it goes on for just under another month. For anyone interested, bidders can jump in with a $500,000 deposit check.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/why_isnt_anyone_bidding_on_the_georgetown_heating_plant/6533.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
This week’s Best New Listings includes a custom condo in downtown DC, a one-story h... read »
Why condo fees are high in some buildings and low in others can be a difficult questi... read »
When sellers haven't quite lined up their next house before their settlement date com... read »
In this edition of First-Timer Primer, we look into the question of how to determine ... read »
The preferred mortgage product among most home buyers is the fixed-rate mortgage. How... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Virginia's homebuyer assistance programs can seem complex. This edition of First-Time... read »
A recent transaction shows that the housing market isn't cooling off everywhere.... read »
Developer Akridge has released new images of their planned Burnham Place development ... read »
The new development will also have a nearly 20,000 square-foot public plaza.... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro