What’s up with Kelsey Gardens?

Noticed plywood over several units. What’s up with that?
My un-educated gut guess is that the owners are trying to sell it and so aren’t filling the units up with new tenants. Of course, there could have been a fire. I don’t know.
So anybody know what’s going on?

4 thoughts on “What’s up with Kelsey Gardens?”

  1. From DC North…

    Judge Allows Suit to go Forward in Latest Battle for Kelsey Gardens Apartments

    In the latest installment of a protracted legal battle that has lasted over two years, on July 14, superior court judge Maurice Ross denied the motion brought by the property owner and developer of Kelsey Gardens to have the tenants’ case dismissed.

    The ruling, a victory for the tenants association, means that residents of the 54-unit Section 8 apartment complex at 7th and P Streets, NW, can continue to fight for the right to buy the building: a right the owners of the complex contest. The owner of the building and the developer, keen to tear down Kelsey Gardens, are being sued by the tenants for the right to purchase the building.

    The building is owned by the Deliverance Church of God in Christ Housing Corp., the business arm of a local house of worship. In 2004, the church partnered with Vienna-based Metropolitan Development with the goal of creating a 220-unit, high rise building in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood. In the hearing last month, the church and Metropolitan challenged the suit on a legal technicality, claiming that the Church of God will retain 10 percent interest in the property invalidating the transaction as a sale (and if it’s not a sale, it does not trigger the right-to-purchase law for tenants). Judge Ross struck down that argument, ruling that the ultimate test of ownership is not a matter of the interest held in a property, but rather who controls the title to the property.

    The history of the conflict over Kelsey gardens goes back to April of 2004. According to affidavits signed by the tenants, when the sale of the property was presented to them by the management company they were not notified of their legal right to buy the property. In addition, tenants charge that at the meeting they were offered $1,000 and asked to sign a waiver that would help them relocate. That waiver, tenants say, was instead a legal document waiving their rights to band together to purchase the building.

    “Many of the tenants didn’t speak English, they didn’t know what they were signing,” says Gloria Robinson of Manna/One DC, a non-profit organization that helped organize a tenants association shortly after residents were given notice of the sale. Other residents say they signed the waiver without knowing what it was, in fear of being left without a home.

    The waivers will be a point of contention as the case continues, as is the authority of the tenants association which was non-existent when the waivers were being signed. The tenants association was quickly organized and incorporated after the meeting with management, and a month later it notified the church and Metropolitan that it would exercise its right to buy the property at the market price of $3.3 million. The owners contest the tenants’ right to do so.
    The next step in the legal battle, according to Hogan and Hartson LLP, the pro-bono firm working on behalf of the tenants, will be to prove that the tenants association has a valid right to negotiate for a contract to buy the building and that the counter proposal submitted to the property owners is “substantially conforming enough” to force the owners to sign the contract with the tenants instead of with Metropolitan development. To ensure that their offer is competitive with that of Metropolitan, the tenants submitted two contracts: one detailing their idea of a good offer and another called a “scratch out” contract in which they copied the Metropolitan offer and turned it in as their own.

  2. So I’m guessing those are boarded up b/c they’re preventing new tenants from moving in, thereby preventing a greater number of potential owners of the place.

  3. Kelsey Gardens comes up as a problem in just about every discussion about crime in Shaw (e.g., the June 15 town meeting at the United House of Prayer). I have a feeling there are a number of folks around there who wouldn’t mind seeing it go.

  4. Daddy 5-0,

    The reason why it comes up is because it is a problem. I live less than a block away and I have personally witnessed…hand to hand drug deals, a major fight where knives and other weapons were used, numerous fights, assaults and two of the suspects in the shooting of my neighbor are believed to be residents according to someone in the know. Walk the block and look at the gang grafitti painted all over the sidewalks…it is a problem and it is time for that s%$thole to close.

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