16 Jan 2019

Navy medic accused of stabbing man 40 times in his DC apartment

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A US Navy medic is facing murder charges for allegedly stabbing a man more than 40 times in his Washington, DC, apartment, according to new reports.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Collin Potter was busted by police Sunday in connection with the death of Vongell Lugo, 36, NBC Washington reported.

Police responded to a call at Potter’s apartment building on Wisconsin Avenue Northwest near Washington National Cathedral around 4:15 a.m. Sunday.

They found Potter, 26, naked and covered in blood while standing over Lugo’s dead body. Lugo was also nude and covered in a blanket, authorities said.

The victim, from DC, was stabbed 40 times in the neck and upper chest and seven times in the abdomen, court documents said.

Potter allegedly told police he had consumed alcohol and marijuana, the filing said. While handcuffed, the serviceman allegedly asked cops to kill him and told them he wanted to die.

He was charged with second-degree murder.

Multiple bottles of booze were found in his apartment and investigators also discovered a bloodstained knife in a butcher block and another knife in a sink that had its tap running.

Potter enlisted in the Navy in September 2010. The Marines said he is assigned to the Marine Corps’ The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.

Friends of Lugo told NBC he was openly gay. In the past, he ran the men’s department at Bloomingdales in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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06 Jan 2019

Is DC Still As Transient As Everyone Says It Is?

There’s no doubt that Washington, DC is a unique place to work and live. If you’ve spent any time here at all, you’re almost sure to have heard the (not necessarily funny) joke that no one is ever really “from DC.” Even with the increasing short-term population of big cities around the country, DC still continues to struggle with its reputation for being a temporary stop. Is it true? Is DC a city made up almost solely of interns, tourists, and college students?

Well, Yes And No.

Because politics plays such a momentous role in the city’s everyday operations, it would make sense that people come and go depending on who controls the White House, Congress, and the House of Representatives. After all, many of the people working for Democratic or Republican leadership are likely to leave the city once their party member is out of office. But politics is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to determining whether people work (and live) in the city.

Tax Reports Show Many People Are Just Passing Through

American University reports that DC’s chief financial officer’s Office of Revenue Analysis found only twenty-five percent of people who filed for taxes in DC in 2004 still filed taxes there in 2012.

This would seem to indicate that after a mere eight years, a quarter of DC’s population no longer lived there. The reason the report gives for this high turnover? An abnormally large population of “interns, political appointees, and students.” One particularly interesting find from the study was that those who remained single were more likely to leave DC than those who were married or took on a dependent (ie: had a child). Those with higher incomes were also more likely to stay put for an extended period of time…which makes sense when you consider the high cost of living in the city.

So according to the Office of Revenue Analysis, it seems like a pretty cut and dried case of DC continuing to be a transient city. However, the tax data is so extremely black and white it doesn’t allow for other considerations.

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Housing Data Shows Many Are Here To Stay

The tax study only takes into consideration those who file taxes in DC proper. As everyone who works in DC knows, working there has very little bearing on whether you actually live there. When people talk about what kind of city DC is, they very rarely consider the fact that some people have worked and “lived” (ie: spent most of their time) in DC for far longer than it may at first appear.

The GW Hatchet instead cites the US census housing data as a more accurate way to determine whether DC should still be considered a “transient city.” According to this measure, DC is no more transient than most other cities and is, in fact, less transient than cities such as San Francisco and Boston.

The census housing data is even backed up by reports from mortgage companies, which have a vested interest in tracking population migration. According to a recent study, Smart Asset mortgage group took data from the Census Bureau American Community Survey to rank the most transient cities in America. They took into consideration both the number of people moving in and the number of people moving out to create a total number of people moving. Comparing that to the total population of individual cities allowed them to find the percentage of population that moved. And guess what? DC didn’t even rank in the top twenty-five most transient cities.

All of this is to say that it seems to be high time we reconsider our view of DC as simply a transient city, and instead allow for the fact that the area is comprised of a much more nuanced set of people who—while working jobs that necessarily come and go depending on politics, seasons, and school years—help make this city what it is.

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27 Dec 2018

The Year 2018 in Housing

A major homeless shelter closed, several government agency heads departed, and the D.C. Auditor’s reports criticized the city’s efforts to create affordable housing.

Darrow Montgomery

Everywhere across D.C., from Trinidad to Anacostia and Michigan Park, it’s getting more expensive to live. For the first time, the Washington Business Journal reported in October, the median sales price of a single-family home in the District topped $700,000. (It’s now north of $730,000.) Renters aren’t exactly having better luck: Though median rental prices are down slightly since 2017, it’s still about $2,160 a month to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

In the shadow of a ballooning housing market, there was a slew of high-level departures this year. Chiefs of the Office of Planning, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and Department of General Services—all of whom have a hand in where (and how well) people live—were asked to step down shortly after Mayor Muriel Bowser’s re-election.

Budget cuts threatened some of the District’s most vulnerable people, as well as lauded non-profit housing organizations, and Attorney General Karl Racine announced lawsuits against some of the District’s worst slumlords.

City Paper also reported on a little-known program within DCRA that helps big developers pay more to fast-track large construction projects, like an Apple store in Mount Vernon Square’s Carnegie Library, as well as the start-to-finish mess that was the construction of a luxury hotel in Adams Morgan.

Below, some of the most significant pieces of news from this chaotic year. The biggest takeaway? It is very, very expensive to live in D.C.

DC General

At the beginning of the year, Mayor Bowser doubled down on her commitment to close DC General, the city’s largest family homeless shelter, by the end of 2018.

Smaller replacement shelters in wards 4, 7, and 8 opened a month apart from each other this fall, though the latter two were delayed after the company hired to build them bungled the job. (And residents of the Ward 4 shelter are already complaining about its quality.) Neighbors of planned homeless shelters in wards 3 and 5 continued to mount legal challenges against each of them, though construction is now underway on both. A court recently gave approval to the shelter in Ward 3, allowing the final phases of its construction to move forward. Construction is also ongoing on Ward 6’s shelter, and District officials plan on opening the three of them between the summer of 2019 and spring of 2020.

In October, Bowser finally shuttered DC General on what would have been Relisha Rudd’s 13th birthday. (Rudd was a resident of DC General when she went missing in 2014. Law enforcement officials have not located her in the intervening years, and she was last seen at a Holiday Inn Express with a janitor who worked at the shelter.) Advocates for the homeless loudly protested Bowser’s decision to fast-track the shelter’s closure, arguing that she did so to offer valuable District land to Jeff Bezos for Amazon’s East Coast headquarters. (The company eventually announced that it would split HQ2 between Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia.)

DC Housing Authority

The DC Court of Appeals struck down a redevelopment plan this spring for Barry Farm, the beleaguered public housing complex in Ward 8, where District officials later found traces of lead. The discovery, made during a structural audit of DCHA’s housing portfolio, was representative of more pervasive issues across the authority’s housing stock. Almost one-third of its units are nearly uninhabitable, the audit found. DCHA will need an estimated $343 million next fiscal year to make interim repairs, and is preparing a commensurate financial ask from the city come budget season in the spring. Also this year, a member of DCHA’s board of commissioners stepped down after he organized a “unity” rally where an attendee referred to Jews as “termites.”

A seniors-only apartment complex in Ward 6, the Arthur Capper senior center, endured a mammoth fire this summer that displaced dozens of residents. Many of those seniors are living in hotels around the city until Capper is restored.

The American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. filed a lawsuit against DCHA this year after security guards of a DCHA property allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Filed in U.S. District Court on Aug. 30, the lawsuit alleges that a “profoundly deaf” tenant of Ward 2’s Claridge Towers, who experienced difficulty breathing, was unable to access health services in a timely fashion.

Affordable housing developments

Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White held demonstrations against the construction of two housing developments in his ward—Maple View Flats and Reunion Square. White protested the construction of Maple View Flats, alleging that the developer, Tim Chapman, lied about how many Ward 8 residents he hired to work on the project. Reunion Square was a proposed tax increment financing project in Anacostia that would have boasted tens of thousands of square feet of retail and office space, as well as some affordable housing. White sunk that deal in November, arguing that it was too generous to the developer.

Another tax increment financed project, the redevelopment of Rhode Island Avenue NE’s Brookland Manor, passed the D.C. Council this winter. Dozens of residents and their advocates lobbied against the project, believing that it will lead to the displacement of low-income families and those with large households.

DCHA broke ground this year on Parkway Overlook, an apartment complex on Robinson Place SE long-planned for redevelopment. Once home to 1,000 low-income residents, the property fell into disrepair, with $5 million in vacant property taxes owed at one point on the complex.

And hitting back against landlords they say violated the city’s housing code, tenant associations across the city organized actions against them this year, launching rent control strikes in Brightwood Park and legal action in Deanwood, among others. Dozens of these tenants live in apartments without heat or clean water, and where mold, pests, and crumbling infrastructure are the norm.

Legislative news

A controversial move to limit how frequently homeowners list their spaces on Airbnb passed the D.C. Council, even after the District’s chief financial officer estimated that the city could lose $21 million annually in hotel tax revenue. The Council also introduced a bill to seal eviction records, and passed separate measures to make ownership of limited liability companies more transparent, make the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act more restrictive, and help curb rent concessions scams. The Bowser administration finally published regulations to implement the District Opportunity to Purchase Act, which will allow the city to buy apartment buildings, ostensibly providing another opportunity to keep rental units affordable.

The D.C. Council also weighed how to legislate around eviction reforms, after the U.S. Marshals Service told City Paper in April that it would change its enforcement of evictions. USMS no longer mandates that landlords move former tenants’ belongings onto the street, making evictions in D.C. more like those in other major metropolitan areas.

Former Councilmember Kathy Patterson, now D.C.’s auditor, released multiple reports this year criticizing the District’s efforts to preserve and create affordable housing. Those include audits skeptical of the efficacy of an affordable housing “trust fund” within the Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as an audit criticizing DCRA’s ability to effectively oversee the abatement of housing code violations.

Dc Gen2 5a9d81373101f

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12 Dec 2018

Canceled Metro 2033 Film Moved The Action to Washington DC

Despite their dubious success rate, a slew of video game movies remain in various stages of production in Hollywood. Some try to stay true to what brought them to the dance. Others look to translate the source material into something new. MGM’s project based on Metro 2033 and a script by F. Scott Frazier looked to be the latter, so it might not be so bad that it’s now on ice.

For those not in the know, Metro 2033 is a video game based on a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It features a post-apocalyptic Moscow infected by Dark Ones, mutant creatures inspired by gargoyles and werewolves. The proposed movie version made quite a few changes to this vision, including moving the action from Russia to Washington DC. This happens a lot in Hollywood adaptions, with Spielberg’s War of the Worlds moving the action from England to America as just one example.

In a lengthy interview with VG247, Glukhovsky spoke about the canceled project. “In Washington DC, Nazis don’t work, Communists don’t work at all, and the Dark Ones don’t work. Washington DC is a black city basically.” Speaking of, the mutant Dark Ones became “random creatures” in the script, stripping the enemy of their intended message about xenophobia. “They turned it into a very generic thing.”

There are hopes for a further Metro adaption down the line if talks with producers bear fruit. “I’m still optimistic. We’ll see if the release of Metro Exodus can push the IP across a little bit the oceans and see how that works.” The third game in the franchise, Metro Exodus is currently scheduled for release on February 22 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Set over the course of an entire in-game year, players will wield handmade weapons in a mixture of open areas and linear environments.

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02 Dec 2018

IPS superintendent among finalists to lead DC schools, Washington Post reports

(WISH) — The Washington Post on Saturday night reported Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis D. Ferebee was a finalist in the search for a chancellor to lead Washington D.C. schools.

The other finalist, Amanda Alexander, serves as the interim chancellor for Washington D.C. schools, the Post reported.

In April, News 8 reported that Ferebee was chosen as a finalist to lead the Los Angeles Unified School District. He withdrew his name from consideration in that search.

According to the Washington Post report, people with knowledge of the selection process released the names of the finalists after a Saturday meeting of the committee advising the mayor on the selection. The mayor’s office told the Washington Post a panel on Saturday questioned the finalists for about 2.5 hours.

It was not clear Saturday night when a decision would be made regarding the chancellor position.

News 8 has reached out to IPS for comment.

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22 Nov 2018

sshape, Inc. Opens Doors in Washington, DC

sshape, Inc. Opens Doors in Washington, DC

The new architecture and interior design firm is founded on passion and backed by long experience.

WASHINGTON (PRWEB) November 15, 2018

sshape, Inc., has opened its doors as Washington, DC’s newest architecture and interior design firm serving commercial clients in the real estate, business, and non-profit communities. The new venture reflects the desire of partners Roger Sola-Sole and Travis Herret to refocus on the values that drive their passion for design.

Those core values include developing meaningful, client-driven design concepts informed by a deep understanding not only of a client’s brand and business, but of who they are and how they work. For Sola-Sole and Herret, along with partners Preeti Reddy, Stephanie Berry, and Diran Corria, reconnecting with their love of good design meant leaving their previous firm and striking out on their own.

"We founded sshape on the promise that we will listen to our clients and respond with innovative solutions that improve the quality of their work environments. We want to provide the highest level of design and service to the real estate community and our clients," said Sola-Sole, a 25-year veteran of the DC architecture world.

At sshape, that client focus is paramount. As a small, nine-member firm, sshape’s diverse group of architects and interior designers can forge more direct connections with their clients and projects.

"We wanted to get back to being makers, being hands-on with our clients, and creating great workspaces from the bottom up," said Herret, who has practiced in the District for over a decade. "We get to shape the spaces that people live and work in, and how they experience the world. That’s a tremendously positive job."

sshape is a minority-owned business enterprise whose initial client list includes GiveCampus, who provide a digital fundraising platform for schools, Strayer University, a for-profit university with new campuses opening up in Nashville, TN and Austin, TX, and a number of non-profits and trade associations.

sshape’s studio is located on Desales Street in Northwest DC, where its architects and designers can connect with the community they serve daily. For more information about sshape, visit the website at http://www.sshapedc.com, or contact Roger Sola-Sole (sola-sole(at)sshapedc.com) or Travis Herret (therret(at)sshapedc.com).

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03 Nov 2018

Summer Housing in Washington DC

NYU Washington DC

In conjunction with NYU Global Programs, we are excited to offer matriculated NYU students the opportunity to live in Washington, DC this summer at the newly built Constance Milstein & Family Global Academic Center, conveniently located at 1307 L Street, NW in the heart of Washington, DC and only a short walk to the McPherson Square Metro Station.

Summer Housing in Washington, DC is available to matriculated NYU students who will either be enrolled for coursework, participating in an internship or participating in other educationally related activity in the Washington, DC area during their residency.

Space for NYU students is limited and subject to availability.

Non-NYU students are not eligible to apply to live in the Washington, DC facility at this time.

All accommodations are furnished double bedrooms in four-person suites. Each suite includes a full bathroom, kitchenette (no oven), and a living/dining area. NYU wireless service is available throughout the building. Each floor has a lounge with cable TV. All suites are air-conditioned.

A live-on Residential Life Coordinator, as well as residential life staff, oversee community development, crisis response, and other student life initiatives. 24 hour security is provided and all guests must be signed in.

For more information about the accommodations, please click here.

NYU Summer Housing in Washington, DC will follow the same weekly schedule that is offered in NYU Summer Housing in NYC. The earliest check-in date is Sunday, May 20, 2018. The final check-out date is Sunday, August 12, 2018. An eight week minimum stay is required.

The weekly summer housing rate in Washington, DC is:

We are no longer accepting applications for Summer 2018.

To access the application:

Login to your NYUHome with your Net ID and password.
In the search box in the upper-right, search for Housing Forms. When the card comes up, click the "GO" button.
This will bring you to the NYU Housing Portal. Select the NYU-Washington DC summer housing application and click "ACCESS APPLICATION".
Please complete each step of the application carefully and follow all instructions. Applicants will provide affiliation information, reservation dates, and roommate/suitemate requests on the application.

If you have any questions please contact us at summer.housing.dc@nyu.edu

To make any adjustment to your reservation, including cancellation, please send an email to summer.housing.dc@nyu.edu. Your email should include your name and NYU ID and should indicate that you have applied to stay in Washington, DC Summer Housing.

The fee structure for changing your dates and the cancellation of your reservation is consistent with the general Summer Housing date change and cancellation policies on this website.

Summer Course in Washington, DC

The NYU Office of Global Programs is offering a 4 credit summer internship course so that students can receive academic credit for and make meaning out of their summer internship experiences. For more information, to ask questions, and to apply for the course, please visit our website here.

If you have any questions, please contact us at summer.housing.dc@nyu.edu

Please note, unless specifically linked from this page, policies and procedures on the Summer Housing website apply to NYU/NY Summer Housing only.

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01 Jun 2018

Property Details for 1803 Bay St SE

1803 Bay St Se, Washington, DC 20003
1803 Bay St Se, Washington, DC 20003

Quintessential residence in the heart of the Nations Capitol. Boasting hardwood floors & upgraded finishes this residence captures traditional District elegance combined with the finest contemporary finishes. Three levels include a fully finished English basement with a kitchen and full bath. Contact Joseph Olatunde Seriki or Deven Lee directly w/ inquiries or to arrange a private property tour.

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22 May 2018

JBG Smith Launches Affordable Housing Initiative To Preserve And Build Over 2,000 Units

D.C.’s largest developer and real estate owner is preparing to take on one of the city’s biggest issues: affordable housing.

JBG Smith, in partnership with the Federal City Council, is launching the Washington Housing Initiative with the goal of preserving or building between 2,000 and 3,000 units of affordable workforce housing.

The initiative comes as JBG Smith is courting Amazon with its Crystal City office portfolio; the tech giant has told local officials that affordable housing is one of its top priorities for an HQ2 landing spot.

Along with the launch, JBG Smith announced it has hired AJ Jackson as executive vice president of social impact investments to lead the developer’s work on the initiative. Jackson was previously a partner with developer EYA.

The Washington Housing Initiative will be split into two components. The partnership is creating a nonprofit entity, the Washington Housing Conservancy, to acquire, develop and operate workforce housing. JBG Smith will manage The Impact Pool, an investment vehicle created to provide capital for the acquisition and development of affordable workforce housing. The group will focus on what it calls "high-impact locations," fast-growing areas where housing prices are expected to rise over the next decade.

"This initiative takes advantage of our existing operations and scale to help address a critical need in the community," JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly said in a statement. "We are deeply committed to the success of this effort and to helping strengthen communities throughout our region by addressing this urgent and growing housing need.”

JBG Smith is not the only large D.C. developer to turn its attention to affordable housing. MRP Realty, typically a market-rate builder, has recently filled its development pipeline with a large concentration of affordable units, including a fully affordable, 137-unit Ward 7 project and NoMa’s 806-unit Northwest One development, which will set aside 67% of its units as affordable.

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12 May 2018

Royal wedding pub brings taste of fairytale Britain to Washington DC

The Beatles are being blasted over the pub’s loudspeaker, and the boisterous bar crowd are enjoying “Markle Sparkle” cocktails.

The walls are adorned with pink and white floral arrangements – and the kitchen is being guarded by a statue of a Beefeater, the ceremonial guards more often spotted protecting the Tower of London.

This is the Royal Wedding Pub, a pop-up bar in Washington DC that has been created to capture excitement about the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an American actor, on 19 May.

“I hate to use cliches, but it’s like that fairytale thing where the commoner girl meets the prince,” says Megan Biggins, a local resident who along with three of her friends has donned a fascinator hat for the outing to the pub.

It has already drawn hundreds of patrons each evening since its official launch earlier this month, with the most devoted willing to queue up, sometimes for hours. The temporary venue has a fan-vaulted ceiling and stained glass, modeled after St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle where Prince Harry was christened and will marry his bride.

The Royal Wedding Pub is the latest creation by Drink Company, a group behind other viral pop-ups that included pubs inspired by Game of Thrones and Washington’s annual cherry blossom festival. The “Markle Sparkle” is one of the most popular drinks – a twist on an Aperol spritz with rose cider and edible glitter. Twiglets are among the snacks.

“She’s the first American princess. We’ve got to pay homage to her,” says Matt Fox, the special projects director at Drink Company.

Pamela Boundy and her daughter Morgan Boundy pose for selfies in the throne room at the Royal Wedding Pub.Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein for the Guardian

Paul Taylor, the company’s head of bar concepts, says the team dove “down the rabbit hole” to get every detail right. “The names of the cocktails are important, the ingredients are important, the glassware is important,” he says.

The “When Harry Met Meghan” cocktail is served in a royal wedding collector’s mug. The scotch-based drink is made with ginger, a cheeky reference to Prince Harry’s hair, and banana. The latter, Taylor says, is a favorite of the couple’s.

With drink in hand, visitors congregate inside a recreation of the Buckingham Palace throne room, replete with red and gold curtains. Pub-goers wrap themselves in a red velvet robe and pose for pictures with a stuffed corgi, as cardboard cutouts of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Queen Elizabeth herself flank the two thrones.

The Royal Wedding Pub has drawn a range of patrons, most of them young women, from self-confessed anglophiles to fans of the Netflix series The Crown. Some simply want to see what all the fuss is about.

Pamela Boundy is the embodiment of an American aficionado of the royal family, holding court at the corner of the bar in a gold paper crown that comes as a keepsake with a cocktail aptly named God Save the Queen.

A list of royal wedding-inspired cocktails.Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein for the Guardian

A resident of Midland, Michigan, she is visiting her daughter in Washington and is planning a watch party at her home for the royal nuptials at 4.30am local time in DC.

“We have a red carpet and everybody dresses up for the occasion,” says Boundy. “My husband dresses up in a tuxedo and plays the butler. We serve an English breakfast and clotted cream.”

The family hosted a similar affair when Prince William wed Kate Middleton, but the idea of an American princess has ramped up their excitement.

“It’s about time,” Boundy says.

On the big day itself, when Prince Harry and Markle are to officially wed, the Royal Wedding Pub plans to open doors first thing in the morning for a watch party. All of the day’s proceeds will go to the Invictus Games Foundation, the international sporting event founded by Prince Harry for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

One thing US TV viewers of the wedding apparently won’t see, though, is Donald Trump or Barack Obama – who is friends with Prince Harry – attending the event, after it emerged there would be no official political invitations.

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