Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The dynamics of this entire-block-sellout in East Silver Spring fascinate the hell out of me.

Who was the one homeowner that wasn’t offered or won’t accept a million for their home and why? Do they feel left out? (I’m sure someone can provide the answer to the former, if not the latter.)

Can they still develop the area properly with a single holdout? Would they still proceed with the sale and then build around them like Bugs Bunny or this lady in China?

This scenario could easily be the basis for an episode of Law & Order (“Ripped from the headlines!”). Imagine the last holdout is found murdered. Who was responsible? An estranged spouse who wanted their share of million dollar payout? A neighbor with gambling debts desperate to cash in? An evil developer with designs on the land? That would make for a fantastic episode. (If any studios are interested in a non-union writer to fill in during the ongoing strike, I’m available.)

Personally, if I owned one of those houses and someone offered me a million bucks, I’d be signing the papers immediately. For a million you can get a hell of a house just a block or two away. I will tell you one thing - if you have a home in the 20910 ZIP code and this sale is completed, your house's value according Zillow will go through the roof (if not so much in the real world).


Thayer Avenue said...

Well, because it's not a city/county/state/federal initiative, eminent domain wouldn't apply. So they couldn't just take it (theoretically). I'd love it if it was the crappy church that was holding out. How funny would that be?

YAY for my home value!

DMZ said...

The county can seize your property for private re-development if it's deemed "for the public good". There was a SCOTUS case not so long ago about it.

You better believe that a major private developer can toss enough influence around to get them to seize the property.

Anonymous said...

show me da' money!

I Left SS said...

Even a deep pocket developer would have a hard time arguing that displacing a homeowner who takes good care of his property is serving the "public good." Lacking proof that there's a serious housing shortage, the developer would be on thin ice.

I know who the holdout is, and it ain't the crappy church (which is actually a former architect's office).

Debbie Cook said...

No one has been OFFERED anything for these properties. They are just ASKING that amount. Most of the owners are absentee owners and investors that don’t live in theses houses or in Silver Spring! They don’t really care if the properties sell, they will still be getting the rents from them if they don't sell. So why shouldn’t they ask for the moon? Personally, I don’t think there is a snowballs chance that it will happen anytime soon. The holdout is probably someone who owns and lives in their home.

Anonymous said...

Five of those properties are owner occupied. And four of the houses on Easley were built by the first people to live on that street. One of the offered properties was actually built comunally by its first owner (a master carpenter) with the help of the concrete tradesman who lived across the street. I'm given to understand the owner of the most significantly historic house was the first to offer the place for sale. Typical.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, the retaining wall around the driveway of 806 Easley has two dozen bricks from the head house of the old armory built into it.

Hidden history is everywhere in Silver Spring. And nobody knows where to look.