Friday, February 1, 2008

Sketchy

I've been walking by 1618 14th Street almost daily for four years now. At first I just wrote it off as a low rent property that just looked bad. The more I think about it though, the more it gives me the heebie jeebies.

It turns out that this building is a "private adult venue." Every once in a while, I've seen men leaving from the front door at various times of day. The use code in the property tax records is "Store-Misc," and the proposed assessed value for 2008 is $813,560. Yet, the taxable assessment is $0. The owner, Stephen Jaffe, lives in a super swank part of Potomac, MD. (The address is in between Democracy Blvd. and River Rd., if you're familiar with the area.)

Over the summer of 2005 a second floor fire broke out. Since then, the second floor windows have been covered with black plastic, likely garbage bags. It adds a nice ambience, especially considering that the shades on the first floor are always pulled. There have been no signs of renovation since the fire no permits, no delivery of construction materials, no activity around the building. It does appear from a simple Google search that the owner did get a payout from disaster recovery consulting firm. Metro Weekly gave the facility a little press after the 2005 fire. From what little they could dig up on the business, it appears that openly advertised fee-for-admission sex parties are held in the building.

The small back yard was trashed both before and after the fire. For a while you could see right into the garbage heap. Later black plastic was used to block the view, and now a piece of drywall leans against the gate. From what I've seen it looks like the yard could be a rats' nest. A concern after the fire was that there is no apparent means of egress from the back of the building; it seems that there has been no improvement on that safety issue.

Bleh. I'd just as soon not have this business in our neighborhood. The safety and cleanliness of the building are suspect, and the owner may or may not be paying proper taxes. I'd also like to see the building itself cleaned up a little. It's just depressing looking to walk by.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The club is called "Men's Party" I believe. I have never been but I know quite a few people who have been which is strange because I used to walk by it daily and never saw anybody coming or going.

I never pay it much mind. If it happens behind closed doors I couldn't care less.

Anonymous said...

I go to the gym next door and I see guys come and go fairly regularly. My impression is that the "party" is limited to a couple people who go in for 15 minutes or so and then leave. Certainly none of my business but it looks like a classic cash business so I'd expect the owner is likely not paying full taxes. Seems like there's a better use for that location.

carmen said...

You know, there are abandoned and poorly managed buildings/businesses on every street in this city. Why focus on this particular business?

The answer is obvious - Because it may be a business that includes sex. If it was a poorly run liquor store or small grocer or discount store, its likely that it wouldn't be the subject of this article.

I love this blog, don't mean to insult, i'm just disappointed that the whole 'creepiness' factor seems to be related to its possible use as a place that men meet for sex.

I agree wholeheartedly with the first commentor who says that if its behind closed-doors he couldn't care less.

14th & You said...

I happened to focus on this building b/c I had been walking by it for so long and b/c it's on Logan, which is, after all, what this blog is about. I'd been getting a bad vibe off it due to the peeling paint, the one eerie light on the front, the barred door, and the garbage in the back. Random people coming in and out also made me wonder. I thought it might be an illegal boarding house or perhaps a center of drug transaction. Anyway, it just seemed depressing. So I set out to photograph it and write it up. As I was writing the post, I Googled the address and found out about the nature of the business.

Anonymous said...

Yes you are correct the building host a sex club. It is a cash only business. However, like the author I have no problems with the fact that this place is in the business of hosting sex parties. The building is falling apart, it is an eye sore, and I would not be suppriesed if there are not a lot of other things that are not up to code.

Again, I could care less what is going on inside as long as it is a legitimized business before the DC tax department, business boards, and health code boards. The thought that the author is "picking" on this building due to the fact that is host sex parties is ludicrous. The crew club seems to have done a nice job of blending in with the other business in the area.

Anonymous said...

This place is very nasty,you go in and pay $14 for a locker to store your coat or anything els you don't want to wear while there. There are so many people there that have sex with others without condoms, and many are passed out on drugs. I really think DC needs to step in and shut this place down, because it's a health hazard. I also have made an analysis that thus place is where homeless go, because there are guys there that look disheveled and dirty. There also seems to be no housekeeping or cleaning there. It's one thing that the crew club is kept clean because of health standards, but this place is down right dirty! I have seen shit smeared on the walls of the place and what looked to be semen all over the floor. I really hope that DC looks into this place, and finds some way to shut it down.

Anonymous said...

Not a good place, dirty, money grabbers making $$, men doing unsafe sex with everyone, big orgy and play action.. It may be Hot, but we wonder why HIV is rampant in this DC area? This place contributes to High Risk Health and Disease spreading.

Anonymous said...

I miss this place. Loved the barebacking that went on. It's a shame it is now closed. But there are others.