Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Dear Mr. Mayor, Clean Off This Wall!

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Dear Mr. Mayor, Clean Off This Wall!

Dear Honorable Mayor William Euille and Members of the Alexandria City Council,

Graffiti in Alexandria VirginiaAs an Alexandria citizen and as an active REALTOR® in the City of Alexandria, I am dismayed by the appearance of graffiti on the side of the vacant CompUSA building at 5901 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304.

In my business, I spend considerable effort promoting Alexandria, Virginia as a wonderful place to live and work.  Through original articles that I write and post on the internet in my real estate blog, I introduce potential homebuyers (and other real estate professionals around the country) to features of Alexandria such as the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, the historic homes of Old Town Alexandria, various Alexandria neighborhoods, and updates on real estate market conditions.  I know that your goal and job as Mayor and ambassador of our city is to make Alexandria a beautiful and safe place to live and to attract more people and companies to move to the city.

 

Duke Street Exit from 395With the current problems in the real estate market, home sales have slowed down throughout Northern Virginia.  Alexandria has not been immune, though our market has held up better than towns and counties further out from D.C.  As you know, the CompUSA building stands at a very visible point in West Alexandria.  It is one of the first landmarks you see exiting the 395 highway onto Duke Street and at the highly trafficked crossroads of South Walker Street and Stevenson Avenue.  The building greets residents of “Condo Canyon” as they return home and is one of the first buildings that potential homebuyers see when searching for a new home in this part of Alexandria.

 

Vacant CompUSA building in AlexandriaIt is bad enough that the building has stood empty for several months.  Large vacant commercial properties with vast parking lots invite and are targets for theft, vandalism, trespassing, and are often the scene of shady dealings.  Several weeks ago, I noticed large graffiti on the wall facing Walker Street and the very busy Passport Chrysler dealership.  This graffiti is an unwelcome addition to the West Alexandria neighborhood.  As a resident of this area of the City, I feel less secure in my own community every time I see this graffiti.  Moreover, this public vandalism makes it more difficult for me to sell homes in West Alexandria during this already challenging market.

 

This is not art!  This is graffiti!

 

 

I understand that the City has an Adopt-a-Block Litter Program and other task forces designed to combat this type of vandalism and graffiti and I applaud those efforts.  Furthermore, I understand that the graffiti is on private property, not public City property.  Obviously the owner of the property is responsible for cleaning off the defacement of the building, but in several weeks has not done so.

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, Mr. Mayor, I ask for your help in leading the charge against vandalism.  Please help clean off this wall!

Respectfully,

Brian Block, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Allegiance
703-626-0715
brian@brianblock.com

 

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Comment balloon 18 commentsBrian Block • January 25 2008 11:27AM

Comments

Brian, sad that the taggers feel they have to mark "their" territory like dogs. Some day when they become home owners and business owners and a positive part of their communities, then they will understand what destruction they had done in the prior years.
Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) about 10 years ago
Wow - even in the District - they clean that up... and pretty quick!
Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) about 10 years ago
Brian  Go get 'em and when you are done come on down to PW an help get rid of some of ours.  When they catch them they should make them clean it off
Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) about 10 years ago

We have volunteers in our town that remove graffiti from public places and offer to help private owners if it pops up.  If they allow it to go unchecked it will become a big problem.

I would love to catch and spray paint the folks responsible.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

We also have a graffitti law and they did convict a kid who got some jail time so they would start taking it seriously.

Now look ....Randy wants to have paint ball fights. :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 10 years ago

Unless the building itself is owned by the city, the property owner needs to be made aware of the problem so they can handle it....and ordinance without prior discussion is not the way to go.

Volunteers going onto private property without permission of the property owner is a HUGE liability issue.

Making the owner of the building or leasing agent aware of the problem is the first place to start!!

 

 

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 10 years ago
DUANE:  Thanks for your comment.  I have no doubt that the perpetrators of the graffiti have no stake in the community and therefore feel that they can deface the neighborhood.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago
JAMES:  Thanks for your comment.  Glad to hear the District is on top of things.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago
KAREN:  Thanks for your comment.  I hope you don't have too many problems with this down in Prince William County.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago
RANDY:  Thanks for stopping by.  It's good to hear that you have a citizen's brigade that helps with these problems. We have something similar, I've learned, here in Alexandria.  I like your ideas on punishment.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago
SALLY:  There should definitely be strict laws for this type of offense.  The problem is catching the perpetrators since they likely do this under the cover of night, in the early morning when nobody is around to see them.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago

Brian,

What do you think the mayor and alderman will do? Is election time coming up for them???

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) about 10 years ago
WALLACE:  I agree with you that the first step is to make the owner of the property aware of the graffiti.  In this case, the owner should have known about it since the building is in a very visible and trafficked area and the graffiti has been there for several weeks.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago

GOOD NEWS!

SINCE PUBLISHING THIS POST YESTERDAY, TWO CITY COUNCILMEN AND THE VICE-MAYOR CONTACTED ME WITH THEIR CONCERN AND THEIR APPRECIATION FOR MY REPORT.  I FILLED OUT A POLICE REPORT ONLINE AND THE VICE-MAYOR HERSELF CALLED THE POLICE.

WE EXPECT THAT THE GRAFFITI WILL BE REMOVED THIS WEEK.

I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AND IMPRESSED WITH THE SWIFT REACTION OF OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago

Brian, the power of Active rain! Great job.

On the your reply, I agree, they don't have a stake in the community. But the hope is some day the vandals will become law abiding citizens and be successful in life, then they will understand what they have done in their past. Hopefully.

Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) about 10 years ago
DUANE:  I was very happy to get the response that I did and look forward to seeing the graffiti removed soon.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago

Hey, Brian!  I knew you had a soft spot for Alexandria.  It is funny how you can work so hard for your town and be so proud of it and a thing like graffiti can turn people off.  We had an abandoned building just like that and Fun Expedition finally filled it.  Now, they are making a killing and fun memories are being made where an abandoned building used to be.

Of course, we'll want to see an update to this blog when you have the pretty photos to share!!!!!

Posted by Natalie Langford, Winchester, VA Real Estate (Realty Negotiations) about 10 years ago
NATALIE: Thanks for your comment.  I'll certainly go by and take some photos after the graffiti is removed.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 10 years ago

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