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New Libertarian National Committee Headquarters - an exclusive first look

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Published on Mar 1, 2014

The Libertarian Party has been planning to buy a building for its national headquarters for over a year now, having always rented office space at various locations in DC (and briefly, Houston, Texas) since the 1970s when it was founded.



The Libertarian National Committee is meeting this weekend in Alexandria, Virginia, a few blocks from the building it has under contract at 1444 Duke Street. This video is the first time libertarians generally have been able to see it.

There was a little controversy and buzz at the LNC meeting because of the recent purchase, by the Marijuana Policy Project, of a co-op unit (a kind of condominium that is common in DC and Manhattan, with a very few in other states and cities including Florida, California, Virginia and Maryland), for the same price, at 2370 Champlain Street NW in D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Many had felt that being forced out of D.C. proper by D.C.'s higher real estate prices was a shame for a national political organization, and some worried that the buyer agents working for the LNC may have neglected to show them D.C. properties, including the one MPP knew about and some on the LNC fear they did not.



Here's the MPP building, where they have a large unit on the first floor. And here's a the interior. (I actually sold a residential apartment in the same building a few years ago, for someone who is now an Obama/Hillary political appointee at the State Department.) Both the MPP unit and the LNC HQ are selling for around $825,000. The MPP building has a better location, many think, but it also has a high monthly fee. It's possible that some people also thought the Adams Morgan side street MPP bought on is too "transitional" or unsafe - a non-DC person would think that. But in fact it is likely to appreciate faster than the Alexandria location. Both are near a Metro (subway) and inside the Beltway, which means they will be the continued recipients of Federal Reserve inflation as all D.C. metropolitan real estate is (like the stock market, and unlike the real estate in much of the country.) But the new LNC HQ is close to being a strip mall at the outer edge of exurbia, with a giant anchor of the area, the U.S. Patent Office, rumored to be moving away. The MPP location is featured in a recent real estate blog article which crows "Is Adams Morgan Becoming Posh?"

(For full disclosure let me say that I am a realtor with licenses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and though everyone asked for my opinion this weekend, no one from either the LP or MPP asked for my advice or assistance in their property search..)

There are a number of properties that closed in the past 12 months in DC that were commercial spaces over 2500 sq ft and under $1 million, two of which look like good candidates. One is a 3000 sq ft ground floor space just around the corner from where MPP bought, 1745 Kalorama Road, that sold for $100,000 less than either MPP or the LP paid, and which has a very low condo fee (under $500). It's downside - it doesn't own a parking space. But it is in a condo that has a garage where one could buy or rent spaces as needed and one can park on the street (sometimes difficult in D.C.)




There are also a number of properties for sale now in D.C. that might be better than the commercial townhouse under contract.

The real contender however, is 921 12th Street NE, near Capitol Hill, Union Station (which has both a subway stop and Amtrak), National Public Radio's gleaming new building, and the NoMa subway stop. This is new construction in the most rapidly appreciating section of town, and it is over 4000 sq ft, much bigger than either the MPP purchase or the Alexandria unit the LNC has under contract.




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1516 P Street NW, in the 1970s, was a sketchy neighborhood where friends who worked at the old Young Libertarian Alliance (the defunct youth arm of the Libertarian Party) tell me everyone locked up at 5:00 pm and skeedaddled before sundown. It's now the border between Logan Circle and Dupont Circle, full of million dollar lofts, a Whole Foods, theaters, upscale bars, and restaurants. 1516 and the two adjoining town houses at 1514 and 1518 have most recently been for sale for around $8.5 million - though they were for sale back in 1999 for $331,000. Currently it houses the National Congress of American Indians, one of the groups lobbying to get the Washington Redskins to change their name.

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