One of the last remaining unrestored Logan Circle town houses was sold by a District of Columbia government agency to a real estate investor yesterday for $32,000 -- a price about $100,000 less than it would command on the open market.
The purchaser, former City Council candidate Patricia Rice Press, also will receive some low interest loans from the city to help finance the estimated $57,000 in restoration work the house, at 18 Logan Circle, needs.
The sale by the city's Redevelopment Land Agency was contingent on Press agreeing to make the house her permanent home and set aside part of the house for a rental apartment that will be rented to a low-income family. In addition, Press had to agree to pay the city 80 percent of any profit she may make if she sells the house within the next 10 years.
Unrestored Logan Circle houses, many of them with rotted roofs and floors, gutted rooms and falling plaster, sell now for $85,000 to more than $400,000, but few ever appear on today's market.
Number 18 Logan Circle was one of 14 homes acquired by the Redevelopment Land Agency in the early 1970s as part of the Shaw urban renewal program. Those wishing to buy the homes were invited to apply. Tentative developers were chosen in 1977 with final approval being given to 13 of those buyers last summer. Most of the homes, which were all sold at their 1975 appraised prices, will contain at least one subsidized rental unit.
The sale prices ranged from $10,000 to $39,650 for the hugh Victorian structures, and the buyers were many middle- and upper-income families who also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in low interest rehabilitation funds.
Some community residents have criticized the way the agency handled the sales.
"It [the program] was set up to give home ownership opportunities," said Charles Richardson, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Logan Circle area. "Press already owns about 10 other properties. How can they justify giving it to her?"
Barbara Rothenberg, a real estate broker who has lived on the circle for six years, estimated that Number 18 Logan Circle, if it were sold today on the open market, might command a price of $130,000. Number 6 Logan Circle, which contains apartments, sold last year for $170,000, while Number 7, which is much larger than Number 18, sold recently for about $440,000 as a shell, she noted.
D.C. housing director Robert L. Moore said yesterday he had found no basis for denying the house to Press.
At the time the 13 other homes in the program were sold last summer, Press was involved in a heated campaign for the Ward 6 City Council seat, a ward that includes Capitol Hill and part of Anacostia but not Logan Circle. Press asked the board to delay final decision on Number 18 until after the election.
Press told a reporter that if she won the election, she would live in Ward 6, but if she lost she would move to the Logan Circle home.
Press subsequently narrowly lost the Democratic primary election to incumbent Nadine P. Winter.
A personal income report for 1976 filed by Press when she ran for election last year showed that she owned seven homes in the city with a total 1976 value of more that $493,000. Four of the homes were leased to others, two were vacant, and the seventh -- valued at $130,000 - was in the process of being sold at the time, she told a reporter last August.