To buy or not to buy: Economics of 2001 13th Street N.W. – Have you thought of buying a commercial building located in Washington D.C.? The historic 3 story commercial building located at 2001 13th Street N.W. costs $ 1.4 million to purchase plus an estimated $800,000 in improvements. The highest and best use would be to office condo the top two floors while retaining ownership of the ever valuable retail. Price the second and third 1,300 square foot floors at $599,000 and $625,000 respectively. Market $60.00 per foot first floor retail to Dunkin Donuts or a similar use. Don’t take the bait. Here’s the rub. There is only one form of egress and the construction staging will be difficult boosting construction and soft costs. The existing egress is singular and is not to code as there must be 36” width at all points and 7’2” head room. There is no way to place the second egress on the outside of the building so the 1,060 square feet needed to be used for the stairs zaps the return from over 15% to less than 5%.