Georgetown debates building condos next to 'Exorcist steps'

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - These are the Georgetown steps made famous – or infamous – by the movie, “The Exorcist.”

Now, a developer wants to build condos right next door made up of roughly two dozen units in a building five stories high with underground parking. It would sit on land that is currently the home of an Exxon gas station, and some who live and work here give the plan a thumbs-up.

"I think it would be a new opportunity -- there are a lot of people who want to live closer to Georgetown and shop and go to bars," says Michelle Kavanaugh.

"Why not? If people want to buy there, they should be able to buy there," adds Zak Kidd.

Others, like the Hafts, are not so much on-board.

"That's where Key Bridge comes in -- can you imagine what that's going to be like? That adds more people, more cars...I just think that's not a great idea," says nearby resident Sarah Haft.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels says residents fought a condo proposal here nearly three years ago, and he’s hearing concerns again about pending issues, like traffic congestion.

"Canal road is a nightmare much of the time -- weekends, morning rush hour..." he says.

Starrel explains that homeowners on Prospect Street just above the Exxon site are also concerned that the building would block their views of the river.

"We want to make sure it's done right," he assures. "It's probably one of the last large developments that's going to be done in Georgetown."