Pakistan finally sells renowned building in Washington for $7.1m

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A historic building in the US capital that had been unoccupied since 2003 was ultimately sold by Pakistan for $7.1 million after months of effort.

Hafeez Khan, a businessman from Pakistan, has acquired the property.

The building owned by the Pakistan Embassy had its property classification reduced by the District of Columbia government, which unavoidably resulted in higher taxes on its assessed value.

The building had been listed for sale for the past few months.

This historic, now-collapsing building, owned by the Pakistani government, had its class status altered by the local authorities.

The government received three bids after the renowned R Street building, which was once a chancery, was put up for auction late last year.

However, the Pakistani authorities eventually terminated the entire bidding process without explaining. For the property, which is located in the middle of the city, the best bidder made an offer of $6.8 million.

The benchmark price for the pre-auction evaluation of the structure on an “as is” basis was set at $4.5 million.

The structure has lain empty for well over a decade. Additionally, in 2018, its diplomatic status was revoked, making it responsible for paying taxes to the regional government.

Early this year, the local authorities further degraded the property classification, adding to the strain on the public coffers.

From 2018 onward, the Pakistani government did not receive any tax relief on that property, according to official papers from the District of Columbia.

The building was subsequently classified in 2018 and 2019 as Class 2 since it was a commercial structure and Class 3 because it was unoccupied from 2020 to 2022.

The building’s property classification was further reduced in April 2023, and it is currently listed as Class 4 due to its poor state.

If a building is deemed to be hazardous, unsanitary, or otherwise considered to pose a threat to the community’s health, safety, or general welfare, the local government’s Department of Buildings declares it to be blighted.