Howard’s Meridian Hill Hall getting renovated into “200 new rental housing units”

by Prince Of Petworth February 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm 18 Comments

16th and Euclid St, NW

From a press release:

“air Lynch Real Estate Partners (“Jair Lynch”) announced it entered into a 99-year ground lease with Howard University for 2601 16th Street, NW, a property adjacent to Meridian Hill Park. Jair Lynch intends to renovate the now- vacant dormitory into a boutique multifamily housing community. Jair Lynch acquired the rights in September 2015 from Howard University through a competitive process and closed the transaction on December 17, 2015.

The 2601 16th Street, NW building, constructed in 1942, was the site of the first government- owned and -operated hotel built exclusively to house young women who moved to the District during World War II to fill government jobs. Howard University operated it until 2013 as an off- campus dormitory known Meridian Hill Hall.

“As a son of a Howard graduate, I take great pride in redeveloping this great asset and reimagining it for the future,” said Jair K. Lynch, president and CEO. “We are very excited to utilize our team’s diverse skill sets to re-craft this historic structure into a modern apartment community. Additionally, the strength and professionalism of Howard’s team was critical to our ability to close ahead of schedule.”

The renovation of the eight-story building will provide over 200 new rental housing units with panoramic views of downtown Washington, a full suite of modern amenities and strong connections to the Meridian Hill Park.

Jair Lynch transacted this opportunity through a programmatic joint venture vehicle with MacFarlane Partners. This joint venture has a development portfolio of 16 projects in the DC Metropolitan area totaling over $700 MM. Eagle Bank provided financing for the transaction.”



  • west_egg

    Talk about a fugly building. I feel like buildings of this vintage aren’t generally the most flexible/configurable on the inside, but perhaps I’m wrong and they’ll be able to work some magic. The location is pretty great.
    Separate question: Are 99-year leases standard for this sort of thing? I’m reminded of how much the Lerners are regretting their 75-year(ish) lease with Lord & Taylor at White Flint.

    • Anon

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the Lerners…

    • anon

      the exterior may not be your taste, but this has some of the most amazing views in DC. the south facing units overlook merdian hill park with views of downtown and the washington monument and all that fun stuff. between the views and a decent location, i can see why a developer would be interested.

    • Philippe Lecheval

      I think it’s an interesting building. There aren’t a ton of Modernist buildings in DC that are this old. Most of them were built more than a decade later.

    • ExWalbridgeGuy

      Believe that a 99-year-lease is the longest possible lease under common law. The idea is just a lease that lasts until everybody involved with it is dead.

  • Rich

    I believe this was some sort of non-profit senior housing before Howard took it over for dorms in the 90s.

    • I was trying to remember what this was prior to being a Howard dorm. I’m not sure that this held senior housing, though–I know for sure that the Camden Roosevelt building at the other end of the park was senior housing until 2002, when it sat vacant and then later rebuilt into luxury apartments.

      • murrr

        that’s correct.

    • MarkQ

      This was Howard housing before the 90s. I know former students who lived there in the 80s, when Meridian Hill Park was drug haven.

  • anon

    I used to live across the street from this building. What a cool origin story! I had no idea.

  • meridian hill watcher

    When I first heard about this I was hoping they would knock this building down and start over. I would love to see a classical design that fits in with some of the surrounding buildings near the park.

    • INDC

      Yeah, agreed. It would be great to see something more related to the time period the park was built – though I’m sure that would be extremely expensive. Maybe the developer will find a way to make this building look more inviting. Side note, anyone know what is going on (seems like nothing) with the gorgeous old building at 16th & Fuller? It looks so old and grand, and in dire need of rehab.

  • Petworther

    I’m assuming this will include 10% ADUs?

  • V

    happy for Jair for securing this project.

    • stacksp

      He is doing well in this area. I remember watching him as a kid in the Olympics.

  • steveg202

    I too used to live across from this building. Amazing views and something interesting -I was told there is a large indoor swimming pool inside that hasn’t been in service over 20 years.


Subscribe to our mailing list