US downgrades status of historic Pakistani embassy-owned building in District Columbia

Pakistani embassy-owned building

Due to its deteriorated condition, the administration of District Columbia of the United States has downgraded the status of the historic Pakistani embassy-owned building.

According to a report published in The News, the local authorities changed the class status of the old, and now crumbling, building owned by the Pakistani government. 

The famous R Street building, which used to be a chancery in the past, was put up for auction late last year.

Due to the downgrade in status, taxes on the property’s assessed value will inevitably increase as well, the report said.

Later, Pakistani authorities cancelled the entire bidding process. 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.

Pak embassy property in US gets highest bid of $6.8m

The structure has lain empty for well over a decade. Additionally, the building’s diplomatic status was terminated in 2018, making it subject to local taxation.

The real estate categorisation, according to building codes in the US, is listed as:

  • Class 1 — improved residential real property that is occupied and is used exclusively for non-transient residential dwelling purposes;
  • Class 2 — Commercial property;
  • Class 3 — Vacant property;
  • Class 4 — Blighted property.

The District of Columbia’s official documents revealed that the Pakistani government did not get any tax relief on that property from 2018 onwards. The building was first categorised as Class 2 because it was commercial in 2018 and 2019. It was then placed into Class 3 because it was vacant for three years from 2020 to 2022.

Late last month, the building’s property classification was further downgraded and it has now been designated as Class 4 for its deteriorated condition.