âme is most recent ULI Case Study

Last month, Jair Lynch hosted an Urban Land Institute case study at âme, the firm’s most recent multifamily development. Previously known as 2601 16th Street/Meridian Hill Hall, âme was an 8-story vacant building built in 1942 with 180,645 square feet. Its original use was a hotel for women during World War II. Most recently, it was a dormitory for Howard University through 2013.


The ULI panel consisted of Jair Lynch, President and CEO of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners; Tim Karp, Executive Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co; and Ryan Segars, Senior Vice President of Eagle Bank; and was moderated by Carlos Bonner, Vice President of Development at Jair Lycnh Real Estate Partners.


Jair discussed the complexities of heavy renovation and adaptive reuse, and how the storied legacy of the building drove decisions about its future. Being located in the “Meridian Hill Historic District,” the building is a contributing historic structure; thus, all exterior renovation and certain interior work was subject to DC Historic Preservation Board and National Park Service approval.


Tim and Ryan, who worked to finance the project, discussed the intricacies of the deal structure, including a ground lease with Howard University and Historic Tax Credits. The team obtained the development rights from Howard University via a competitive Request for Proposal process, and negotiated an Exclusive Rights Agreement with Howard for a 99-year ground lease ownership structure. The building renovation will replicate or retain certain attributes that will require approval by the NPS for historic tax credit financing eligibility. The tax credits will fund 20 percent of the applicable renovation costs.


The project was designed to create a Class A rental community in the heart of the city, in a neighborhood with few new Class A deliveries. âme at Meridian Hill delivered in April and is now accepting lease applications.