Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners to Debut Former Howard University Dorm as Luxury Apartments

First it was The Meridian Hill Hotel for Women, which housed young women who moved to D.C. to fill government jobs during World War II. In the late 1960s, it was transformed into Meridian Hill Hall, a 600-unit dorm that housed Howard University students for over four decades.


The building at 2601 16th St. NW in D.C. will soon take on a new life when it debuts in March as “âme,” a 206-unit, eight-story apartment building in the Meridian Hill neighborhood that developer Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners expects will garner rents ranging between $2,000 and $3,900, depending on availability, floor and views.


Jair Lynch acquired the development rights for the property from Howard two years ago. Its reinvention of the former hotel and dorm adds to a wave of 2,000 rental units under construction in the Columbia Heights/Shaw submarket that are set to deliver over the next 36 months, according to Delta Associates. The âme — meaning soul in French— may stand out because there’s currently “very little Class A product” that has come online in the Meridian Hill neighborhood, which is home to mostly older multifamily product, said Shaunta Bruner, a senior associate with Delta.


“It’s an area that just hasn’t experienced the boom that nearby areas have experienced — there’s a lot of older product,” Bruner said. “Much of the newer development in the Columbia Heights/Shaw submarket has taken place in closer proximity to the 14th Street corridor, U Street, and Shaw.”


She added that Jair Lynch’s rental rates for âme are in line with asking rents for the Columbia Heights/Shaw submarket, which includes Meridian Hill, at about $2,700 per month.


“This is nothing that this submarket can’t handle,” Bruner said. “That’s what the market demands.”


Jair Lynch, president and CEO of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, said in a statement âme will be “chic residence that combines the modernity and elegance of Meridian Hill, while paying homage to the rich soul of its past.”


The company kept the bones of the former dorm and hotel intact, along with the dark green and pale pink marble in the lobby. Jair Lynch added amenities including a rooftop lounge with grilling stations, televisions, stand-up bar and games room; a 2,660-square-foot fitness facility with spin bikes, HIIT cardio trainers; a courtyard with bocce ball; a 24-hour front desk with concierge services, a bicycle repair station; a pet grooming spa, and, of course, Amazon package lockers.


Read full Washington Business Journal article here.