Housing Complex

Hill Center Held Up By Tax Credits, Should Open in October

A finished hallway. (Lydia DePillis)

The Old Naval Hospital at 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, which back in February was well on its way to rebirth as the Hill Center over the summer, hasn't announced a ribbon cutting yet. Not because it's not ready, though. The floors are buffed, the high-tech conference technology installed, the furniture moved in. What's holding it up? A little financing snafu: The nonprofit was banking on $2 million in historic preservation tax credits, but hadn't yet found a buyer for them, and you can't get them if you already have a certificate of occupancy. The Hill Center is hoping to close on the deal within the next week, and could open a few weeks after that.

In the mean time, they're still looking for an operator for the carriage house restaurant, which needs to be open for breakfast and serve up an affordable lunch. They've hit up all the "usual suspects" on Barracks Row and H Street NE, but haven't signed any deals, so get in touch if you're interested.

More photos after the jump.

A beautifully preserved staircase.

The mustard-colored attick. (Lydia DePillis)

The industrial kitchen.

  • trulee pist

    How come the February "coming sooooon" article says, "$1 million in historic tax credits," and this says $2 million in delayed tax credit sales are holding things up? When did the amount of tax credit sales they were counting on before opening double to $2 million? I can see how that would take more time than $1 million.

  • Skipper

    I give this thing 12 months before it runs into "unexpected" financial problems.

    And I give it 6 months before the affordable restaurant/carriage house across from a gas station/auto repair shop is re-purposed as some temporary art gallery.

  • Lydia DePillis

    @Trulee post

    I'm confirming with the Hill Center people, but my understanding is that transaction costs take a hefty percentage of the value of the tax credits.

  • hillman

    WTF is an "affordable lunch"?

    I got your affordable lunch. It's called a home made PBJ sandwich.

    How about we rent the space to a restaurant without idiotic requirements that severely restrict the number of restaurants that would consider the space?

  • trulee pist

    @Lydia, I think you are right. I wonder if they need to sell $2 million in credits to net $1 million? I do remember way back in the mists of time the architect, David Bell, telling ANC 6B they intended to get a $1 million (gross, not net, I think) for restoring the Carriage House, but I am sure there have been many twists and turns since then.

    Thanks for the great photos.

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