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Abandoned building of Pakistan Embassy sold in Washington for Tk 77 crore

by BanglaPress Desk

Staff Reporter: An abandoned building of the Pakistan Embassy has been sold for 7.1 million dollars (77 crore 19 lakhs in Bangladeshi currency) in Washington D.C, USA. The embassy and the buyers of the building confirmed this information on Thursday local time.
The property, which has remained vacant since 2003, found a new owner in the form of Hafeez Khan, a Pakistani businessman.
Originally owned by the Pakistan Embassy, the building underwent a downgrading of its property classification by the District of Columbia government, resulting in an increase in taxes based on its assessed value.
Renowned as the R Street building, this architectural gem had previously served as a chancery, but in late 2022, it was put up for auction, attracting three bids. Unfortunately, the bidding process was later canceled by Pakistani authorities without disclosing any specific reasons. The highest bid received amounted to an impressive $6.8 million, exceeding the pre-auction evaluation benchmark of $4.5 million.
Over the course of more than a decade, the building remained unoccupied, and in 2018, its diplomatic status was revoked, thereby making it liable for local government taxes. To compound matters further, earlier this year, local authorities downgraded the building’s status, resulting in additional financial burdens. Initially categorized as Class 2 (commercial property) in 2018 and 2019, it was subsequently reclassified as Class 3 (vacant property) from 2020 to 2022.
Finally, in April 2023, due to its deteriorated condition, the building was further downgraded to Class 4 by the Department of Buildings, which indicates a structure that poses potential threats to health, safety, or general welfare. Various factors, such as its state of repair, security, and protection against weather damage, influenced this classification.
It is noteworthy that Class 3 properties are subjected to a tax rate of $5 per $100 of assessed value, while Class 4 properties face a higher tax rate of $10 per $100 of assessed value. Despite a $7 million loan sanctioned in 2010 by then-Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani to fund repairs, the building’s condition continued to deteriorate due to insufficient maintenance.


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