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Construction Begins At Jair Lynch's Renovation Of Howard University Dorm Into Apartments

Howard University's Meridian Hill Hall at 1601 16th St. NW will be redeveloped into apartments.

The historic Meridian Hill Hotel, more recently a Howard University dormitory, will be given a new life as a 206-unit apartment building. 

Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, in a JV with MacFarlane Partners, launched its renovation of the building earlier this month and plans to deliver the project in fall 2018. EagleBank provided acquisition and construction financing, and JPMorgan Chase provided the historic tax credit equity. Grunley Construction is leading the restoration efforts.

The development's amenity spaces, designed by the BKV Group, will include a rooftop deck, an indoor pool, a multilevel fitness center and yoga studio, an outdoor courtyard, a cocktail lounge, a demonstration kitchen and work pods. At 2601 16th St. NW, the property sits just north of Meridian Hill Park. The closest Metro station, Columbia Heights, is half a mile away. It has served as a Howard University dorm, Meridian Hill Hall, since 1969. 

The eight-story hall was built in 1942 as the first government-owned hotel to house women who moved to DC to fill government jobs during World War II. It was designed by famous DC architect Louis E. Justement, who also built the Longworth House Office Building.

Jair Lynch on the rooftop of 2601 16th St. NW overlooking Meridian Hill Park and the Washington Monument

In 2015, Jair Lynch acquired the development rights to the building and entered into a 99-year ground lease with Howard in a $22M deal. The deal was part of Howard's ongoing strategy to boost revenue by monetizing its properties in what has become a highly sought-after neighborhood for developers. 

For Jair Lynch, the project continues the developer's strategy of acquiring and developing properties in walkable neighborhoods. In another MacFarlane JV, Jair Lynch is building a 432-unit mixed-use project near Nationals Park, and in fall 2016 it delivered a 307-unit mixed-use building on H Street NE.