The Line Hotel in DC made quite a splash when it opened its doors in Adams Morgan earlier this year.
However, a month after the hotel's opening, controversy and confusion were already swirling around the hiring practices during the building's construction process and whether quotas required by the city in exchange for a major tax abatement had actually been filled. Now, a councilmember is asking for answers.
On Friday morning, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau sent a letter to City Administrator Rashad Young requesting an investigation into whether and how The Line has fulfilled the hiring and community benefit requirements necessary to receive the agreed-upon abatement, which would total $46 million over 20 years.
The letter expresses a lack of confidence in the Department of Employment Services's (DOES) certification of those requirements, as well as concern within the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) over whether community provisions in the hotel are adequate. The letter also expresses suspicion that The Line is using misleading tactics as a last-ditch effort to delay an audit.
"I have recently been made aware of the fact that the Line Hotel has been operating under at least 9 consecutive Temporary Certificates of Occupancy (CofO) after its opening," Nadeau writes in the letter. "From virtually any perspective it appears the hotel is fully occupied and functional. I am concerned the procurement of Temporary Certificates of Occupancy is an attempt to disingenuously extend the construction period for one purpose: to delay when the hotel must begin complying with the conditions of the tax abatement and still receive the abatement in full."
The letter requests that the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) issue a final CofO and that the city investigate why DCRA issued temporary CofOs in the first place after the hotel began operating.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/councilmember/14092
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