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Why DC’s Line Hotel is Operating Sans Certificate of Occupancy

by Nena Perry-Brown

Why DC's Line Hotel is Operating Sans Certificate of Occupancy: Figure 1
Aerial view of the lobby at The Line

Last month, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau issued a letter requesting clarification for the The Line hotel's series of temporary certificates of occupancy (C of O) — a permit status made more suspicious because of the Adams Morgan hotel's months of operations and a pending audit of the hotel meeting promised hiring quotas. Now, a new zoning application may shed some light on why a permanent C of O has not yet been issued.

Approval of the development from Adams Morgan church to hotel included a substantial community benefits agreement with several conditions, one of which is $200,000 worth of specific improvements to the Marie Reed Learning Center. Following approval of the development in 2013, however, the city rehabilitated Marie Reed, essentially supplanting what The Line's development team had been required to do.

The new zoning application states that the developer, DC Public Schools and the Department of General Services (DGS) agreed in January 2017 that The Line would instead remit DGS a payment of $200,000 for the work done, an action the Zoning Administrator accepted as satisfying this condition. 

"Over the past months, the Owner has worked to finalize construction of the PUD project so as to be able to obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy for the project," the application states. "[Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)] has recently stated to the Owner that as a part of obtaining the final Certificate of Occupancy, the Owner should seek modification of the PUD Order to reflect the actual state of the ability to provide the Marie Reed Learning Center improvements. This direction was provided by DCRA, understanding the Owner's letter agreement with DC DGS and DCPS, the Owner's payment of $200,000 to the DC Treasurer, and the Zoning Administrator's confirmation."

In accordance with DCRA's recommendation, The Line is applying for a modification of consequence that would retroactively amend the portion of the original planned-unit development approval that requires the aforementioned community benefit be completed prior to issuance of a C of O. 

Update: UrbanTurf has learned that The Line informed Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of having received a final C of O last night and is therefore eligible to be audited to ensure all conditions for tax abatements have been met.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/why-the-line-is-operating-sans-certificate-of-occupancy/14267

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