February 12, 2024

Facilities Dive Quotes Zachary Williams on a Tax Abatement Program for Commercial-to-Residential Conversions in Washington, DC

2 min

On February 12, 2024, Facilities Dive quoted Zachary Williams on Washington, DC’s new tax abatement program for commercial-to-residential conversions.

According to the article, DC is set to adopt regulations for implementing a new tax abatement program that will address financial and structural hurdles involved in commercial-to-residential conversion projects. The program provides a 20-year tax abatement as an incentive for property owners to convert all or part of their property to residential uses in the downtown area. The conversions must yield a minimum of 10 housing units during the abatement period.

Williams expressed concerns regarding the existing and expected vacancies across office properties, explaining that a failure to repurpose these spaces for residential use will have wide-reaching consequences for the capital, impacting tax revenues, local businesses, and overall community vitality.

“We can’t have these buildings just go vacant,” Williams said. "We cannot have an empty downtown. So, the goal here isn’t just a handout. It isn’t just a program [for] developers to make more money. It’s literally critical to the lifeblood of the city that these projects happen. And the concern right now is that without this program, they’re not going to happen. The economics just don’t work.”

The incentive covers parts of Dupont Circle, West End, Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, and East End.  The DC City Council has opened a 30-day comment period that runs through February 26.

Click here to access the article.