Pakistan sells historic building for $7.1m


WASHINGTON: After months of efforts, Pakistan finally sold the historical R Street building— vacant since 2003 — in the US capital for $7.1 million, it emerged on Thursday.

The property has been purchased by a Pakistani businessman named Hafeez Khan.

The government of the District of Columbia had downgraded the property classification of the Pakistan Embassy-owned building, which was up for sale for the past few months, inevitably increasing taxes on its assessed value as well.

The local authorities had changed the class status of this old, and now crumbling building owned by the Pakistani government.

The famous R Street building, which used to be a chancery in the past, was put up for auction late last year, after which the government received three bids.

However, the complete bidding process was later cancelled by the Pakistani authorities without giving any reason. The highest bidder had offered $6.8 million for the property, which sits in the heart of the city. Pre-auction evaluation of the building on an “as is” basis was set for $4.5 million as a benchmark.

The building has been unoccupied for well over a decade. Its diplomatic status was also revoked in 2018, which made it liable to pay taxes to the local government.

 

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