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Restoration Updates

July 17, 2003 - District of Columbia Request for Proposals July 17, 2003


Request for Proposals for the Lease of The Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003

The District of Columbia Office of Property Management (“OPM”) on behalf of the District of Columbia Government (the “District”), hereby requests proposals for the lease and restoration of the Old Naval Hospital, adjoining carriage house, and monumental cast iron perimeter fence (the “Improvements”) and land (land and Improvements collectively the “Property”), located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003.


The Old Naval Hospital was built in 1865 to serve Civil War forces on the Potomac River. The building, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, was used as a naval hospital until 1911. It then became the Temporary Home for Veterans of All Wars, a private institution providing lodging for those pressing pension claims in Washington. The Property is owned by the Federal government, which transferred jurisdiction of the Property to the District on April 12, 1962, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 122, D.C. Official Code 10-111 (2002 Ed.). After the transfer of jurisdiction, the District leased the Property to various tenants. The Improvements are a local and national landmark that have fallen into disrepair and need significant restoration.

The Property is a designated historic building located in the central sector of the Capitol Hill Historic District, approximately (9) nine blocks east of the United States Capitol and House Office Building. It is a triangular lot, between 9th and 10th streets, S.E., defined by Pennsylvania Avenue on the north – a major east-west transportation artery serving the District of Columbia. The property is accessible by public transportation, including bus routes along Pennsylvania Avenue and 8th Street SE, as well as the Eastern Market Metro Station (two blocks away). The property is within a 10 to 15 minute walk of the Library of Congress, the House and Senate Office Buildings, the Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Capitol. The Old Naval Hospital building faces south, with an entrance on E Street, S.E., and is within the vicinity of Historic Eastern Market, the Marine Barracks and the Washington Navy Yard.

The Property will need to be significantly retrofitted to meet life safety, Americans with Disability Act, and building code requirements.

The Property has the following public utilities: municipal sewer and water, natural gas, telephone service, and electricity.

OPM has conducted an environmental assessment of the Property and it is available for any potential bidders in the Office of Property Management, 441 4th Street, N.W. Suite 1100. All findings from this assessment will be disclosed to interested parties and to the public at large. In addition, OPM has installed new downspouts, gutters, and exit signage in the main building and stabilized the back.

2. Authorization

The law governing the transfer of jurisdiction over property authorizes the Federal and District government to “transfer jurisdiction over parts or all of such properties among or between themselves for purposes of administration and maintenance under such conditions as may be mutually agreed upon.” Section 9 of the Act of June 6, 1924, as amended: 40 U.S. C. 122, D.C. Official Code 10-111 (2001 Ed.).

The April 12, 1962 transfer of jurisdiction for the Property is without language that identifies any general or specific restrictions for uses of the Property by the District.

3. The Site

The Property is legally identified for tax purposes as:

LOT 802, SQUARE 948 improved by two buildings located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

SQUARE 948 is a triangular-shaped site containing a total combined land area of 30,711 square feet. It has 261.25 feet of street frontage on Pennsylvania Avenue, 231.75 feet on E Street, and 193 feet on 9th Street and 72.2 feet on 10th Street.

Basic Property Description:

The site area of the Property totals 30,711 square feet with and includes two buildings: a three-story building and a two-story carriage house building. According to the Urban Land Institute Old Naval Hospital: A Strategy for Reuse redevelopment survey conducted in April 2002, the Property:

Has 16,000 square feet of usable space, excluding space in carriage house.

Has 20-25 parking spaces on site.

The Improvements were built in 1866, prior to the enactment of the current zoning regulations adopted May 12, 1958 and represents a legal non-conforming usage. It is anticipated subject to use that the lessee will need to participate with the District for the rezoning of the Property.

The Property is zoned C-2-A. The permitted uses for C-2-A are low-density development, including office, retail, and residential uses to a maximum lot occupancy of 60% for residential use. Buildings in this zoning classification are subject to a maximum 50-foot or four-story height limit and a FAR (Floor Area Ratio) of 2.5 for residential use and 1.5 FAR for all other permitted uses.

The Property [occupies a prominent location on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE with views along the corridor to both the U.S. Capitol Building to the west and Anacostia River to the east. Pennsylvania Avenue and 8th Street SE both offer nearby dining and shopping opportunities.

4. Conditions of Lease

A. Lease and Development of Property

OPM is offering a long-term lease of the Property, prescribing development and mutually agreed upon use restrictions affecting the Property. The Property is to be leased in “as is condition,” without warranty by the District as to the physical conditions of the land or buildings. The District conducted an environmental assessment of the Improvements; the study is available to all interested parties and you may set up an appointment with the Office of Property Management to read this assessment. The lessee will make its own conclusions concerning conditions that may affect the methods or cost of redevelopment. OPM recommends that the prospective lessee inspect the Property and perform such studies as may be relevant to making an offer for the lease. Prospective lessees should rely only on their own surveys, observations, investigations, inspections, inspection reports (if any), and conclusions in submitting a proposal for the lease and restoration of the Property.

Restoration work on the Property must begin within one year of the contract award date and must be substantially completed within three years. If this time frame is not met, then the District reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the lease. Restoration includes the exterior and interior of the Property and the fence around the perimeter of the Property and must comply with all District and Federal government code and historic guidelines.

Maintenance and upkeep of the Property is the responsibility of the lessee and will be subject to an annual site review conducted by OPM.

OPM reserves the right to set all final leasing terms.

B. Financial Compensation and Lease Term

Based on preliminary assessments completed by the District of Columbia’s Office of Property Management as well as the Urban Land Institute’s Old Naval Hospital: A Strategy for Reuse redevelopment survey, April 2002, the estimated reasonable cost for redevelopment and restoration of the Property is $3,000,000 - $6,000,000. The lessee will be responsible for all operating expenses including maintenance and upkeep.

The Property will be leased for a period that is not less than twenty (20) years with an option to renew for another twenty (20) years, subject to approval by the Council of the District of Coumbia.

5. Selection Criteria

Each proposal will be evaluated to determine the extent to which it addresses the restoration needs, operational and maintenance requirements of the Property, and promotes a new and contributing use to the community. In addition, each proposal will be evaluated with respect to:

A. Proposal Feasibility Plan (Section 7, Part B, Below) – (60%)

Team Members (20%)

2. Qualifications and Experience (20%) - Lessee must be qualified to do said work, or must contract a qualified third party to do so.

3. Financial Feasibility (20%) - Lessee must provide financial viability for redevelopment and maintenance of the Property.

Lessee must be capable of delivering plans and specifications within 2 months of execution of the lease – (25%)

Lessee must submit plan to restore and preserve the exterior and interior of the structure in compliance with District and Federal Historic Preservation requirements and principles.

C. Minority and Local Participation in the Development – (15%)

6. Selection Process

OPM has established the following process to select a suitable lessee for the development of the Property. By 5:00 pm on December 1, 2003, prospective lessees must submit their proposal in the form described in Section 5, accompanied by $200.00 non-refundable deposit. No proposal shall be accepted after the above-indicated submission date and time unless the date and/or time for submission of proposals are extended in writing.

All proposals received shall be reviewed/evaluated by the review board that will consist of five people selected by the Office of Property Management and an ex-officio member from the community. The Review Board will make a recommendation for the selection of the prospective lessee to Director of the Office of Property Management who will then make a recommendation to the Mayor for final selection of the lessee.

Process for Selection of Lessee

A. System for evaluation

A qualitative system of evaluation will be used by the Review Board to evaluate each proposal. The first evaluation will be solely based on whether a proposal "meets" versus "does not meet" the Selection Criteria, Section 5, page 4. The second evaluation will involve considering the various selection factors and ordering each proposal from highest to lowest. The respondents who submit the four highest-ranked proposals will be asked to then provide "best and final offers." The Preferential Selection Criteria (Section 6, Paragraph E) are more fully explained, with no specific proposal enumerated, in terms of what would be more acceptable and what is less acceptable. After the best and final proposals are submitted, the Review Board will then recommend a lessee for the property.

B. Qualitative requirements of lessee and/or contractors for restoration.

The bidder must show one overriding function of the building, show experience, background, or interest in historical building use, have experience and knowledge of restoration of historical buildings and show examples of its sensitivity to the restoration of historical buildings or otherwise, have a contractor as a part of its development team with such knowledge and experience.

C. Restoration plan – exterior, interior and grounds

A developed, written project plan referencing the established guidelines from Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER), the U.S. Secretary of the Interior standards, and the District of Columbia Office of Historic Preservation standards for restoring the exterior of the buildings, the grounds and the fence. Original doors, hardware, trim and similar original elements in the Property that are identified in the District of Columbia Office of Property Management preliminary assessment and the Rehabilitation of the Old Naval Hospital: A Technical Report (Friends of the Old Naval Hospital, January 2002) should be retained. Also, a plan must be submitted showing specific uses of the interiors, including architectural drawings. This plan will include any environmental clean up needed on the Improvements that is shown by the assessment done by the OPM.

D. Management

This plan will include detailed cost estimates of the various elements associated with specific time frames for start and finish of each of those elements. Proof is required of a substantial agreement that exists with an architect or architectural group that has experience in restoring buildings to national standards, historical buildings and grounds, and oversight of restorative work.

E. Preferential Selection Criteria – those proposals which best address the following criteria will receive preference over proposals that do not address or only partially address the following criteria. Preferential Selection criteria are numbered in order of importance.

Community access

Extra consideration will be awarded for the provision of space for community meetings and events, historical displays and presentations and some office space for community organizations such as the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The lessee should provide access to the building and grounds for educational and research purposes for community groups. A plan for any and all potential community groups or organizations to have access and use must be provided.

Signature use of the building

Preference shall be given to potential lessees who will be the sole tenant of the building (excepting community uses) over respondents that envision two or more organizations involved in the occupancy of the building.

Low impact use--interior, exterior and grounds

Consideration shall be given for low impact uses (as described in the Urban Land Institute Report), for example, reduced on-site parking to help preserve the building.

Eliminating the exterior fire escapes

Since these fire escapes are non-period, some significant effort should be made to eliminate the fire escapes and provide for the installation of alternative safety equipment. However, any change must comply with existing District of Columbia Fire and Safety Code.

OPM may request clarification or such additional information as may be necessary to complete its review and evaluation of any accepted proposal. After the review board makes its recommendation, the Director will select a proposal whose submitter will be offered a lease for the Property, subject to Council approval. The Director may, at his sole discretion, reject any or all proposals and re-offer the Property.

7. Lessee Submissions

The proposal shall address all elements of Section 6. Respondents to this Request for Proposals are required to submit the following materials, an original and seven (7) copies, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 1, 2003, to:

The Office of Property Management

One Judiciary Square

Attention: Aimee Occhetti

441 4th Street, NW, Suite 1100

Washington, D.C. 20001

A. Proposal letter with a $200.00 non-refundable deposit. The deposit shall be in the form of:

1. A certified check payable to the District of Columbia Treasurer; or

Certificate of deposit payable to the District of Columbia Treasurer; or

An irrevocable letter of credit.

B. Proposal Feasibility Plan (Required Information)

1. Team Members

The name, address, telephone number, fax number, email address of each principal, partner, entity, or joint-venture partner participating in the Lessee entity or individuals under the Lessee’s proposal;

The name, address, telephone number, fax number email address of the representative authorized to act on behalf of the Lessee, and who is available to respond to questions or requests for additional information;

Identification of any affiliation or other relationship between any of the members of the proposing team responding to this offer and any development company, parent company, or subsidiary;

Identification of any relationship among members responding to this offer and any person working for, appointed to a position in, or elected to an office of the District of Columbia Government, and independent entity thereof, or any entity for which there may be even an appearance of a conflict of interest. The Department, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to determine a conflict of interest; and

Satisfactory evidence that all tax liabilities and other governmental impositions are current as such relates to the Lessee.

2. Qualifications and Experience – To evaluate the capability of each respondent, the District requires the information described below:

If the Lessee is not an individual doing business under his or her name, a description of the status of his or her organization (whether a corporation, a non-profit or charitable institution, a partnership, a limited liability corporation, a business association, a joint venture, sole proprietor or otherwise) indicating under which laws it is organized and operating, and a brief history of the organization and its principals;

The principals, partners, or joint-venture partners or any other parties participating in the proposal who have agreed to be a part of or participate in the proposing entity must be qualified and eligible to transact business with the District and qualified to do business in the District of Columbia. A copy of any written agreement/document creating any entity responding to this offer must be provided at the time of the entity’s proposal response;

The individual who will be, or whose organization will be, the managing principal or partner;

The nature and share of each participant’s financial investment or the proposing entity and the role of each;

Relevant projects with which the principal or managing partner and the design architect have had primary involvement, including illustrative material of projects that demonstrate their respective abilities, the name and address for each project identified, the name and telephone number of persons familiar with the development who may respond to inquiries from OPM, and the principal managing partner or design architect role in each project (should include references to experience in historic restoration and adaptive reuse);

References for the principal or managing partner, including names, addresses and telephone numbers email address and a letter authorizing each reference to respond to inquiries regarding the design, financing and development of prior projects; and

A list of the professionals the Lessee will be employing for this project. For each professional firm, there should be a description of the staff capabilities, the resumes of all senior-level staff who will be working on this project, and information on their particular role on this project, and their past experiences that are directly relevant to this project.

Lessees may submit additional material that they believe will assist in evaluating the capabilities of the Lessee, the design architect, and any other professional who will be participating in the development. OPM shall request additional information from the authorized representatives, if deemed necessary, to facilitate the evaluation of the respondent’s submissions.

3. Financial Feasibility– To evaluate each respondent’s ability to finance the proposed development, OPM requires the following information:

a) A statement providing a comprehensive listing of all projected sources and uses of project funding, including a timetable and project plan with a detailed (at least monthly) plan for taking over the Improvements, completing the restorations and beginning functional operations

Development Budget, including projected restoration/maintenance/operational costs as well as a reasonable estimate and articulation of projected soft costs such as architectural fees, engineering fees, marketing costs, financing fees


Show a complete financial plan for the restoration of the Property’s interior, exterior and grounds, including costs and budgeting over a specific time line covering three years or less. It must also show sources for the funding.

2) Maintenance

Show a complete financial and operational plan for the maintenance of the buildings and grounds to ensure restored facilities are properly maintained, based on an annual operating plan. This should include all capital expenditures over a (20) twenty-year period including painting, HVAC repairs and replacement, roofing, and other regularly performed maintenance.

3) Operations

Show a complete financial plan for the operations involved in using the building, including such things as heating, air conditioning, and general maintenance. This needs to include the qualifications for operators and/or staff that the lessee will have involved in maintaining the building on a day-to-day basis.

Proposed financing plan, including sources of debt and equity, and any potential for TIF credits, grants, or appropriated dollars.

Respondent should provide sufficient detail for OPM to determine the feasibility of the proposed financing plan including, but not limited to:

1) A statement of public subsidy, if any, required to make the project financially feasible;

2) Projected income and expenses pro-forma for the project; and

3) Satisfactory written evidence of respondent’s ability to secure financing for the restoration.

C. Minority and local participation in the development

List all minority individuals, firms or organizations that are members of the development team, including their percentage of ownership interest, if applicable, and whether they are District-based.

Provide a narrative description of the efforts that will be made to provide minority and District residents, businesses, tradesmen, professionals and financial institutions with employment and/or business opportunities in development of the Property.

In keeping with the Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Participation and Employment Opportunities and Community Outreach Plan, provide reasonable projections of the permanent and temporary jobs created for District residents during the development of the Property and the long term use of the Property. Provide a plan for utilizing the District of Columbia Department of Employee Services in employing temporary and permanent employees for the use and operation of the developed Property.

D. Provide executed organizational documents (corporate charter, partnership agreement, or otherwise) or, in the alternative, a Memorandum of Understanding signed by and among the participating parties.

E. A narrative description of the proposed development and the approximate fixed square footage of each proposed use, including, but not limited to, building(s) or other improvements.

F. A narrative description of the market studies undertaken or to be undertaken to support the uses proposed in Paragraph E above and graphically depicted in the following Paragraph G.

G. Drawings adequately depicting the design concept in sufficient detail to permit OPM to evaluate the design quality and feasibility of the proposed development program. Such drawings should include the following:

Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical and Structural Specifications Building Plans (1/8”=1’) reflecting proposed for renovations for the Improvements as defined herein. Said plans should include but not be limited to:

- Elevations of primary facades.

- Description of the various materials to be used in the restoration and construction of the Improvements.

- Rehabilitation plans, including plans for the removal of hazardous materials.

8. Historic Information

The property is eligible for the Federal historic preservation tax incentives program. This program rewards private investment in rehabilitating historic properties by lowering the amount of tax owed on a certified rehabilitation. A 20% rehabilitation tax credit is possible if the rehabilitation meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

9. Notice of Non-Discrimination

In accordance with the District of Columbia Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, District of Columbia Official code Section 2-1401.01 et seq., (Act) the District of Columbia does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, or place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is also prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 11, 2008