Earlier this week, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled that the owners of Museum Square, a 302-unit building populated entirely by low-income residents, failed to comply with D.C. law when they offered the building to the tenants with a sale price of $250 million – far in excess of the property’s market value. The offer of sale was a prerequisite to the landlord’s plan to demolish the building and replace it with high-end condominiums, apartments, and retail space. Last fall, the tenant association, represented by Legal Aid, Arnold & Porter, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, filed suit against the owner, claiming that $250 million was not a “bona fide offer of sale” as required by the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. The Court agreed, holding that the Act requires a price related to the current market value of the property and not a speculative future valuation.
The Washington City Paper covered the decision yesterday.