Four years after opening its new embassy in Washington, D.C., Latvia has sold the old building that had served as the government-in-exile’s legation since the 1950s.
The residential property in the city’s Crestwood neighborhood sold in a Jan. 7 auction to the sole bidder for USD 460,250, according to a press release from the government-owned State Real Estate (Valsts nekustamie īpašumi). The buyers, according to the Latvian Embassy, are Jean Kornfeld and Miljodrag Miljanic.
The Latvian Legation acquired the property at 4325 17th Street N.W. in 1953.
The property had a 2009 assessed value of USD 778,010, which was projected to drop to USD 669,360 this year, according to District of Columbia property records. The assessed value is the one used to figure property tax. The actual market value typically is greater than the assessed value.
However, State Real Estate noted in its press release, given the economic situation in the United States, differences in the legal systems between the U.S. and Latvia, and the fact that the building has stood vacant for several years while its condition has deteriorated, the auction can be viewed as successful. The value of the property set by the real estate service was USD 460,000.
To save on the expense of sending representatives to the United States, according to the government real estate service, the auction took place via videoconference between Rīga and Washington.
The buyers have three weeks to complete the sale.
Kornfeld and Miljanic, according to the Latvian Embassy, plan to remodel the building but respect its historical significance.
Latvia in 2001 bought the new embassy building at 2306 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. for $2.5 million, according to District of Columbia property records. Known as the Barney Studio House, the building on Embassy Row was remodeled and opened in December 2005.
Latvia’s old embassy building in Washington, D.C., has been sold at auction. (Photo by District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue)
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