The City Council took its final vote today on the United Negro College Fund Tax Abatement and Relocation to the District Act of 2010, sealing the deal on $5.1 million in incentives that allowed the non-profit organization to purchase 50,000 square feet in the former Broadcast One development at 7th and S Streets in Shaw.
This morning, UNCF’s Chief Financial Officer Early Reese returned the favor, singing the District’s praises at a breakfast panel on the subject of real estate options for non-profits in the area. UNCF had moved from New York to Virginia 14 years ago to be closer to D.C., and finally to the District proper when the city made it worth the organization’s while to forego Fairfax County’s dramatically lower rates.
“Washington is now of a state that we believe is very viable, very forward thinking, it’s friendly and sensitive to organizations that might want to locate here,” Reese told an audience of brokers and non-profit types thinking about relocating. However, he said, going after tax incentives isn’t a quick and easy process. “Just make sure that whatever the timeline is, it’s gonna be long.”
Meanwhile, unable to compete on the same footing as Maryland and Virginia for the biggest companies, the District is pursuing non-profits of all sizes. The Mayor’s budget recommendation offers ten-year property tax abatements for organizations that buy or lease space in five “Non-Profit Zones”—the Capitol Riverfront, Anacostia, Minnesota-Benning, NoMa, and the Mount Vernon Triangle. Obviously, this will also help developers in those areas fill out their acres of empty space, making the measure attractive to decidedly for-profit entities as well.