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Board approves Capitol Hill townhouse purchase

March 30, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Washington – The ADA Board at its March meeting approved a plan to purchase a townhouse on Capitol Hill to enhance the Association's presence in the nation's capital. The Board's action followed extensive due diligence requested by the Board at the December meeting and unanimous votes of support by the ADPAC Board of Directors and the Council on Government Affairs.

"We hope to close on the property in mid-April," Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president, and Dr. Ronald P. Lemmo, treasurer, said in a House of Delegates Dispatch distributed to delegates, alternate delegates, former presidents, officers and trustees of the Board, constituent executive directors, constituent presidents, council chairs, vice chairs and directors, and senior management.

"Needed renovations are projected to be completed by the end of the summer, allowing us to begin using the townhouse well in time for America's Dental Meeting 2015, which will be held [Nov. 5-10] in Washington," the ADA officers said. The facility is to be used for social and networking events that underscore the importance of oral health and the dental profession's leadership in providing care to the American people, they said.

"Expanding our reach closer to the Capitol is in keeping with the ADA Strategic Plan," Dr. Feinberg said. "One of the objectives includes positioning ADA membership as a positive differentiating factor for patients and promoting oral health through advocacy and science."

The Dispatch described the investment in the Association's second District of Columbia property and the due diligence and vetting processes that culminated in an offer to purchase a townhouse located at 137 C St. S.E., which may not be correctly identified by some electronic mapping applications. "The Board is confident that this decision and the evaluation that led to it will benefit all ADA members, who over the years have consistently indicated that a strong presence on Capitol Hill is one of the greatest values the Association delivers," the Dispatch said.

The Association will retain the 12-story office building at 1111 14th St. N.W., which houses ADA Washington Office administrative, communications and government affairs staff on its top two floors. The Association completed purchase in 1989 of the building constructed in 1983. The ADA has maintained offices and staff in Washington since World War II.

Location was considered to be an important consideration in the search process for both the office building and the townhouse. "The new facility is literally within a two-minute walk of all three U.S. House of Representatives office buildings, making it much easier for representatives or their staff to attend events or meet with their dentist constituents," ADA Executive Director Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin told state and national dental leaders in a March 27 Leadership Update.

The evaluation included an in-depth examination of the Capitol Hill real estate market to identify properties that might serve the Association's needs and enhance the ADA brand in Washington.

"As part of the financial due diligence, the Board of Trustees Budget and Finance Committee specifically considered not only the estimated costs of operating the property but also the opportunity cost of the investment at an expected rate of return," the House of Delegates Dispatch said. "Ultimately, the Budget and Finance Committee and the full Board approved the purchase subject to a letter from the D.C. zoning administrator regarding the permitted use of the property. Funding of up to $2.5 million will come from long term reserves, which have benefitted from historic high market values due to the strong performance of investments over the past few years."