Friday, March 07, 2008

More Southeast Development

Crawford Edgewood Managers Inc. (CEMI), together with New Market Investors LLC and the DC Housing Authority, is making headway on Highlands Addition, a revitalization effort that would turn more than 300,000 s.f. of vacant land in Washington Highlands into 138 mixed-income homes. The triumvirate has now selected Hamel Builders as the contractor after a lengthy bidding process, and now have to finalize the layout of alleys and thoroughfares that the project will create, which is still up for City Council approval. Once the chunk of land has been successfully gridded, all that's left is to buy those chichi golden shovels.

The plan, first filed before the Zoning Commission in November, 2006, seeks to build 138 units in the form of single-family detached, semi-detached and row house structures, and a number of stacked flats. In order to fit that many units on the site and to comply with density requirements, the partners needed the Zoning Commission to rezone the lots from R-5-A, to R-5-B. This also allowed the architects at Torti Gallas to design the buildings with a bit more freedom in building heights, which will range from 32 to 53 feet. Developers will also provide tenants with more than 300 parking spaces in garages, parking pads and on-street, but most of the units will have driveways.

The kicker for Zoning was the mixed- income pitch. With help from the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Crawford and New Market will offer "high-quality housing affordable to people in a wide range of income levels," providing more than 100 market-rate units for purchase, 30 units for rent to serve households at 60% AMI and a number of priority-rental units for households earning less than 30% AMI. Developers did not include homeownership opportunities at affordable rates - only the rental units will be subsidized.

"This development will change the neighborhood. It will bring homes to this area which brings taxpayers who will stabilize the neighborhood. Right now, it is crowded with low income housing, but this will be a great improvement for the neighborhood," said Cynthia Dickens for CEMI. "We should never warehouse people again. This project will bring socio-economic stabilization to a neighborhood that has long been neglected," said H.R. Crawford, codeveloper of the property.

In their pitch to Zoning, the two firms stated that, "Highlands Addition residential community will create a physically and socially vibrant neighborhood in place of this vacant site which is detrimental to the neighborhood." In addition to claiming social responsibility, the developers are attempting to create an "environmentally responsible development with sustainability features such as enhanced stormwater management, Energy Star appliances...and pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined streetscapes."

Developers anticipate a start date sometime this summer, and will phase the project beginning at Valley Drive and building outwards.


IMGoph on Mar 9, 2008, 8:58:00 AM said...

looking at the area on google maps, it appears that it used to be home to at least 8 small baseball/softball diamonds. any idea if that's the case? is this old recreational land?

Anonymous said...

It is old recreational land that no one currently uses it for anything else other than drug use.

Mitch Greenstein - You can contact me directly at on Mar 13, 2008, 2:40:00 PM said...

Most who read this site know who Mr. Crawford is and it is hard not to know the good people at Edgwood. Who, might I ask, is "New Market Investors, LLC"? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Are they using New Markets Tax Credits to help finance this deal?

Mitch Greenstein - You can contact me directly at on Mar 15, 2008, 12:26:00 PM said...

I have not a clue but for the fact of one of the partners' names. Does anyone here have any idea on who these fellows might be & how this deal is structured?


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