You've got to appreciate DC's Shaw residents. The small northwest neighborhood has seen more development projects announced - and sit idle - than any other, leaving residents in a cycling state of hope and apathy as the neighborhood talks about big plans with little effect. One such disappointment was the flea market-sporting WMATA site at 8th and Florida Avenue, awarded to a developer more than a year ago, only to sit out the ensuing financial crisis. But thanks to city and federal dollars, and a restructured partnership, that may finally change.
Banneker Ventures has announced a new partnership with Bank of America (BOA) to develop the former WMATA site into three new "affordable" apartment buildings. Banneker can now go forward with The Jazz @ Florida Avenue, designed by Silver Spring-based Torti Gallas, turning 3 separate lots into 124 apartment units above 20,000 s.f. of ground floor retail and a 61-space parking garage, all straddling WMATA's metro tunnel below. The developers have already applied for, and been granted, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the form of a $7m promissory note from the District. And with the District's recent receipt of $33m in stimulus money for housing, the developer has petitioned the District government to receive a portion of those funds. As a result, the apartments will be entirely below-market, open to a mix of income ranges, with the cheapest one-bedroom units to rent out at $768. Developers hope to deliver the project in late 2011.
The long path to development began in May of 2007 when the WMATA Board of Directors issued an RFP for developers to build on the site. The Board did not make its final selection, however, until June of 2008, selecting a team that included Banneker and Metropolis Development. But the latest announcement drops Metropolis from the picture in place of BOA. In addition, the formerly tiny project footprint now includes two adjacent parcels on 9th Street recently acquired by the development team. Bozzuto will serve as the general contractor for the project.