Yet another project, originally planned as condominiums, will now be developed as affordable rentals, this time in the Congress Heights neighborhood. William C. Smith & Co. (WCS Development) will soon begin the interior upfit of 82 units in three apartment buildings at 13th and Mississippi Ave SE, across from Oxon Run Park and walking distance from the Congress Heights Metro Station. The developer expects construction to begin by March 2010 after financing issues delayed the project initially slated for completion in Spring 2008.
Jeffrey Smith, Project Manager at WCS, said the switch to rental, with 50 of the 82 units slotted to be 975 s.f. two-bedroom, two-bath rental apartment homes, will make available spacious apartments "not really equaled" in the neighborhood. The condos will total 98,000 s.f. with an added 429-square-foot bump-out to accommodate the two-bedrooms. An original surface parking lot and an additional new lot will provide 56 parking spaces total for the property.
Smith said the area of Congress Heights is "on the edge" of a lot of new development with several projects in pre-development and completed projects like Savoy Court delivering new units. He said the community is looking forward to the infusion to "help stabilize their neighborhood." All of the units will be affordable for individuals making 60 percent or less of Area Median Income in accordance with Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits. To comply with DHCD's standards for the tax credits, the building is designed to meet and exceed DC's Green Communities standards, featuring roofs with Energy Star reflectivity standards, low-flush plumbing fixtures and even green (not the color) carpeting.
Gutting the interior, the first phase of construction which began quite some time ago, is now 95% complete. Describing the project as "almost like new construction" Smith indicated that the only remaining elements of the original structure are the external walls and the floors. Smith said the developers are "anxious" to get moving on the next phase of construction and that they have all of their permits lined up. Now if that financing would just come through...
The project architect is Eric Colbert and Associates and WCS Construction, LLC
is the General Contractor, but the project is still in the planning phase for subcontractor bidding for around $4 million worth of work. According to Smith the total cost of the project is estimated at $19 million.