Just over a year after DC announced the Request for Proposals (RFP) concerning the $130 million initiative to redevelop Columbia Height's Park Morton public housing complex, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty chose Park View Partners (Landex Corp., Warrenton Group and Spectrum Management) to move forward with their plan for 500 new units of affordable, work force and market-rate housing and a 10,000 s.f. park. The architect for the project is Wiencek and Associates. In a surprise move officials described as a"two-for," the Park Morton developers will also absorb the land on Georgia Avenue currently owned by the Central Union Mission to bring a wealth of mixed-use development to the Georgia Avenue Corridor. A ground breaking date was not announced.
The Park View team won out over the narrowed down field of teams named in March including the Park Morton Partners (Pennrose Properties, LLC, FM Atlantic, LLC, and Harrison Adaoha, LLC) and the other Park Morton Partners (Neighborhood Development Company and Community Builders, Inc.). Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Valerie Santos, praised Landex for it's experience in successfully completing redevelopment projects of distressed urban housing, including HOPE VI projects, in cities along the East Coast.
The announcement about Central Union Mission came as a surprise, as the group recently went before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) and carried out a series of community meetings about their planned development at Georgia Avenue and Newton Place. According to Catherine Fennell, a consultant working as the Project Manager with the Warrenton Group, the Mission continued moving forward while the award for Landex was pending. But Fennell indicated the two groups have been working on their agreement and will make the purchase official now that the award for Park Morton was announced.
The Park Morton project is one of four designated New Communities, an initiative begun by Former Mayor Anthony Williams. Others include Barry Farm, Northwest One, and Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings, all of which, the Mayor today promised, would continue forward with a guarantee of "no displacement" for current residents.