Thursday, March 18, 2010

District to Give Money to Start Rhode Island Mixed-Use


Today the District government announced it will provide financing for development team Urban Atlantic and A&R Development Corp, meaning plans can now move forward to transform the 8.5 acre surface parking lot at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, one of DC's most stalled projects, into a sizable mixed-use neighborhood, Rhode Island Station. The District will provide $7.2 million in financing through a PILOT note toward the $108 million project, which will bring 274 residential rental units above 70,000 s.f. of retail in two buildings. Additional financing will come from the federal government in the form of Federal New Market Tax Credits and a traditional HUD-backed loan. Today's announcement marks a significant step toward the execution of the District's Great Streets Plan for Rhode Island Avenue.

The developers today also closed on their ground lease agreement with WMATA, which has been working with the development teams for almost a decade since Metro's initial Request for Proposal in 2001. As part of the exchange with metro, the development will provide a 215-car WMATA garage alongside the busy Rhode Island Avenue/Brentwood Metro station.


According to a release from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development's office, the residential project will include 54 (or 20%) affordable housing units at 60% area median income. Rhode Island Station - formerly Brentwood Town Center - will also include a community center and two private parking garages for residents. Designed by Lessard Group Architects, the project will feature ground floor retail with sidewalk cafes and "heavy landscaping" along the streets.

The development team originally won final zoning approval in April 2007 and were initially scheduled to begin construction July 2008. Clearly that time line did not work out. A ground breaking is not tentatively scheduled for May of this year and construction could complete in summer of 2013, if everything goes according to plan this time around.

The surrounding area has had many plans in the works over the years, see Brookland Square for example, which have not been able to get past the planning stage.

Washington, DC real estate development news

12 comments:

Evan on Mar 18, 2010, 9:33:00 PM said...

Lessard Group really needs to pick it up in the design department. That's gotta be the most bland, neo-blah nothing design I've seen in a while. Every neighborhood in DC deserves much more than an a$$hat on the corner.

George on Mar 19, 2010, 1:25:00 AM said...

Looks like a WMATA trend for NE DC red line stations. Brookland and Fort Totten have similar plans in the works.

Anonymous said...

Wow. It looks like they are going to take out the hill to make it street level. is that true?

reflexive said...

and taking out the pedestrian bridge?

Disgusted in DC on Mar 19, 2010, 1:50:00 PM said...

That design is considerably superior to anything in the immediate area. It looks fine to me. So when are they going to actually start construction?

Que said...

So what happens to the Metro Parking; there are no stations nearby for anyone to park at and Ft Totten is out of the way if your coming from off of Rhode island Ave, Bladensburg RD, New York Ave etc.

Salford on Mar 19, 2010, 7:19:00 PM said...

Who cares about parking? It's an urban station and as such wasting valuable nearby land for surface parking is a wholly inappropriate use.

Que said...

Who cares about parking what about the individuals that don't live near the station what are they supposed to do; quite being insensitive.

Everybody cant live near a station eventually there wont be any room than what; your recreating the current problem in a different form with no way of stopping it (driving)when there is no parking lots available for people to take transit all it will do is make the streets packed with more parks look at the long term unless they plan on building a new line going up Rhode Island Ave.

reflexive said...

i would assume that the "metro garage" in the drawing is a parking garage.

Anonymous said...

This project actually adds over 700 parking spaces to the community, of which most will be publicly accessible. Pedestrian access and kiss and ride will be maintained during construction.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Lessard Group did not "up-the-design-ante" on this one....not that they ever do.

Anonymous said...

There will be plenty of Parking at The Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center across the street where they have a commuter parking lot with reasonable rates (cheaper than Metro) and a new pedestrian bridge will be added in 2011 to connect the two sites.

 

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