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