Eden Place will be available to families making up to 120% Area Median Income (AMI, which is $103,500 for family of 4). Home prices are based on income, but the 3 and 4 story townhouses will run from $199,000 to the high $200's, ranging in size from 1,484 s.f. to 1,680 s.f., with price based on income. Though the project will be entirely affordable, bucking prevailing wisdom of mixing subsidized and market housing, developer Raymond Nix of UrbanMatters says occupants will still span a range of incomes. "This is really mixed income, it provides opportunities for first-time homebuyers, but it goes up to 120% AMI, the phrase affordable housing is really a broad one."
Today marks the beginning of demolition only, but Nix thinks the first units could deliver by mid-Summer. In awarding the project, Mayor Adrian Fenty predicted that construction would begin in February of 2010, but Nix says that was never a realistic timeline, and that construction of phase 2 is "sales dependent."
UrbanMatters was also awarded the contract to redevelop the M.M. Washington School last March, and will turn the historic school into 90 subsidized apartments for seniors, a project that was criticized by some for excessive government funding ($6m to $8m) while competing developers asked for less city money, several of whom questioned why the District chose a publicly funded option over what the losing bidders viewed as more regenerative types of projects. Financing for Eden Place will come from DC's New Communities Program, with the city kicking in $3m, or $47,619 per unit, according to Nix, with no HUD funding. Eagle Bank is the construction financier. "We're really rooted in grassroots community development and community serving affordable housing" said Nix of UrbanMatters' mission.
Ajia Meux, immediate Past President of the Deanwood Citizens Association said that just about anything in the area is a net positive. "Because of the environment around those buildings I don't like going over there much. Its been boarded up for at least a year, and even though its an affordable housing project, I'm glad that ward 7 is getting some attention...We are the most underserved ward in the District, and I'm exicited to see economic development happening in the city, but especially here. Hopefully this will stabilize the neighborhood a little bit." The only cloud inside the silver lining was the price tag. "I question how affordable it really is," said Meux, noting that houses in the area often sell below $100,000, though remodeled houses start around $150,000, but Nix points out that new townhouses in the area tend to sell in the high $200,000's and low $300,000's.
Winmar will serve as the General Contractor, with Bowman Civil Engineering. A ceremony will be held today at 2pm.
Washington DC real estate development news