Thursday, June 07, 2012

Long-Awaited Shaw Project Breaks Ground

Yesterday, the Jefferson at Market Place (formerly Kelsey Gardens, then Addison Square) project in Shaw broke ground after several delays including a halt due to lack of funding and a changing of hands from Metropolitan Development to Jefferson Apartment Group.

The subsidized housing project has a long history behind it: Executive Vice-President and partner with the Jefferson Apartment Group Greg Lamb said, “It’s a long time coming on the project. We entered the venture on this project at the end of 2011, where we took over the managing partner position. When we became involved, there wasn’t financing available, and the project had somewhat stalled.”

So Jefferson brought in Starwood Capital Group, its equity partner, and got construction on the mixed-use, 8-floor, 281-unit project.  Its 260,000 s.f. will include 13,000 s.f. of retail on the ground floor and 54 of the 281 units will be affordable housing units, while the rest remain market-rate.

The project is surrounded by other construction projects as Shaw bursts with new development, including the O Street Market, Progression Place (a large residential, office and retail project now well into construction), and the Wonder Bread building, plans for which are now being hashed out, as well as the Howard Theater. Another piece of the Market Place project was begun last spring when Capital City Real Estate purchased the land and began a small housing project.

What sets this complex apart is who will be residing in those affordable housing units: the former tenants of the affordable housing that was there, about six years ago, when this began.

“The neat story about this project is that the previous residents of Kelsey Gardens, which is the project that is being demolished, have the opportunity to move back into the complex after it is finished,” Lamb said. “Those tenants moved out back in 2007, so it’s rare that over a five or six year period that they’ll still come back.”

Those tenants have a representative group that has been working with Jefferson to ensure a smooth transition back.

Lamb said 35 to 40 of the new affordable housing units in the development will be occupied by former tenants of the building.

JAG paid $16.5m to control the site, keeping the permits obtained by Metropolitan, and took advantage of tax breaks previously authorized by the city.  "The city has helped and been a tremendous advocate on this project, providing some tax incentives on the project to make it work,” Lamb said.

The project is slated for completion in 24 months, with the first units becoming available for occupancy in 18 months.  “It’s been a great story with the coordination between the city, the developer and the tenants,” he said.

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Wow, so it's a "neat story" that previous low- and moderate-income residents will come back to the new building, except that they won't because the project has been so long delayed?! "Neat," I suppose, for a cynical developer, and perhaps for neighbors who are happy to be rid of lower-income residents. But not for the lower-income residents.

Bloomie Res said...

Anon- Did you just not read the part that said 35-40 of the previous residents will move back into the building or what?

Anonymous said...

Bloomie-Res: Yes I read it. But then the article contradicts itself. Given that the entire article is the developer's PR blather, accepted uncritically by the reporter, which statement do you actually believe? I will be surprised if 20 of the original lower-income residents move into the completed building.

Not that this is the fault of the current developer, but I don't think that having a deal in which people can return, but then having that return delayed by 6-7 years, is "neat." Spokesmen should choose their words more carefully, and reporters should remember the adage that "news is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising."

Anonymous said...

Being a resident living directly behind this project, I would have thought the developer would have contacted us by now and give us some details of what is actually going to happen. What is happening in the "alley?" Access? Dust? Working hours? Anything? We were not even advised that they were removing hazardous material. I only found out by talking to one of the drivers. The current residents in this area need information given to us. We don't even have any contact information to get answers to questions we have or may have. Anyone care to reply? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon - I used to live in that area and since you live behind the project you must be neighbors with ANC Rep Alex Padro who also lives on that block. He has done little to communicate to his own neighbors what he knows about the project (including the "ground breaking" ceremony). I say go knock on his door and ask your ANC rep what is the deal.

Anonymous said...

What the neighbors don't want is the former residents of Kelsey Gardens who partied all night in the parking lot, setting off fireworks at all times of the year, the drug dealers and loiterers in front of the building, and those that sprayed graffiti on garage doors in the alley. Courtesy neighbors are always welcome no matter their financial situation.

Anonymous said...

Jefferson Apartment Group
James A. Butz | President, CEO
Corporate Office:
1420 Spring Hill Road
Suite 420
McLean, VA 22102
P. 703.563.5200


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