Monday, April 02, 2007

Georgia Commons Project in Petworth Up in Air? UPDATE: Jair Lynch Responds

Last year, the National Capital Revitalization Corp. (NCRC) announced with great fanfare that it was awarding the development rights for the lot at 3910 Georgia Avenue NW in Petworth to the Jair Lynch Companies and AHD, Inc., which planned to build Georgia Commons – a 130-unit residential apartment complex (with one-third of the units being affordable housing) with 23,000 sf of ground-floor retail and a Results Gym. However, the Washington Business Journal is now reporting that this deal may be in flux, as Jair Lynch is still working to secure the remaining required financing by the end of April for this project (the company’s other project with NCRC, the Solea condominium at 1414 Belmont Street NW in Columbia Heights, is unaffected and on track). If this cannot be done, the exclusive-rights agreement between Jair Lynch and NCRC expires, and the NCRC could explore the option of finding another developer for the site. Jair Lynch reportedly told NCRC that it should have the financing resolved by mid-April.

UPDATE: In response to the Washington Business Journal story, Jair Lynch has sent a letter to the Journal, and has contacted this blog to share its content. In the letter, Mr. Lynch states, “the project is on track to meet the April 30th exclusive-rights agreement (ERA),” and that the Journal – while provided this information and assurances on the progress of both the financing and the property transfer phase from NCRC to Jair Lynch – was “inaccurate” in its reporting. The letter goes on to state that Georgia Commons, because it is “one of the first smart growth and ‘green’ projects in the city,” requires diverse funding to ensure the high number of affordable housing units - a long process but not one in doubt or delay. Finally, Mr. Lynch writes that NCRC and Mayor Fenty have shown much support for this project, as the city continues “hemorrhaging” affordable rental apartments, and have been continuously updated on the project status without concern being raised.

If development continues according to plan, Georgia Commons is expected to be completed by July 2008. Georgia Commons is being designed by Frank Schlesinger Associates and EDG Architects.


Anonymous said...

This project would be under construction already, if DC had awarded it to a proven developer. Instead DC wanted to be politically correct and picked Jairlynch. Happens all the time in DC.

Anonymous said...

Boy, that sure sounds like sour grapes. Many here in Petworth were quite happy Mr. Lynch was chosen. Besides the fine merits of the development itself, he was very effective in reaching out to the community and listening to their input for the project. That *doesn't* happen all the time in DC.

And the right outcome is more important for Georgia Avenue's future than how fast the digging starts.

Ken on Apr 6, 2007, 2:45:00 PM said...

And Frank Schlesinger designed 3303 Water Street, he's no slouch when it comes to fine design. Georgia Ave has its share of challenges, its residents should be happy to have Schlesinger and Lynch collaberating in their backyard.

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