Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sheridan Terrace Redevelopment Brings Hope to Ward 8

Big changes are in the works in Washington DC's Ward 8 beginning this winter. Phase 1 of the highly anticipated Sheridan Terrace public housing redevelopment is slated to begin construction in January or February 2010 - depending on when the D.C. Housing Authority finally closes on financing for the project.

Located east of Sheridan Road and bounded by Howard Road, Sayles Place, Stanton Road, and Pomeroy Road, Sheridan Terrace’s 11 acres in Anacostia are owned jointly by the DC Housing Authority and William C. Smith & Co. As lead developer, Smith partnered with Union Temple CDC and Jackson Investment Co. to form Sheridan Terrace Redevelopment LLC. Sheridan Terrace will comprise a small piece of the Barry Farm/Park Chester/Wade Road redevelopment planned for Ward 8. Smith will also work with the Housing Authority on a master plan for these surrounding communities. The project was designed by Bethesda's SK&I Architects, which furnished the seven different building designs that will include landscaped greenspace and a pedestrian trail.

Phase 1 of the 344-unit Sheridan Terrace construction will revolve around an initial 122 units. One hundred and fourteen Phase 1 units will be allotted as low-income rentals and eight will be available for home ownership. Look for a completed Phase 1 in August of 2011. Phases 2 and 3 of the redevelopment will begin once all units in Phase 1 are filled, but the entire project is expected to be complete by 2015.

When all three phases of Sheridan Terrace development are entirely completed, the 344 units will be almost double the amount of the original Sheridan Terrace - a troubled project that was torn down in 1997. As with the original, the new-and-improved Sheridan Terrace will contain 183 public housing rental units. An additional 161 units will go up for sale; 117 of these will be sold at market rate and another 44 will be sold as affordable units. Units will consist of a mix of townhouses, "manor houses" (i.e. three-bedrooms), and apartments with anywhere from one to three bedrooms.

At the completion of the project, Sheridan Terrace Redevelopment LLC will be reimbursed with a Low Income Housing Tax Credit equal to the cost incurred for the development of 73 of the low income housing units. Housing Authority Project Manager Kerry Smyser estimates the cost of the entire redevelopment at $21,477,853 - although this number has been on the rise ever since the DC Housing Authority won a nearly $6 million Hope VI Grant for the project back in March of 2008.

As a requirement of the Hope VI Grant, former residents will have first dibs on public housing units offered in this reincarnation. But as Ward 8 Commissioner William Ellis explains, luring old tenants back may not be easy. “The Sheridan Terrace community was really displaced” by the 1997 razing of the dilapidated, crime-ridden housing project. "It’s been a long time since many people from the original Sheridan Terrace have actually even lived in the neighborhood.”

The city has taken steps to avoid repeat circumstances by ensuring that at least 25 of the public housing units available in Phase 1 will be reserved for current Barry Farm residents—another Ward 8 redevelopment project on the horizon.

Other changes in the Ward 8 community, like the new Savoy Elementary School and planned renovations of neighborhood parks and recreation centers, are going a long way in reassuring Ward 8 residents that the newly developed Sheridan Terrace will play a positive part in changing the landscape of their community. “Now,” says Commissioner Ellis hopefully, “if we could just get some more restaurants.”


Jay on Sep 27, 2009, 9:40:00 AM said...

This is nit picky for sure. But you wouldn't say such and such is taking place in Ward 1, Ward 2, etc.

Might "River East" be better?

David Garber on Sep 27, 2009, 2:14:00 PM said...

River East is a nice new name, but it is even less specific than Ward 8 because it also includes Ward 7.

I'd rather we keep all the "old" names and just redefine them, rather than calling them something else entirely.

Ken on Sep 28, 2009, 11:04:00 AM said...

Editor's note: True, we don't often refer to Wards 1-6 by name, but I think its just a useful geographical term, since 7 & 8 each have issues that can be attributed to the entire ward. We use neighborhood demarcations where we can.

Disgusted in DC on Sep 28, 2009, 11:15:00 AM said...

Except isn't this development properly in Anacostia itself? I know that the developers and the real estate people want to re-brand the area given the name Anacostia's bad reputation, but I think that is a mistake in the long run.

I'm generally very hostile towards large-scale public housing/low income housing developments, but given the way this mixed-use project is being rolled out, I'm hopful that this development is a net gain for the neighborhood, as the new Capitol Quarters development near Nationals Park seems to be so far.

Urban Architect on Sep 29, 2009, 10:34:00 AM said...

Sheridan Terrace/Sheridan Station is in the Barry Farm neighborhood, not Anacostia proper.

The Advoc8te on Oct 3, 2009, 10:15:00 AM said...

I will always use "River East" instead of "East of the River". You will never be ever to change the negative connotation associated with EOTR - its already hard enough to inform folks that Anacostia and Ward 8 are not interchangable.

Barry Farm (re)Mixed has a great article on neighborhood branding. Check it out if you have time

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