Showing posts with label Park View. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Park View. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Georgia Ave. Housing Overhaul Moving Forward

A city plan to overhaul a DC affordable housing neighborhood on Georgia Avenue, called Park Morton, is moving forward and the city will unveil its first apartment building on Friday.

Workers put finishing touches on The Avenue on Thursday
"The Avenue at Park Morton" is an 83-unit mixed-use apartment building located at 3506 Georgia Avenue NW.  City officials will gather to celebrate its grand opening  Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Completion of the building is a mile-marker for "The Park Morton New Communities Initiative", which has realized only a small part of its potential.  The $170 million initiative was established under then DC mayor Anthony Williams to replace an aging public housing complex on Georgia Avenue.  The initiative is a collaboration between the District's Housing Authority (DCHA), which owns and manages the complex, and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Image courtesy Wiencek + Associates
The old Park Morton housing has 17 apartment buildings.  In a report on the overhaul initiative and the old Park Morton housing, the city notes "the site consists of suburban-style apartment buildings and incorporates design elements that tend to foster criminal activity."

In 2008, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty sent out a Request For Proposals for developing in the project in 2008, promising that no former residents of the complex would be displaced; the building broke ground in 2010.  The overall plan calls for 317 market-rate housing units, 206 affordable housing units, a 10,000 square foot park, and a new community center with green designs throughout.

The entire Park Morton redevelopment is being carried out by the Park Morton Development Partners (PMDP), a joint venture between Landex Corporation and the Warrenton Group. Wienecek + Associates designed the project.  Hamel Builders is the general contractor.

Image courtesy Wiencek + Associates
The building, which has 81,044 square feet of residential space and 2,388 square feet of ground floor retail, includes a mix of one and two-bedroom apartment units.  Residential space features lounge, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and underground parking.  It also will include ground-floor retail. While overall the plan calls for some market-rate housing, the Avenue is 100 percent affordable under the city's affordable housing laws.

The development was funded by a mix of city agencies and departments, as well as Freddie Mac, Prudential, Hudson Housing, and Capital One.

1-BR Unit Rendering, courtesy Wiencek + Associates

Thursday, December 02, 2010

NDC Proposes Redevelopment of Georgia Avenue Strip Mall

The Neighborhood Development Company (NDC), busy with their efforts to revitalize the Georgia Avenue Corridor, is now proposing a new mixed-use development just a block north of their already approved project "The Heights," set for the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street, NW. "The Vue," at southeast corner of Georgia and Morton and just beginning the rezoning application, will rise seven-stories above the 7,000 s.f. ground floor retail and offer 112 residences. Forty-nine parking spaces will be provided below grade. Unlike The Heights, where developers reserved half of the units as affordable housing in return for special financing options awarded by HUD and a large tax abatement granted by the District Council, the $30 million Vue project will be privately financed and almost wholly priced at market-rate (the bare minimum of 8% of the new project's square footage will be marketed at 80% AMI in order to satisfy Inclusionary Zoning requirements).

NDC purchased the property for $2.2 million in 2009 and will raze a rather unremarkable strip shopping center to make way for their 118,160 s.f. project. A post office at 3321 Georgia Avenue, also on the site, will remain, the U.S. Postal Service could not be enticed out of their long term lease. With the help of project architect Grimm and Parker, NDC will incorporate the one-story post office into their new construction plans. "The entrance to the post office will be repositioned facing Georgia Avenue," explains NDC Principal Adrian Washington, "and the facade will be recast with brick to match the look of the first floor retail component."

Washington reports that while not many of the details have yet to come to life, several green features are in the works, as well as an indoor gym and media center. He expects "some really good, local retail" to occupy the ground floor spaces, likely restaurants and cafes. Down the street, where many online commenters were clamoring for Trader Joe's to become the 10,000 s.f. retail anchor of The Heights, a deal has not been reached with any specific tenant. "We've been in talks with Gary Cha [President] of Yes! Organic Market and a couple hardware supply stores," says Washington, "but no commitments have been made."

Back up the street, The Vue's zoning application was recently set down by the Zoning Commission. NDC's legal representative Kyrus Lamont Freeman at Holland & Knight expects the hearing to be scheduled for late February, about the same time Washington's team anticipates a groundbreaking at The Heights. In anticipation of the Zoning review process, developers have already briefed local entities on their new development plans; most recently NDC met with the The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force and have scheduled an informal meeting with ANC 1A for December 8th. While the Vue's completion is distant, Adrian Washington expects to deliver the building within sixteenth months of a construction start, placing a ribbon cutting somewhere during second quarter of 2012.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No School, All Play at New Bruce Monroe Park

Although reading, writing, and arithmetic may be on the agenda for future visitors to Bruce Monroe Park, for now it is just 24-7 recess at 3012 Georgia Avenue, site of the the former school, redevelopment candidate and now park. The DC government held a press conference last August to vaunt demolition of the PCB and asbestos-ridden school, and to announce that the city would issue an RFP "in the next few weeks" for redevelopment of the site. But the District's solicitation failed to materialize, and city has since spent $2m beautifying the site before releasing a new RFP last week.

Last week, Consys, Inc. finished phase one of construction at Bruce Monroe Park, and the site is now open to the public. Two basketball courts, a tennis court, a small parking lot, and a playground complete the landscaped park, almost entirely enclosed by wrought iron fencing. There is no timetable or specifics yet nailed down, but a small
community building is expected to follow. Originally only funded with $500,000, it looked as if the project would come up short of complete. But the community expressed their disapproval as the two basketball courts and tennis court sat idly, waiting for the necessary hoops, posts, and netting required for proper usage until Ward One Councilman Jim Graham secured an additional $1.5 million in funding for the temporary park, which has since undergone a vast improvement in just a few short weeks.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has asked for redevelopment proposals for the site. Development teams would not be limited to strictly educational uses, as DMPED has asked that proposals feature both a mixed-use (half school, half commercial) option and an entirely commercial plan. The RFP does stipulate that property sales generated from a potentially all-commercial venture would have to be reinvested in the renovation and modernization of the off-site school where former Bruce Monroe students are now housed.

A significant conglomerate of involved parents had previously voiced opposition to the prospects of updating the current Bruce Monroe, and it was assumed that option had been unofficially taken off the table. But as made clear by the new RFP, the possibility remains alive. All proposals must be received by 3PM on October 14th.

Much is in the works for the long-planned makeover of the Georgia Avenue thoroughfare, including several nearby affordable apartment projects, but very little construction has gotten under way. So it remains undetermined whether the priority here is a quality educational facility, or a proposal with the greatest likelihood of immediate construction and hurried completion.

Washington DC real estate development news

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lower Georgia Avenue Pines for Development

No one doubts that development throughout the greater Washington DC area has slumped. Minimal solace may be had knowing that DC is faring better than the rest of the nation, but even within DC some pockets seem destined to be condemned to all bust and no boom. Case in point: lower Georgia Avenue.

Despite much virtual ink being spilled on the development potential of the southern end of Georgia Avenue, the potential seems lost, as projects big and small fail to start. The same could once be said of the street's more northern leg, but thanks to recent projects like CVS (pictured, right), the District's RFPs and of course Chris Donatelli, Chris Donatelli and Chris Donatelli, the atmosphere is finally changing. But not to the south.

Park Morton and Howard Town Center are supposed to breathe life into the moribund boulevard, but neither project has begun. In fairness, Park Morton was only awarded in October 2009, though the timeline is still fuzzy and the District's budget to assist such projects is tight. The District's attempt to turn the Bruce Monroe school into a mixed-use project has failed, despite an RFP and ceremonial demolition. Even smaller renovations appear non-existent, with streetfront stores a window to DC's past.

For-sale lots sit vacant. The owner of a lot at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Kenyon Street in NW, is looking to sell his land and plans for $1.4 million. The property had been in the hands of Carthage Development, which asked $3m for the land and plans. 3205 Georgia Avenue LLC then purchased the lots in 2007 for a combined total of $1.4 million, but over two years of interest payments later, planning for a mixed-use project left the owner with construction permits in hand, but no construction. Designs call for a 21,000 s.f., five-story, matter-of-right development with retail, second floor office space and 18 residential units on the third through fifth floors in a building designed by Maiden and Associates.

Just to the south at Hobart Street, another vacant block long sported a for-sale sign until Howard University sold the lots in November to 2910 Georgia Ave LLC for $560,000. Now permits have been filed for a 22-unit four-story residential building with 11 parking spaces. As far as permitting goes, the project is on track, though the status of financing is always a guessing game.

Slightly to the north is another planned residential development, The Heights, which sits at 3232 Georgia Avenue, just down the street from the planned development at Park Morton. Despite inklings that project partners Neighborhood Development Company and non-profit developer, Mi Casa, Inc., were looking for a general contractor to begin construction this spring, work has yet to begin. The new, six-story, almost 86,000 s.f. project is among the more promising in the area.

In a neighborhood with so many potential projects, something may yet give, and the start of one large projects may be the shot heard round the city. But for now, long, hard fought battles for each development will be the way of lower Georgia Avenue.

Washington, DC real estate development news

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Groundbreaking for Georgia Avenue CVS

Groundbreakings are never quite as exciting as officials or the press want them to be. Really they are an opportunity to get dress shoes dirty, make a few speeches and wait months for something to replace the ceremonious dirt. Today's groundbreaking at a CVS in Parkview/Petworth Community met all the aforementioned expectations, but DCMud attended, just in case something unexpected happened. Nothing did.

That said, the fulfillment of promised retail for a community long underserved is certainly something to note and a welcome sign of progress for neighbors. The CVS is the first step in a line of promised retail on the Georgia Avenue Corridor. The lot in question is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue NW, across from Donatelli's Park Place and diagonal from the Georgia Avenue Metro. The space sits just on the border of Wards 1 and 4 and will serve the communities there.
The site once was home to a gas station that closed in the early 90's and the lot sat vacant until 2000 when a developer proposed a plan for a 10-story residential tower. According to Robb LaKritz, the community and the city disliked the project so much that it eventually died. In 2007 LaKritz Adler purchased the property and began the long process of working with the community, where Principal and Managing Partner Robb LaKritz lives, to pursue the type of retail the area needed. There was one major obstacle the developer had to work through with the city - the soil of the former gas station was deemed contaminated by health officials. But with some finessing and consideration for the type of tenant the developer was pursuing, LaKritz Adler and city officials were able to obtain approval for development and secure CVS as the tenant.

The 11,000 s.f. site is smaller than a typical CVS, which are usually 14,000 to 15,00 s.f. The Georgia Avenue CVS will also include a mezzanine to accommodate more space on a second floor. Construction, not yet begun, is expected to wrap up mid-2010. The project was made possible partly through a $2 million Georgia Avenue Great Streets Grant from the District, which spends approximately one-fifth of its $10 million budget for the area. The grant will be financed through TIF bonds, which make the District a development partner of sorts creating an added value for the lot in order to secure additional private financing. The TIF bond will be financed through the sales tax revenue generated by the new CVS and will expire after 25 years or when the taxes revenue fulfill the financial obligations.

So, the Mayor shoveled some rocks as he lead Councilmembers Graham and Bowser with the cheer of "1-2-3, New CVS!"

Get excited.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mission Says "Maybe" to Park Morton

After Wednesday's press conference announcing the DC government's award of the enormous Park Morton contract to Landex Corp., Warrenton Group, and Spectrum Management, DCMud promptly reported the more surprising revelation by Councilman Jim Graham that the District would roll the controversial Central Union Mission site into the Park Morton project - a win for the Park View Partners (Landex, et. al.), who get more area to work with, for the Mission, which gets bought out of a neighborhood that has fought the project from the beginning, and for the neighborhood, which slams the door on an unwanted neighbor.

The problem? Neither the Park Mortonians nor the District of Columbia ever quite finalized any such agreement with the Mission. While officials have been working closely with owners of the Mission to reach such an agreement for "some time," sources at the DC government say the Mission is continuing to pursue its own zoning approval to relocate to the site, as we reported earlier, but also to negotiate with other suitors. While things may fall into place, they're not there yet.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Park Morton Gets a Two-For

Just over a year after DC announced the Request for Proposals (RFP) concerning the $130 million initiative to redevelop Columbia Height's Park Morton public housing complex, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty chose Park View Partners (Landex Corp., Warrenton Group and Spectrum Management) to move forward with their plan for 500 new units of affordable, work force and market-rate housing and a 10,000 s.f. park. The architect for the project is Wiencek and Associates. In a surprise move officials described as a"two-for," the Park Morton developers will also absorb the land on Georgia Avenue currently owned by the Central Union Mission to bring a wealth of mixed-use development to the Georgia Avenue Corridor. A ground breaking date was not announced.

The Park View team won out over the narrowed down field of teams named in March including the Park Morton Partners (Pennrose Properties, LLC, FM Atlantic, LLC, and Harrison Adaoha, LLC) and the other Park Morton Partners (Neighborhood Development Company and Community Builders, Inc.). Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Valerie Santos, praised Landex for it's experience in successfully completing redevelopment projects of distressed urban housing, including HOPE VI projects, in cities along the East Coast.

The announcement about Central Union Mission came as a surprise, as the group recently went before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) and carried out a series of community meetings about their planned development at Georgia Avenue and Newton Place. According to Catherine Fennell, a consultant working as the Project Manager with the Warrenton Group, the Mission continued moving forward while the award for Landex was pending. But Fennell indicated the two groups have been working on their agreement and will make the purchase official now that the award for Park Morton was announced.

The Park Morton project is one of four designated New Communities, an initiative begun by Former Mayor Anthony Williams. Others include Barry Farm, Northwest One, and Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings, all of which, the Mayor today promised, would continue forward with a guarantee of "no displacement" for current residents.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Georgia Avenue School Demolished for Mixed-Use Project

Government officials chose the hottest day of the year to begin demolishing another public school, this one on Georgia Avenue. The 36-year-old Bruce Monroe Elementary School and recreation center, at 3012 Georgia Avenue, NW, was closed this June to make way for a mixed-use project including, most likely, an updated school, and yet another feather in the cap of Georgia Avenue.

According to ODMPED Communications Director Sean Madigan, the Mayor's office will issue an RFP "in the next few weeks" to select a developer to turn the 119,000-s.f. site into what "could include new housing and retail on the site as well as a new school." DC Public SchoolsOffice of Public Facilities Management has been tasked with overseeing the school's development, while ODMPED and the DC Department of Small & Local Business Development share the responsibility of seeking a partner for the project’s mixed-use component.

The task of knocking down the existing school falls on General Contractor EEC of DC, which handled asbestos and PCB abatement, and The Berg Corporation, which will handle actual demolition. According to a source from Berg, 95% of the material (by weight) on the site will be recylced, a large portion of which is brick that will be ground and used for structural backfill. Demolition is expected to take about 10 weeks; the Mayor's office had initially predicted the school would be ready for the fall of 2011, but says that now seems unlikely.

Several shootings on the site in 2007 prompted Mayor Fenty to undertake additional neighborhood improvements and evaluate the state of the school. Most of Bruce Monroe’s former student body and staff have been removed into Park View Elementary at 3560 Warder Street, which will in turn close once Bruce Monroe is ready.

Washington DC real estate development

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Awaiting the New Bruce Monroe

Several District agencies are currently in the midst of coordinating plans for the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of the recently closed Bruce Monroe Elementary School. The 36-year-old educational facility and recreation center, located at 3012 Georgia Avenue NW, closed its’ doors this past June along with several other neglected DC public schools after years of making do with shrinking budgets, overcrowding and/or deteriorating conditions.

In a Request for Proposals issued by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (ODMPED) this past autumn, the 121,000 square foot lot will be repurposed with a new school and, in the words of the Office of Planning, "a mixed-use development project which [is being] developed to fund the new school." Though the Mayor's office has yet to announce a development team, DC Public SchoolsOffice of Public Facilities Management has been tasked with overseeing the school's development, while ODMPED and the DC Department of Small & Local Business Development share the responsibility of seeking a partner for the project’s mixed-use component.

ODMPED’s Communications Director, Sean Madigan, tells DCmud that there is no firm timeline for when the demolition may take place, but the Deputy Mayor Neil Albert’s office is currently in the process of securing the necessary paperwork in order to expedite the process once an announcement is made.

At present, the bulk of Bruce Monroe’s former student body and staff have been consolidated into nearby Park View Elementary at 3560 Warder Street NW - which itself will be closed once school bells start ringing at Bruce Monroe Elementary’s newest incarnation. According to ODMPED, Ward 1’s newest old school is currently scheduled to be “open in time for the fall of 2011.”

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Condo Report: Park View Condominiums

New Condo Report: Having just been completed over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Park View Condominiums are the latest addition to the Parkview/Petworth condo market. Located at 3573 Warder Street, NW - just across the street from Bruce Monroe Elementary School and Parkview Recreation Center - the new condominium offers 8 two-bedroom, two bath, two-story loft condominiums that range in price from $369,00-$423,000.

Culled from the renovation of circa 1910 District apartment building, the units offer all the trappings of the 21st century with built-in speakers, iPod docks, ADT security systems, three-way gas fireplaces, and pre-wired flatscreen mantles. The kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, range hoods and granite countertops, while the adjoining living rooms sport Brazilian wood floors, recessed lighting and video monitoring of the building’s communal front entrance way.

Once inside the easy-to-spot, chartreuse building, floorplans vary from 1200-1400 square feet – all with two master suites and an upstairs den. The four slightly larger lofts in the property’s rear have the added advantage an extra ground floor half-bath and access to the pressure-treated wooden balconies-cum-fire escape that also serve as a rear entrance. All bathrooms feature imported tile and hand-painted, freestanding Italian glass sinks.

The Park View stands four blocks southeast of the Petworth Metro, though as an urban sacrifice to the automobile, the project's backyard features a paved and gated parking lot.

Renovation procedures at the Park View were overseen by STX LLC and Crisa Developments, while designs were supplied by Kellete & Associates.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Re-Inventing Public Housing at Park Morton

Mayor Adrian Fenty today announced the District's Request for Proposals (RFP) concerning the $170 million initiative to redevelop Petworth's Park Morton public housing complex. Although currently seeking a development partner for the deal, the city has already forged ahead and outlined their intentions for the site: 317 market-rate housing units, 206 affordable housing units, a 10,000 square foot park and a new community center with green designs throughout. The mayor prefaced his comments to the press by assuring the current residents in attendance that they will be relocated to new units in the project and that "no one will be displaced."

Mayor Fenty credited the New Communities Initiative established during Anthony Williams' tenure as mayor (which also includes Barry Farm and Lincoln Heights, in addition to Park Morton) as the genesis of the new development and explained how the city planned on manifesting change in an area best described as derelict and dangerous.

“It is about bricks and mortar because a lot of these projects are old. They need a lot of work and, to be honest with you, just re-doing them isn’t going to cut it,” he said. “But its also about more than bricks and mortar. We’re also going to have health care facilities, schools, recreation centers, and job training centers here at Park Morton.”

The mayor concluded his remarks by stating, “It’s important to note that while this in-and-of-itself is an important opportunity and investment for the Georgia Avenue corridor, this is just one of the many different things that are happening.” He went on to specifically cite Donatelli Development Inc.’s $70 million, 156-unit Park Place project and neighboring $5 million retail investment, along with Jair Lynch’s 130-unit apartment complex at 3910 Georgia and the District’s own new, mixed-income development on the 3400 block (more to follow from DCMud in the coming weeks) as other in-the-works projects aimed at making area attractive to prospective residents and retailers.

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who had introduced the initial city council resolution for the Park Morton project and led community meetings on the subject, followed Mayor Fenty’s turn at the podium. He began by reiterating the mayor’s promise that no residents would be displaced by the project and promised that the upcoming changes would result in “a much more successful and livable community than we have today.”

He also said that the District would not repeat mistakes with regard to public housing that have plagued the city for decades. “Gathering all the poor people in one neighborhood, in one building, ought not to be the preferred approach,” he said. “When we have the opportunity to create mixed-income, diverse background [housing], that is an opportunity we should not lose.” He went to specify that the new Park Morton will become a beacon of diversity in Ward 1, “without losing a single person who is here today.”

Michael Kelly
, Executive Director of the DC Housing Authority (DCHA), went on to trumpet the long-term viability of a new community comprised of “low income, moderate income and market-rate people.” And sounding a bit like George Washington at the Continental Congress, Kelly referred to it as "This grand experiment," asserting that the project "is [due to the leadership] of Washington, DC, and has not been replicated anywhere else in the country.”

Kelly cited the Housing Authority’s upkeep of current Park Morton facilities, including the addition of new boilers, stairwells and security cameras as initial steps towards a better quality of living. He then went on to ask the assembled residents if such efforts had made them feel safer – and received a rousing reply of “yes.”

Following the remarks, all in attendance were led on a tour of the newly remodeled Park Morton Children’s Center. As the first example of Park Morton revitalization, Mayor Fenty inspected the new computer lab, classrooms and music rehearsal spaces that are to serve as a hub of community operations during and after construction.

BIDs for the Park Morton project are due by December 12th with final selection to occur in March. The 56-page RFP is available online here.


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