Kamis, 20 September 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

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