All-Affordable Housing Development Proposed In Navy Yard
A new housing development has been proposed for a prominent site in Navy Yard that would be fully affordable, a rarity in a neighborhood that has seen an influx of high-end apartments in recent years.
The NRP Group and nonprofit Marshall Heights Community Development Organization are in the process of securing approval for a 127-unit project, planned for the grass and brick area between the Department of Transportation headquarters and The Yards.
“When these people came and said, ‘Hey, we have a proposal to build, and it's going to be 100% affordable,’ of course, you know, my jaw dropped. My mind was like, ‘What’s the catch?’” Edward Daniels, who represents the area as commissioner for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8F, told Bisnow.
The development team filed a Planned Unit Development application with the zoning commission, an NRP spokesperson told Bisnow. NRP declined to comment further on the project.
Last month, the team presented initial plans to ANC 8F before delivering a public presentation at the ANC’s monthly meeting Sept. 26.
The prospect of a completely affordable development was a compelling one for ANC members, Daniels said, given the neighborhood’s rapid development of market-rate apartments at steep price points over the last decade.
“When they said ‘completely affordable,’ I think for the most part all of our eyes lit up,” Daniels said. “And I think we were all on the same page to say, ‘Yes, we will support this project. Tell us more.’
“Because we traditionally spent hours upon hours battling developers to include affordable housing in their project. So this was just a whole different ballgame.”
Of the project’s 127 units, 40% would be reserved for residents making 30% of the median family income and 60% for those making 50% MFI, according to the developers’ presentation to the ANC. Initial plans call for a 12-story building with a penthouse, rising to 130 feet.
At the meeting, ANC members and residents mainly raised concerns surrounding congestion and curb access, Daniels told Bisnow.
“In that particular square, we have a ton of issues right now with congestion caused by the hotel across the street, the protected bike lane, which has also wiped out any chance of getting to the curb,” he said. “So we are trying to let these developers know that, ‘Hey, you have to have some sort of a plan for adding 100-plus units.’”
But the ANC plans to give the development team its requested letter of support ahead of its funding deadline, Daniels said, and it will note the concerns it hopes the development team will address.
“The benefit outweighs a lot of the caveats and the concerns that we're bringing forward as a commission and the residents are bringing forward,” he said.
The development team outlined next steps in its ANC presentation, saying it plans to submit a funding application on Oct. 2 and expects a hearing on the project in December.
The land planned for development is owned by Anfield Holdings, which also owns the adjacent early 20th century red-brick building. NRP plans to acquire the property from Anfield, a spokesperson from the development company told Bisnow.
Anfield Holdings partner Michael Goldman told Bisnow in an email that the company is “excited about what they have planned.” Anfield is undertaking restorative work on the adjacent property and is in the process of selecting a tenant, Goldman said.
Cleveland-based NRP Group develops and manages market-rate and affordable properties across the U.S., and it has 15 regional offices. It has built $3.9B worth of affordable homes across 15 states, according to its website, amounting to 24,000 units from Texas to Ohio to New York.
MHDCO is a local nonprofit organization focused on development opportunities east of the Anacostia River. The organization is involved in the Skyland Town Center development in Ward 7 and the Flatiron affordable mixed-use development planned next to the NoMa Metro station.