D.C. Looks For Partner To Redevelop 10-Acre Public Housing Complex
A 1950s-era public housing community a half-mile from The Wharf could soon be redeveloped as part of D.C.'s efforts to reposition its housing portfolio.
The D.C. Housing Authority issued a request for proposals this month seeking a co-developer for its redevelopment of the Greenleaf Gardens housing community in Southwest D.C.
The 10-acre community consists of 493 public housing units across 23 separate buildings, mostly garden-style apartments. It occupies five blocks near the M Street SW and Delaware Avenue intersection, about a quarter-mile from the Waterfront Metro station.
The RFP describes the buildings, constructed in 1959, as "physically obsolete." The Washington City Paper has reported the buildings are in "extreme disrepair," and that residents have encountered mold, cockroaches and leaking sewage in the apartments.
DCHA has been meeting with community members since 2014 about a potential redevelopment of the site, according to the RFP. An October op-ed from a community leader in neighborhood newspaper The Southwester expressed concern about the lack of progress on the project.
Ward 6 Council Member Charles Allen released a statement Monday praising DCHA for moving forward with the RFP. He recommended the inclusion of the D.C.-owned Fire and EMS property at Half and M streets SW, calling for the facility to be moved and replaced with housing so Greenleaf residents have somewhere to relocate while the replacement units are under construction.
"I am glad to see this process moving forward and I remain committed to ensuring any redevelopment of Greenleaf follows a Build First model — so that not one current Greenleaf resident is displaced while waiting on a new home," Allen said.
The redevelopment would require the replacement of the 493 public housing units with fully affordable units between 0% and 80% of area median income, according to the RFP. It says DCHA will give preference to mixed-income proposals that include market-rate units, but it did not say how many total apartments the site could support.
Two of the five blocks are zoned RA-3, allowing for buildings of up to 60 feet tall, and the remainder of the site is zoned MU-10, allowing for mixed-use buildings of up to 100 feet. The RFP highlights some of the nearby development in the neighborhood, such as the 3.2M SF megaproject The Wharf.
The RFP is part of DCHA's initiative, announced in February, to renovate at least 2,400 units over a 24-month period. A December audit found roughly 7,000 of DCHA's 8,300 units had deteriorated, with 2,500 of them classified as "extremely urgent."