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DC Council Stalling on Florida Ave Whole Foods Project


MRP Realty's bid to develop 965 Florida Ave NW—including a ground-floor, 40k SF Whole Foods—has hit a bump in the road in the form of the DC Council. MRP partnered with JBG for the winning bid to redevelop the District-owned parking lot on the site into a 370k SF, 352-unit building. As part of DC's new zoning law, 30% of the building's units need to be affordable to very low-income families, Greater Greater Washington reports. That means a two-bedroom apartment in the building that should cost around $3k would cost a family making less than 30% AMI $722. Operating those units at such a huge loss is why MRP bid to pay just $1.4M for the land, despite a valuation of $27M. The low cost of purchase is what has the council hemming and hawing over the finally approval of the PUD. Ultimately, if the council doesn't make a decision before Oct. 1, Whole Foods can pull out of the project. Smart growth and affordable housing advocates are trying to put pressure on the council to approve the project and bring more affordable housing, and another Whole Foods, to north Shaw. [GGW]