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D.C. Invests $3M Through New Program To Support Commercial Pieces Of Mixed-Use Projects

A rendering of Jair Lynch's Shops at Penn Branch redevelopment at 3200 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

The D.C. government has for years invested millions to support affordable housing creation, but now the District is launching a similar program to foster retail growth in underserved neighborhoods. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser on Tuesday awarded $3M to two developments in Wards 7 and 8 through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a pilot program to support the commercial components of mixed-use projects. 

Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners received $2.1M for its redevelopment of the Penn Branch Shopping Center at 3200 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The developer is renovating the retail center, rebranding it as the Shops at Penn Hill, and constructing a new mixed-use building in the parking lot with residential over retail. The developer has already signed a new Planet Fitness at the shopping center, and it aims to land a grocery anchor in the new building. 

The mayor also awarded $880K to CityInterests and The Michaels Organization for a mixed-use project at the intersection of Atlantic and South Capitol streets SW. The development includes 195 units of affordable housing and 5,500 SF of retail space, where the developer has signed Good Food Markets as an anchor. The city's investment will support the build-out for the grocery tenant. 

The investments aim to help bring new grocery stores to parts of the city where healthy food can be hard to come by. This past weekend, 200 community members from Wards 7 and 8 held a "grocery walk" to raise awareness about the lack of quality food options east of the Anacostia River.