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MRP Preparing To Break Ground On Buzzard Point Project

A rendering of MRP Realty's project planned at 1800 Half St. SW on Buzzard Point.

MRP Realty is moving forward with plans to build an apartment building near Audi Field, more than four years after putting a property under contract.

The developer closed on the $12.2M acquisition of the 1800 Half St. SW site on Buzzard Point April 23, deed records show. MRP principal John Begert told Bisnow Monday the developer aims to break ground within 30 to 60 days. 

The project is slated to include 344 apartments with ground-floor retail fronting Half Street and S Street. It would have two levels of below-grade parking, and the concrete-built project is planned to reach 105 feet high. SK+I Architecture is designing the development. 

The site is one block east of Audi Field, where D.C. United began playing in 2018, and it is less than a half-mile from Nationals Park. MRP delivered Phase 2 of the Dock 79 mixed-use project across the street from the baseball stadium last month, Begert said. 

The 1800 Half St. SW site was sold by an affiliate of Ziegfeld's/Secrets, the nightclub that previously operated on the site. The nightclub announced Friday it would close permanently. The parties went under contract for the sale in February 2016.

MRP is now working to finalize the project's construction financing, which Begert said will include equity investment through the opportunity zone program. He declined to disclose the financing partners, but he said closing a development deal during the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult.

"It has been challenging on a bunch of fronts," Begert said. "Just the typical day-to-day and getting all of the development obstacles cleared, and also making sure our partners on the debt and equity side feel comfortable about everything and feel positive about the investment and believe in the business plan. So far, everyone is on board, and we're hopeful that continues."

The development is one of several that have moved forward on Buzzard Point in the two years since it welcomed the soccer stadium. Two redevelopments of former Coast Guard office buildings into apartments are underway from Douglas Development and a partnership of Akridge, Orr Partners, Western Development and Redbrick LMD. Capital City Real Estate built a 110-unit condo project that was scheduled to deliver early this year, and Donohoe Hospitality broke ground last year on a 154-room hotel.