Skyland Town Center Team Delivers First Multifamily Building, Breaks Ground On Next Phase
The team behind Skyland Town Center, a major development bringing new housing and retail offerings to the underserved Ward 7 area, celebrated two major milestones Monday.
The Rappaport and WC Smith development team, joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser, cut the ribbon on the project's first residential building, and it broke ground on a retail block anchored by what is slated to be the first grocery store to open east of the Anacostia River since 2007.
The 263-unit apartment building, branded as The Crest, includes 53 affordable units set aside for those making up to 80% of area median family income and 26 workforce units in the 80% to 120% AMI range. The building will have local chicken restaurant Roaming Rooster in its retail space.
The retail block will be anchored by a 29K SF Lidl grocery store, which signed on in 2019 and is expected to open in fall 2022. The team announced leases at the building in March with fast-casual chains &Pizza, Tropical Smoothie Café, Maizal, and Mezeh. It had previously signed leases with CVS, Starbucks, Chase Bank, Skyland Nails and Spa, and Like That Barber Shop.
"We are so proud of the progress at Skyland Town Center as new residences deliver and food options take shape with more housing and food retail to come," Bowser said in a release.
The mayor has sought to help drive more fresh food options to wards 7 and 8, including $58M in her latest budget proposal to expand access to grocery stores and sit-down restaurants in the neighborhoods. Her budget proposal also increases the allocation to the District's main affordable housing fund by $400M over the next two years.
The District provided a $7M grant for Skyland Town Center's infrastructure work, and it provided $3.6M to Safeway to release a covenant, allowing the project to move forward. PNC Bank provided financing for the Phase 2 retail block, and EagleBank financed the apartment building ahead of its groundbreaking in 2018. EB5 Partners LLC also provided financing for the retail in the project's first phase.
The 18.5-acre development is bounded by Alabama Avenue, Naylor Road and Good Hope Road SE. At full build-out, it is planned to have up to 156K SF of retail, up to 500 apartments and a medical office building.
“Washington residents living east of the Anacostia River deserve the same opportunities for housing, retail, community resources and employment in their neighborhood that development has long afforded residents of other parts of the city," WC Smith CEO Chris Smith said. "We’re proud to deliver The Crest. And when the retail block opens in 2022, residents will have new grocery and dining options that have been lacking in this part of the city.”