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D.C. Selects Development Team For High-Profile Anacostia Site

A rendering of the development Victory Housing plans to build at 1234 Good Hope Road.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration has picked a development team to build on a prominent 2-acre site in Anacostia after a competitive process in which two larger proposals lost. 

The District selected Victory Housing's proposal to build 134 units on the site at 1234 Good Hope Road SE, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio told Bisnow Monday.

Victory Housing's team — also including H2 Design Build, Bank of America, Wiencek + Associates and Hamel Builders — proposed 70 units of affordable senior housing, 54 market-rate apartments and 10 for-sale townhouses. The project would consist of 84 one-bedroom units, 40 two-bedrooms and 10 three-bedrooms. The proposal also calls for up to 20K SF of ground-floor retail.

The team was one of three finalists for the D.C.-owned site, for which DMPED released the request for proposals in September 2021, and its proposal was notably smaller than the other two bids. 

A team led by The Menkiti Group and Frontier Development & Hospitality pitched 213 affordable apartments, seven affordable condos, a 118-room hotel and 9K SF of retail, according to a proposal posted on DMPED's website. A team led by Monadnock Development and Kalel Holdings called for 230 affordable apartments and 30 affordable condos, according to its proposal

While the mayor has pushed toward a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025, Falcicchio said the number of units is far from the only factor D.C. considers when weighing an RFP selection. It also considers the context of the surrounding neighborhood and the feasibility of moving a project forward, among other factors. 

"What we’re trying to assess is how we deliver homeownership opportunities that are viable in terms of a financial perspective and also fit well with the community," Falcicchio said. "So we need to make sure a project is viable and that it matches with the community that it’s being built in."

Bowser has recently placed a stronger focus on increasing Black homeownership in the District, setting a goal to add 20,000 Black homeowners by 2030 and devoting $10M to a Black homeownership fund.

Victory Housing CEO Leila Finucane told Bisnow the team decided on the size of its proposal after speaking with members of the community. She said it still may adjust the unit mix to increase the number of for-sale units based on those conversations. 

"We looked at the zoning, what we thought was the potential and listened to the community feedback we had gotten about the scale and density the community wanted," she said. 

Finucane added that she "could not be more excited" to be selected for the project and looks forward to working with the city and the community to move it forward. Victory Housing previously worked with DMPED on the 185-unit redevelopment of the former Hebrew Home in Petworth that delivered last year. 

The project sits at a key nexus: It is near the intersection of two main thoroughfares, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE and Good Hope Road, but it also abuts a single-family neighborhood. 

The 1234 Good Hope Road site is outlined in red.

The project is also at an important location for the perception of the area: It is the first property drivers, cyclists and pedestrians see when crossing the 11th Street bridge over the Anacostia River.  

Plans are moving forward to build a new 11th Street Bridge Park that would feature 1.2 acres of trails and landscaped areas along a walking bridge next to the vehicular crossing. 

The blocks around the 1234 Good Hope Road site have seen new development moving forward in recent years. Also at the intersection is MLK Gateway, a major mixed-use development The Menkiti Group has delivered in multiple phases. 

The first piece featured 20K SF of office leased to cybersecurity firm Enlightened and 14K SF of retail, and it delivered in November 2021. That same month, the team broke ground on its second phase, where Menkiti landed a 55K SF office lease with a D.C. agency.

"MLK Gateway is an important project because it does create that gateway, but this [Victory Housing site] really will be the first project that people see as they come over the 11th Street bridge and into Historic Anacostia," Falcicchio said. "So it is really critical."