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Howard To Convert Administrative Building On Georgia Ave. To Apartments

The Howard Center building at 2225 Georgia Ave. NW

Howard University is continuing its strategy of redeveloping its properties with a new project on Georgia Avenue.

The university announced Wednesday it is moving forward with the renovation of an administrative building at 2225 Georgia Ave. NW into 176 apartments. 

The nine-story building, called the Howard Center, currently consists of administrative offices and ground-floor retail, leased by a Barnes & Noble bookstore and a Starbucks. Those retailers will remain, but the university plans to transform the upper floors. 

Howard's $33M renovation project will create 176 residential units from the third to the ninth floor of the building. The units would be primarily occupied by students, faculty, staff and associates. Financed with tax-exempt capital, the apartments would be below market rate and would range from micro-units to two-bedrooms.

The third and fourth floors would feature amenities including a fitness center, social lounges, a gaming room and a laundry facility. The deal closed Nov. 28 and construction has begun, Howard said, with an anticipated completion this summer before the 2019-2020 school year.

The university will retain ownership of the property and has entered into a 41-year lease with a nonprofit entity that will operate the apartments. The project team includes Preston Hollow Capital, Provident Resources Group, Corvias Campus Living, Alvarez & Marsal, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and the D.C. government. 

Howard has launched several redevelopment projects in recent years as it aims to capitalize on its real estate in the booming Shaw neighborhood and provide new housing options. It partnered with Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners for the renovation of a former dormitory into 206 apartments near Meridian Hill Park, and it partnered with Urban Investment Partners for a similar 162-unit project just east of Howard University Hospital.

In May, the university offered up another 2.2-acre site on its Shaw campus, and several of the District's top developers submitted responses.