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In The Works: 3 New Developments Coming East Of The River

1. Seven affordable housing properties

The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development plans to turn seven vacant Southeast properties into affordable housing, Curbed reported. Four of these sites are located in the Anacostia neighborhood, and three are in Congress Heights

DHCD has put out a request for redevelopment proposals to put these vacant properties to use. The seven properties in Anacostia and Congress Heights range in size from 1,865 SF to 6,277 SF. Families making a $94K annual income, or 80% of area median income, are eligible to apply. 

These sites are part of a larger portfolio of vacant properties in D.C. Developers have until Oct. 29 to submit their proposals. 

A rendering of MLK Gateway, The Menkiti Group's development planned in Anacostia.

2. MLK Gateway-Anacostia

The intersection of Anacostia’s Good Hope Road SE and Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE will soon begin to look a lot different. MLK Gateway, an office, retail and community hub, is bringing new opportunities to the area. As its name suggests, the project hopes to serve as a gateway into historic Anacostia. 

Commercial development and brokerage firm The Menkiti Group and IT consulting firm Enlightened are the two main companies behind this development. Both companies are owned and operated by black professionals and entrepreneurs. Given the level of sensitivity around gentrification in Anacostia, as well as its high percentage of black residents, The Menkiti Group and Enlightened hope to create an economically vibrant community while maintaining the neighborhood’s rich character and serving the needs of existing residents. 

“We started our conversation about this project with a deep dive with the local community, meeting with residents, business owners, folks who have been deeply engaged in the community,” The Menkiti Group CEO and founder Bo Menkiti said to WAMU. 

He and his team have proposed a tenant mix of tech companies, accessible retail and sit-down restaurants, a real estate educational and career training academy and a fresh food market. While these types of conveniences have come to be expected in many D.C. neighborhoods, Anacostia has not seen the same level of leasing activity. MLK Gateway plans to bring more of these assets to the neighborhood. 

The project is slated to deliver in 2020. 

3. Parkway Overlook Redevelopment

A housing complex near the Congress Heights Metro station has been vacant for over a decade. Parkway Overlook, located on Robinson Place SE, suffered from nearby crime and underfunding from the federal government. 

Now, local government officials are reinvesting in the building. District officials plan to redevelop the Project Overlook complex into 220 affordable apartments. The housing will be reserved for households making up to 50% AMI, or $55K/year for a family of four. 

The D.C. Housing Authority has decided to self-develop the project, after its plans to transfer it over to a private development firm didn’t succeed. 

In addition to providing one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, the new and improved Project Overlook will offer workforce development, financial literacy and after-school programs. Eleven units will be permanent supportive housing. Solar panels will also be installed to help tenants save on energy costs.