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Long-Delayed Projects Finally Get A Leg Up In Southeast D.C.

A view from the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, with the booming Navy Yard neighborhood on the left side of the river and the undeveloped Poplar Point area on the east.

1. A vacant parking lot in Anacostia is being transformed into a three-story affordable housing project. ​​UrbanTurf reported last week that Legacy Real Estate Partners filed plans with D.C.'s Historic Preservation Office for the 21-unit residential development, which will be constructed at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. The one- and two-bedroom apartments will be offered at 60% of the area median income.

2. Last September, D.C. finally broke ground on the Barry Farm redevelopment, a project more than a decade in the making. Hundreds of local residents were relocated years ago in anticipation of the project, which was stalled for a number of reasons including battles over historic preservation and concerns about displacement. The redevelopment began with the construction of the Asberry, a mixed-use building with 108 affordable housing units for people 55 and older and 5K SF of commercial space, located along Sumner Road SE.

3. In May, Bisnow reported that Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration plans to release a new request for proposals for an owner's representative to guide the development of the 110-acre site on Poplar Point in Anacostia. This is the first significant step the city has taken in years to turn the waterfront site into a mixed-use destination. Interim Deputy Mayor Keith Anderson told Bisnow he expects the Poplar Point project to be “a very large-scale development,” akin to the Navy Yard or The Wharf.

The Skyland Town Center development in Southeast D.C.

4. Almost seven years after Walmart backed out of its planned location in the Skyland Town Center development, project partners WC Smith and Rappaport announced plans for the final piece of the site. These plans include 126 for-sale townhomes and a 75-unit senior housing building at Skyland Town Center, which last year welcomed grocery store Lidl.

5. In October, Redbrick LMD received a $142.5M construction loan from Citizens Bank for its first building on the previously stalled Bridge District site. The goal of this project is to bring 750 new housing units and 40K SF of retail to Ward 8. The estimated 2.5M SF project will be located on mostly vacant parcels on the east side of the Anacostia River. Redbrick first purchased the land nearly a decade ago. 

6. The District’s Department of Energy and Environment announced last week its “Splash” event at the Anacostia River, which was scheduled to happen on July 8, would be postponed until September. This would have marked the first legal swim in the river since 1971. The event was postponed due to recent heavy rainfall, which caused sewage overflow into local water systems.