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Developer Lands Financing For Senior Affordable Project In Ward 7, Plans To Break Ground This Month

A rendering of The Residences at Kenilworth Park project

The first affordable assisted living project in D.C.'s Ward 7 has secured financing to move forward. 

The D.C. Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday it issued $58M in bond financing and underwrote $20M in Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the 157-unit Residences at Kenilworth Park project.

Gragg Cardona Partners partner Oussama Souadi, whose firm is leading the project, told Bisnow it plans to break ground by the end of September and aims to deliver around Q3 of 2022. The developer is partnering with The Carding Group and HallBridge Partners on the project.

"We were able to pull this deal together during the pandemic," Souadi said, adding that it began working with DCHFA in May. "It was a bit challenging, but HFA was with us and they pushed it through fairly quickly."

The project, first proposed in April 2019, will be built on a vacant lot at the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue NE and Eastern Avenue. The site is roughly a half-mile from the Deanwood Metro station, and it is the latest in a series of projects to move forward in the neighborhood. 

The community will be reserved for people age 60 and above who require assistance with two or more daily activities and who make 60% or less of the area median income. It will provide residents three meals per day in a central dining area, access to medical support and other services, plus amenities including a general store, fitness center and hair salon.

The Residences at Kenilworth Park will be the first affordable assisted living community in Ward 7, Souadi and DCHFA said, and it comes after DCHFA last year financed Livingston Place at Southern, the first such project in Ward 8. 

“At DCHFA we finance affordable housing solutions for District residents at all stages in their lives," DCHFA interim Executive Director Christopher Donald said in a release. "We are fully committed to supporting seniors and welcome this opportunity to invest in affordable assisted living with on-site support services east of the river, which will allow residents to age in place."

Souadi said many seniors in D.C. can't afford market-rate assisted living options, and he is looking for more sites to build affordable senior projects. 

"The need is pretty significant," Souadi said. "We think 157 apartments will begin to address some of it, but the need outpaces the supply we're going to bring online, so we'll have to see what the market says and then reassess and see what else we can bring online."