front page - search - community 

New 'affordable' apartments proposed near Metro in NE
(Published February 21, 2005)

A local community development corporation wants to build a nine-story, 170-unit apartment complex for low-to-moderate income tenants near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station in Northeast Washington.

The $37 million project, proposed by the H Street Community Development Corp. in partnership with Paradigm Development Co., received unanimous support last month from Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C in a vote approving the "concept." One commissioner noted that the new apartments would be built "across the street from $350,000 condos" in an area that is rapidly gentrifying.

The so-called "Gateway" development would be located on Fourth Street NE in Edgewood, adjacent to the Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center. The site, which was cleared at the end of last year, formerly housed a rundown industrial building that was dubbed "Heartbreak Hotel" in the 1980s for its association with heroin addicts.

The planned project includes 25 efficiencies, 96 one-bedroom units and 49 two-bedroom units. Two levels of underground parking would provide 128 parking spaces reserved for tenants. Developers said the rental units would be targeted at individuals and families whose incomes range from 50 percent to 80 percent of the area median income - currently between $30,450 and $46,980 per year.

The ground floor would include 3,000 square feet of space for retail stores or service-oriented businesses. Community meeting space also is planned for the apartment building's ground floor. Developers said they expect the completed project to create about 30 jobs, including part time and full time opportunities. During the construction phase, project officials pledged to hire D.C. residents into at least 51 percent of the jobs and to award at least 45 percent of "contract value" to certified local, small and disadvantaged business enterprises.

H Street CDC officials said they will seek approval for the planned unit development from the D.C. Zoning Commission and hope to begin construction in spring of 2006.
-By Kathryn Sinzinger

Copyright 2005 The Common Denominator