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Columbia Heights land deals approved for housing, stores
(Published December 1, 2003)

Long-vacant, city-owned parcels adjacent to the Columbia Heights Metro station have moved a step closer to development, with the RLA Revitalization Corp. (RLARC) Board of Directors approving their sale to a company that plans to build housing and retail stores.

Columbia Heights Ventures LLC, a partnership of Donatelli & Klein of Bethesda and Gragg & Associates of Washington, has agreed to pay about $3.8 million for the land on the southwest and northeast corners of 14th and Irving streets NW.

The deal requires the company to donate a portion of the northeast corner, formally known as Parcel 15, to a nonprofit organization called Victory Housing for development of 75 rental units for low- and moderate-income senior citizens.

The purchase agreement for the southwest corner, known as Parcel 26, requires the developer to negotiate an agreement with city officials to rebuild the LaCasa homeless shelter currently located on a portion of the property.

Columbia Heights Ventures plans to build 147 condominiums, called Kenyon Lofts, on Parcel 15. The development also will include 18,250 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 206-space parking garage. The company plans to build 235 rental apartments and 22 condominiums, called Columbia Heights Station, on Parcel 26 with ground-floor retail space and a 278-space parking garage.

Twenty percent of housing units in both developments are classified as "affordable housing" - requiring that they be offered to persons with incomes between 30 percent and 80 percent of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Area Median Income, which varies according to household size.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator