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Nine Acres, 15% AMI: A Steeply-Affordable Redevelopment Planned for Ward 8

by Nena Perry-Brown

Site map for proposed Southern Hills redevelopment. Click to enlarge.

In recent years, a great deal of investment in the District has gone toward redeveloping older affordable housing stock into larger, mixed-income developments. If Southern Hills has its way, it will approach redevelopment differently.

WinnDevelopment has applied for zoning relief that will enable the company to redevelop the 9.23-acre Southern Hills complex in Ward 8's Washington Highlands neighborhood — a development that will be nearly as large as that of the Fannie Mae campus on Wisconsin Avenue.

Aerial rendering of proposed Southern Hills redevelopment. Click to enlarge.

The seven buildings at 4201, 4209, 4219, 4333, 4337 and 4347 4th Street SE and 304 Livingston Terrace SE (map) would be razed and replaced with 42 townhouses, five apartment buildings containing 213 units, and a community center. The development would also have 147 surface parking spaces and ample green space.

Rendering of community center beyond courtyard space. Click to enlarge.

The zoning application (Case #19819) seeks a special exception to construct multiple buildings on a single lot (post-subdivision) and to do a new residential development of this density in the RA-1 zone, as well as variances to build a community center and to exceed the maximum height and stories allowed.

Rendering of the development as seen from 3rd Street SE. Click to enlarge.

The redevelopment will enable all of the residents of the existing 255 apartments to return to the site and will also improve the ratio of family-sized units, eliminating studio apartments entirely (of which 28 exist) and delivering 47 three-bedrooms rather than the 28 currently on-site.

The apartment buildings will contain a total of 108 one-bedrooms, 100 two-bedrooms and 5 three-bedrooms; the 42 townhomes will be spread across 8 clusters and will each have three bedrooms and 1.5 baths.

Rendering of the development as seen from 4th Street SE. Click to enlarge.

According to the application documents, WinnDevelopment collaborated with the Southern Hills Tenant Association, which requested the additional family-sized units and that the development be reoriented to improve its relationship to the street. 

Rendering of the development as seen from Livingston Road SE. Click to enlarge.

The application, like others that include affordable housing, notes the level of affordability relative to area median income (AMI), a measure that would be as low as 30 percent in some developments. Here, however, the development will exceed those expectations.

"The Project will serve households earning, on average, approximately 15 [percent] of the area median income," the application notes.

The Board of Zoning Adjustment will consider the application in September.

See other articles related to: washington highlands, ward 8, redevelopment

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-steeply-affordable-redevelopment-for-southern-hills/14115

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