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DC Housing Authority Identifies Preferred Co-Developer for Greenleaf Gardens

by Nena Perry-Brown

Previous rendering from selected co-developer, designed by WRT Architects. Click to enlarge.

In April 2019, the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) released a request for proposals seeking a partner to redevelop the 15-acre Greenleaf Gardens public housing community. Now, the agency has identified its preferred co-developer. 

Earlier this week, DCHA announced its desire to begin exclusive negotiations with the Greenleaf District Partners team, led by Pennrose, EYA, and Bozzuto Development. Greenleaf has 493 units spanning from First to Third Streets between Eye and N Streets (map); the redevelopment is envisioned to eventually deliver over 1,800 mixed-income units. 

Greenleaf Gardens map.
Previous redevelopment aerial rendering. Click to enlarge.

Per the RFP, the project is expected to replace existing units one-for-one and build units for existing households before razing their homes ("build first"). Although the specific details of the redevelopment have not been spelled out, a presentation from December gives some idea of what's to come.

The first phase was identified as replacing the housing flanking the Second Union Baptist Church with two new buildings. The second phase would replace the Greenleaf Senior building at 1200 Delaware Avenue SW (map) with another two buildings and replace the Greenleaf mid-rise building at 203 N Street SW (map) with rows of townhouse-style stacked flats.

Previous redevelopment phasing site plan. Click to enlarge.

The third phase would replace the townhouses between K and L Streets from Delaware Avenue and 3rd Street SW, and the final phase would replace the housing off 3rd and Eye Streets; both phases would have a new multifamily building fronting Delaware and rows of townhouse-style stacked flats fronting 3rd. A new trail would follow the path of First Street.

DCHA previously estimated that the development would require six phases over 15 years. The agency is hoping to start extensive repairs of 31 vacant units in the upcoming fiscal year in order to consolidate residents across the community, paving the way to file raze applications on newly-vacant sites. In the meantime, however, the agency is trying to take the first steps toward negotiating a ground lease with the preferred team.

The Board of Commissioners was scheduled to vote at this week's meeting on a resolution that would empower DCHA to begin a 180-day negotiation period on a memorandum of understanding with the development team. However, the meeting revealed lack of clarity and communication leading up with boardmembers and stakeholders, leading the board to vote 5-4 against the resolution. 

Correction: The article has been updated to reflect that the co-developer team is not officially "selected" until the Board of Commissioners votes to approve exclusive negotiations. DCHA also plans to turnover 31 vacant units at Greenleaf, not 14.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-housing-authority-selects-co-developer-for-greenleaf-gardens/17407

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