MRP Wins Bid to Develop 965 Florida Avenue

by UrbanTurf Staff

MRP Wins Bid to Develop 965 Florida Avenue: Figure 1
Rendering for 965 Florida Avenue.

The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development has made its decision as to who will redevelop a sought-after Florida Avenue NW parcel.

The city gave the go-ahead to the team made up of MRP Realty, Ellis Development Group and Fundrise to develop 965 Florida Avenue NW (map), the Washington Business Journal is reporting. The initial plans that the team has in mind for the site include a 370,000 square-foot mixed-use building with a residential component and a market made up of stores and small grocers on the ground-level.

MRP Wins Bid to Develop 965 Florida Avenue: Figure 2
Rendering of planned retail.

The MRP-led team was going up against a mixed-use proposal from the team of JBG, Gragg & Associates and Moddie Turay Comapany. The plans for the JBG proposal included a 125-room hotel, 70,000 square feet of office space targeted at creative and local uses, a previously-reported Harris Teeter, a 100-unit condo development with 22 affordable units, 250 apartments, 200 micro units and the W Street extension, a large outdoor plaza.

MRP Wins Bid to Develop 965 Florida Avenue: Figure 3
Rendering for 965 Florida Avenue.

The decision to go with the MRP proposal hinged at least partially on that proposal’s plan to create more affordable housing, a point that JBG takes issue with.

“The JBG/Gragg proposed plan actually provided 22 more affordable housing units than proposed by the MPR/Ellis plan, for a total of 80 affordable units,” JBG’s James Nozar wrote in an email to UrbanTurf. “It goes without saying that we are very disappointed in the city’s decision given our tremendous investment in this proposal and in the surrounding area.”

See other articles related to: mrp realty, jbg, 965 florida avenue

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/mrp_wins_bid_to_develop_965_florida_avenue/7393


  1. Chip Rodgers said at 8:45 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    So much inventory coming...worries me. One of these coming Columbia Heights and Shaw projects may be going rental.
  1. charlie said at 8:54 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    what the hell? I thought JBG was a shoe in. The harris teeter would have been a great addition.
  1. JB said at 8:57 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    Wow what a diaster. The JBG was much better and we need a grocery store. The Giant in ColHeights is a diaster.
  1. Jay said at 9:04 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    Very disappointing. This area needed a grocery store, and Ellis projects take forever to get built.
  1. Bright Side said at 9:42 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    Great! (no not sarcasm.) That means the Howard Town Center can still attract a grocery store. The Howard Town Center is a bit of a long shot but it is even less likely without an anchor tenant like a grocery store.
  1. JB said at 10:36 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    The Howard Town Center will NEVER happen. They have been trying to do that for YEARS.
  1. Ace said at 11:52 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    The market concept will be awesome if done like Union Market attracting a mix of some cool funky little spots that offer a variety of services like coffee, butcher, pastries, farmers market etc…and if it is open all the time (not just on weekends). Did their presentation divulge how they would identify the tenants and lease the spaces?
  1. Ace said at 11:55 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    Also...this could potentially be more of a place to come and hang out (one of those "third places"). While I do love HT for groceries... I just go there, grab my stuff, and come home. This market might be a place I want to take out of town friends to or my parents for an afternoon. I just hope they do it right!
  1. Bright Side said at 11:56 pm on Tuesday July 30, 2013:
    Maybe, but all parties would be leaving a lot of money on the table. I would have said a house will NEVER sell for over a million in Brookland (actually I would have said 800k) A house just closed at 900k+. I stick to my original point, the BEST chance for HTC to happen is for an anchor grocery store to sign on as part of the development.
  1. George said at 1:06 am on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    @ Chip, You're worried about too much housing inventory? That's how rents go down, isn't it? I'm glad that DMPED prioritized affordable housing here.
  1. charlie said at 1:06 am on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    its even worse "What put MRP over the top, according to Hoskins' office, was an offer to build more affordable housing, an agreement to submit to the District's planned-unit development process (ensuring community coordination) and its willingness to pay more for the land." So, no supermarket, and more poor people!
  1. AC said at 2:23 am on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    Hey Charlie you (part of this comment has been removed for its inappropriate nature), whats wrong with affordable housing and how does it mean "poor people". It's a difference between affordable and section 8. Everybody dont make 200k a year ok.
  1. jag said at 2:38 am on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    I'll second the "screw you" @ charlie.
  1. Mark Wellborn said at 2:48 am on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    UT Readers, We intend for the comments on UrbanTurf to be appropriate, respectful, relevant, and constructive. If the nature or tone of reader comments violates any of these qualities for a particular article, we will close them for that article. The comment section of this article has been closed. Thank you for understanding. The Editors
  1. The Editors said at 5:37 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    UT Readers, We intend for the comments on UrbanTurf to be appropriate, respectful, relevant, and constructive. If the nature or tone of reader comments violates any of these qualities for a particular article, we will close them for that article. We make the assessment at our sole discretion. In other words, please play nice. Thanks, The Editors
  1. Mike said at 6:16 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    I literally live across the street from this parcel. I have mixed feelings, on one hand, I was NOT looking forward to apts/condos/HOTEL/business offices going up but was really looking forward to the Harris Teeter. Yay, we won't have the hotel or business offices but now we'll have a lousy, expensive, souped up food court. Wonderful!
  1. Bill said at 6:20 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    Most of the "affordable" housing in these developments historically have been reserved for households making 80% of area median income. For a family of 4 in DC, that works out to about $86,000 of annual income. [With perhaps a small number of the affordable units reserved for lower incomes.] Not exactly "poor." Though I don't know the specifics of the requirements attached to this offering....
  1. Bright Side said at 7:05 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    per WBJ - 'MRP’s win is potentially very good news for the planned Howard Town Center. And the Howard Town Center, located in the 2100 block of Georgia Avenue NW a block-and-a-half from the Florida Avenue property, could use some very good news. If Harris Teeter is out, then the town center’s planned supermarket would appear to be in a much stronger position — if Howard University and its recently exiled development partners can work out their legal issues." I actually liked that a Hotel was a part of the other bid. The U street area is popular people want to stay in the hot / popular area, U street needs a hotel, nothing huge, something like a Kimpton Hotel.
  1. J.M. Keynes said at 7:28 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    <i>too much housing inventory? That’s how rents go down, isn’t it?</i> In theory. But look at all the new units in DC that have gone up in the last five or so years. How much have rents gone down during that time?
  1. James said at 7:30 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    Both proposals included dedicated affordable housing units ranging from 30-80% of AMI, so, they were providing units to those with much lower income levels. Regarding the hotel, the stated vision in the JBG proposal was for a smaller independent hotel - like a Kimpton.
  1. D said at 7:35 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    How did fundrise jump from a <10,000 SF re-development play to a JV on a 300,000 SF re-development deal. I wonder if they were brought to the table to help the bigger fish (in this case Ellis and MRP)get preferential treatment from the city, as they seem to be garnering alot of praise for the community based/crowd funding model. If that is the case, will they/their 'investors' get a preferential equity return or just stand shoulder-to-shoulder on whatever piece of the pie they end up contributing?
  1. john said at 8:49 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    Maybe JBG has too much on it's plate right now?
  1. ab said at 10:25 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    This is a horrible, shady decision. The JBG plan actually offered more affordable units, would bring in more money for the city, and would connect W St. to ease traffic, which is a no-brainer. Not to mention how badly the area needs an actual grocery store as opposed to a food court.
  1. Payton Chung said at 10:46 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    JBG has been talking to hotel operators for several years about U Street, but probably couldn't cement a deal soon enough there and went forward with apartments instead. It's a bit of a shame, because U St. would be better than Florida for non-residential. While I agree that a Kimpton would make sense at that location, their current hotel properties are mostly Starwood, Marriott, or Hilton branded. A 120-key hotel by JBG would probably be an Aloft, rather than a W or Autograph or Monaco. @D: yes, Fundrise was brought on as a junior partner to MRP; they will raise a small slice of the equity ($300K according to their site) as a means of proving community support for their plan. They (actually Westmill) will not be developing or managing the project, though. And yes, Fundrise deals are structured so that all equity investors are "shoulder to shoulder."
  1. Payton Chung said at 10:50 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    To be clear, this is the first public offering where Fundrise was just a platform -- a la Kickstarter -- for a developer who is not Westmill. (Other developers have used Fundrise to manage/advertise their private equity offerings.) Westmill is not a partner in the MRP development.
  1. U Street Resident said at 5:03 pm on Thursday August 1, 2013:
    If you are in favor of the JBG/ Harris Teeter proposal, please sign the U Street neighborhood petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/deputy-mayor-for-planning-and-economic-development-reconsider-decision-to-develop-the-jbg-harris-teeter-at-965-florida-ave?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false
  1. Michael Connor said at 1:49 pm on Friday August 2, 2013:
    I hope everyone who has written or is otherwise outraged by this decision to go with the Ellis proposal over the more unified, more socially conscious JBG proposal will sign the change.org petition and write to Councilman Jim Graham about this. You can reach Jim at jim@grahamwone.com.
  1. U Street Resident said at 11:01 pm on Saturday August 3, 2013:
    The response below from Councilmember Jim Graham: Dear Friends: I have been paying close attention to the dozens of emails objecting to the recent award of 965 Florida. I have carefully read the recent email from Mr. DeWitt as well as the statement by Deputy Mayor Hoskins (see below). I am also now responding (via Bcc’s) to my Ward 1 constituents who have written me. Thank you for writing me. I have rarely experienced in Ward 1 such a widespread and negative community reaction to a development decision. Clearly there are a great many neighborhood people who are disappointed and unhappy with the choice and justification that has been offered thus far. This is a major decision affecting the future of development in the eastern sector of Ward 1. I am also sensitive that the legal process requires a decision to be made at this stage by the Mayor and his advisors. I also know that this decision will, in the future, require Council approval. That would include the property disposition. But this does bring to mind the Foggy Bottom outcry to the initial decision by the Fenty administration to award the Stevens School contract in 2009. That Ward 2 property prompted the expression of strong views by my Council colleagues including CM Jack Evans and others. Ultimately, the following year, the award was vacated, in substantial part, on the grounds that there was so much community opposition. I appreciate the statement that has been issued by Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins. But, as a first step, I think more detailed explanation of the rationale for the decision is necessary. I am now requesting that detailed justification including documentation appropriate for release (not involving proprietary information) . Bests Councilmember Jim Graham

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