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Two-Year Extension Sought for 85-Unit Development at DC-Maryland Border

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of the Wheeler Renaissance. Click to enlarge.

In 2015, a planned-unit development (PUD) was approved to replace a shopping center at the corner of Wheeler Road and Barnaby Street SE. Now, the developer is seeking another extension for the project.

Washington Business Group has applied for an extension to the PUD order, which approved an 85-unit building with 15,566 square feet of commercial space at 4129 Wheeler Road SE (map). Sited in the Washington Highlands neighborhood a few blocks from the DC-Maryland border, the project would be roughly a mile from the St. Elizabeths redevelopment at the Congress Heights Metro. 

The 85 residential units, which include three-bedrooms, would be affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of area median income and are configured to accommodate disabled persons. The seven-story building is designed by SGA Companies and would also include a penthouse fitness center, lounge, yoga room and children's playroom.

Bird's eye rendering of the Wheeler Renaissance. Click to enlarge.

Since approval, the application notes that the developer has had difficulties securing financing and development partners, citing a still-reluctant developing environment in Wards 7 and 8.

"Although a large number of projects in DC have been able to secure financing, east of the river has continued to be sluggish and uncertain due to a number of factors, including economic uncertainties, depressed leasing activity, slow/no job opportunities," the application states. The developer is also in the midst of negotiating leases with the existing shopping center tenants.

If approved, the developer would have until April 2021 to apply for building permits.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/two-year-extension-sought-for-85-unit-development-in-washington-highlands/15357

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