Thursday, September 05, 2013

HOUSING COMPLEX | Big K Plans Draw Jeers From Anacostia Crowd

photo courtesy of Housing Complex

Thoughts? Are the plans for this parcel of land really out of place or is this much ado about nothing? 

Go HERE to read the full article by Aaron Weiner. 


The developer of Anacostia's Big K site unveiled plans last night to turn the unused property into a six-story, mixed-use, residential-retail building. And neighbors were none too pleased with what they saw. 
A team led by Tim Chapman, the developer selected by the city to develop the Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE property, described the future site as home to five stories of apartments, about 140 units, atop retail that will include a "tablecloth-style restaurant" as the anchor tenant and other "higher-end retail" along the lines of Starbucks. The design is "a commercial style of Italianate architecture," according to PGN Architects' Sean Pichon, with the appearance of several distinct buildings of varying heights from the outside that will be connected on the inside. 
The two historic, vacant houses on the site will be moved several blocks away, from the 2200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to a city-owned parcel on the 1300 block of V Street SE. 
The apartments, dubbed the Cedar Hill Flats, will be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, offered to people making up to 60 percent of area median income. One-bedrooms will rent for between $1,149 and $1,189 a month, while two-bedrooms will be in the $1,300 range. The building will form a U shape around a courtyard.

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Anonymous said...

The building is ok. But, the housing will cap tenants at 60% of AMI- more low income housing in Ward 8.

Anonymous said...

I am in favor of shining new developments that will bring more density and a population with disposable income. However, this one promises to bring more low-income housing; the income cap for tenants is 60% of AMI. I don't see how that is going to spur economic development. I really don't care about the height issue, for now.

Alan said...

Six stories seems high for the area, but they could probably set back the higher floors to reduce the visual impact and allow more natural light to reach the street. Sight lines for houses immediately behind the development would likely be ruined even if the building were four stories (similar in height to the Salvation Army building across the street).

I think the addition of a sitdown restaurant on MLK is priceless and could add to foot traffic which will only help future retail, as well as Uniontown and area galleries.

Limiting the units to 60% of AMI is FAR from "low income", since our AMI is 100K and growing. Within ten years, it's conceivable that 60% of AMI could be near 75K/year. This will likely inject a surge of middle class residents in the area (some of whom may not be able to afford the houses in Historic Anacostia, which recently broke the 200K mark, due to student loan debt, etc).

I think this building will spark development all the way up to the Metro. The moved houses will likely sell quickly if the developer also is given the task of rehabilitating them, that will be a huge boost to the blocks where they are relocated (a rehabbed historic home will sell quickly at a good price that will elevate area property values).

What did they think was going to happen, that the developer was going to rehab those handful of homes and restrict their development to the Big K building? No matter what the RFP said originally, I couldn't see that happening...economics...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what people there are expecting but that architecture is more than appropriate for the location. That is not just a step above but a quantum leap over anything I have seen in Ward 8. Not to mention what’s with this forced gentrification. Affordable housing isn't necessarily low income housing. This seems to be kind of ass-backwards for a community to be against development that keeps them in the neighborhood instead of pushing them out. SMH, don't worry the time will come when the great majority is pushed to PG County.

h st ll said...

I like it. Let's get it built ASAP. And as other folks have commented here and elsewhere, 60% of AMI is NOT low income!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Weiner's article indicate that individuals will have an income cap of $43K? That is pre-tax. They will be paying their rent out of post-tax income. How much disposable income is such a person likely to have when rents are at 1000plus? How much economic development will such limited disposable income support? Unless Weiner's figures are wrong, this cap is troubling news for those hoping that this development will house a population that will spur more middle-class amenities. That alone wouldn't really be much to complain about, but the central location and its effect on future development are reasons to be concerned. Again, individual incomes are capped at 43K, it is safe to say that many, if not most, individuals will be making less than that- and they will be stretched too thin to contribute in any meaningful way to the economic health of the area. I hope I am wrong about that, and I am open to hearing that I am.

h st ll said...

Anacostia AMI is 33k

So the 43k is significantly higher than the AMI for the neighborhood.

Also from the WCP article: "One-bedrooms will rent for between $1,149 and $1,189 a month, while two-bedrooms will be in the $1,300 range" No poor person will be able to afford that, of course. These appear to be essentially market rate (or close) rentals.

Good comment on affordability (and in general) though.

SilentWarrior said...

This is good news, especially a sit down restaurant. The more we inch to market rate rents the better. Shouldn't even bother with 3br, up the rent on the one's and two's. The more young bright professionals we attract, the better. Tired of the whining about low-income/affordable housing. I'd like to live in Beverly Hills but I can't afford it--hint.