Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's official: Luxury hotel goes to NW. Off-site "affordable" housing to come to Anacostia.

Coming soon to NW: A luxury hotel,  branded residences and a dog spa!

You might recall CHotR touching on this a few months ago and if you recall The Advoc8te (and many of my Ward 8 neighbors) was none to happy about the proposal's suggestion that while the hotel, branded residences, and the dog spa were proposed for the NW site --  the "affordable" housing piece (which is required by law) would go off-site to Anacostia. We know now the income caps for those  "affordable" units in Anacostia will be at 40-60% of the AMI.

In case you were counting this will be the FOURTH income capped  large- scale housing project that is planned for the Anacostia neighborhood.

Coming to Anacostia behind 2100 MLK Ave SE: More "affordable" housing

Including the link to the Washington Business Journal article by Michael Neibauer along with an excerpt.

The District has selected the PeeblesCorp. and the Walker Group to redevelop the D.C.-owned parcel at Fifth and Eye streets NW into a hotel and branded residences. 
The team, which also includes WDG Architecture, MacFarlane Partners and Standard Group, proposed a 13-story, 198-key hotel from Standard International and 59 market-rate residences for the 21,000-square-foot Mount Vernon Triangle lot at 901 Fifth St. NW, plus 100 affordable units off-site to those earning 60 percent or less of the area median income.
“The building Mr. Peebles’ has proposed for Anacostia would not be low-income housing, but a mixed-income development,” Corson wrote. “It would be a 200 unit building, with 100 units at market rate and 100 units available to residents at 40-60% [area median income]. The development would be built upon an empty lot which Mr. Peebles already owns. Ours is the only proposal for 5th and I, NW that includes a component in Anacostia.” 
The vacant lot, D.C. officials say, is located on V Street SE adjacent to the office building at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. It appears to be the office building's parking lot. Also, per the city, the Anacostia plan calls for 61 units at 60 percent of AMI.
In his email, Corson went on to say that Peebles “has long been dedicated to the Anacostia community and believes this development would be an asset for Anacostia — creating new housing for residents and putting a vacant lot to good use.”
The Advoc8te is interested in hearing from east of the river residents on this proposal:

  • What do you think of splitting off the affordable housing piece to east of the river? 
  • Do you feel that Anacostia has enough "affordable" rental housing already? 
  • Does east of the river need more income capped housing or should the focus be on moving renters to homeowners? 
  • Does east of the river have an affordable housing (rental or homeowner) problem or are we being used to solved the west of the river affordable housing problem?
  • Should "affordable" housing be located in wealthy neighborhoods where low-income renters are being "pushed out" or to low-income neighborhoods were the cost of land is cheaper? 

And most importantly: "Do you believe that economic development and financial prosperity is really intended for east of the river?"


i heart newcomb said...

Short term idea: They should change their Anacostia plans into a more mixed income development. Like 80% market rate 20% affordable. 160 market rate and 40 affordable housing units sounds less burdensome. Otherwise, I feel like they are over fulfilling the quota. If they are going to export their low income to Anacostia, the very least they could do is send us the bare minimum. I don't know what that minimum is, but I am sure it's not 100 units.

Otherwise, is there a way to stop this project from going forward? Aaron's piece in WCP mentioned this was the least popular proposal among the community.

Long term idea: Obviously it is outrageous that people are exporting their low income housing east of the river. We should change that law if that's how companies can meet the quotas. The spirit of the law loses all significance.

Thanks for keeping track of how many affordable housing projects are in the works EOTR. Do you, by any chance, know how many are already present here? I wish I had a little GIS experience to plot that. That would be really interesting to see.

h st ll said...

Well... it's complicated. If the Anacostia portion is half market rate, that seems fine to me. Hardly dumping or anything. And this allows many more families to be helped ...

Now, I feel like I have to address one thing. Please don't get mad at me. You wrote on here that you were very upset about Relisha Rudd (as we all were), and why was she still in shelter housing. How do you square that with your insistence in no more subsidized housing EOTR? I know you will say put the affordable housing in Georgetown or whatever, but many less families can be helped then, because of the much higher costs. And resources aren't endless. So, my point is, how do you reconcile these contradictory feelings of yours?

Anonymous said...

Many people don't seem to understand the economics for these developments east of the river. It's really not profitable to build high-end class A buildings with full amenity packages east of the river. I think what many people fail to realize is that, these "affordable units" as people keep calling them are actually market rate price points for Anacostia when you look at rents. The difference is they're built with class A amenity packages that are usually not built east of the river.

Without affordable housing tax credits and financing, it's impossible to build units at a class A level like these affordable units east of the river. These affordable housing developments have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. That would be impossible to build financially east of the river without those tax credits and financial help. That is why all the developments east of the river are affordable.

Do people really think developers care about providing affordable housing? No, they care about profit and it's not profitable to build market rate housing east of the river. You won't be able to achieve the rents needed to make a profit. The return on investment is not high enough. Affordable housing is the only way to make a profit at the class A level and it involves financial assistance.

People should also keep in mind that $1,400 for a two bedroom is not really affordable east of the river, it's market rate for that submarket. That is the price for a two bedroom in the 100% affordable (60% AMI) Park 7 development near the Minnesota Avenue metro station.

Once enough of the class A (60% AMI) buildings are built east of the river, the property value will rise enough to warrant 100% market rate class A buildings which is all anybody builds now. The question is, do people really want that? You know what that will mean right? Gentrification........

Alan Page said...

40-60% AMI is, what, renters earning 40,000-60,000/year? Those are solid middle class neighbors. Why wouldn't you want those folks to move in?

My problem is, why couldn't the affordable housing be near where the other project was? If the developer is getting some benefit from this (tax incentive financing, FAR multiples, etc) they should be expected to bear the cost of putting the affordable housing near their main development. Otherwise, they get a public benefit, buy cheaper land EOTR, AND still have half the development at market rate, which makes it feel like they're getting over on the public.

Need more details before I feel outraged, though.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous, if what you say is true, then how is Peebles going to be able afford to include 100 units of market rate housing? My question is not meant to be sarcastic; I am genuinely confused.

Cynthia Jefferson said...

I understand the concern about the loop we are in with not being able to attract economic development because we have not a sufficient mix of income levels. I want to add that a new Tutti Fruitti Frozen Yogurt shop has opened in the run down mall at Minnesota and Pennsylvania Avenues,SE. It is fabulous. It is-I hope, the beginning of such investment in our area. I no longer have to go to Barracks Row or downtown for frozen yogurt! I intend to patronize them. I want to spread the word that they are here.

h st ll said...

@anon 12:16 - because he using the profits from the MVT project to subsidize the Anacostia project. I think. I don't think he is going to do the Anacostia one if he wasn't awarded the MVT land.

@alan page - the appeal of this was it had 2x more affordable housing units than the proposals which had the affordable housing units on the mvt site.

Not saying I agree with the selection, just adding what I understand about the proposals.