Popular in my Anacostia’s community listserv today, we discuss concentrating affordable housing in our neighborhood. It is incredibly disappointing to see hotel and apartment development, including a dog park and eateries, planned for 5th and I when Anacostia consistently gets the equivalent of the middle finger from developers.
The city dumps low-income housing into our neighborhood. Is it true, as Four Points’ Stan Voudrie has said that due to low market rents in the neighborhood, using affordable-housing tax credits is the only way to finance [a] project?! I beg to differ.
5th and I: “[T]he hotel will occupy floors 1-8 of the new project, with a total of 153 rooms and 5,500 square feet of “meeting/function space.” On top of the hotel will sit 52 residential units on floors 9-12. There will be a restaurant and cafe on the ground floor.”
Anacostia: “The development team plans to build the project’s affordable units off-site in a seven-story building across the Anacostia River at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, a proposal that made local voices east of the river [none too happy] when it was floated last year.”
Developer Tim Chapman:
“The Big K site on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, nicknamed after the liquor store that once operated there, has sat vacant for years as the city mulled its development potential. Although the solicitation recommended that the site not include housing and the initial plan was for offices, Chapman later determined that the best use would be affordable housing. The current plans call for 114 income-restricted apartments, available to households making under 60 percent of area median income, and ground-floor retail.”
“The shift has upset many neighbors, who argue that Anacostia and Ward 8 already have too much affordable housing, and that what the amenity-starved neighborhood really needs is market-rate housing that will attract high-quality retailers.”