Partnership Is Chosen for Redevelopment
Friday, December 14, 2007
Two D.C. developers have been selected to tear down the low-income Sursum Corda cooperative and the Temple Courts housing complex and redevelop the area with high-density housing, retail and office space, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) announced yesterday.
The $700 million project is part of an ambitious strategy to attract mid- and upper-income families to help revitalize a struggling and once crime-ridden neighborhood, without displacing residents.
The development partnership, called One Vision, is led by William C. Smith & Co. and the Jair Lynch Cos. and includes Banneker Ventures and Community Preservation Development, a provider of affordable housing.
They propose building a mixed-income community with 1,630 units that include high-rise and low-rise apartments, condos and townhouses.
The project, called Northwest One, will have 40,000 square feet of retail space, 220,000 square feet of office space and a 21,000-square-foot health clinic, a new facility for Unity Health Clinic, which operates in the area. The partnership has agreed to increase the number of affordable housing units in the proposal from 410 to 571.
Northwest One will encompass not only Sursum Corda and Temple Court but also several buildings in the vicinity. It is roughly bounded by North Capitol Street to the east, New York Avenue to the north, New Jersey Avenue to the west and K Street to the south.
Developers hope to begin the first phase, along North Capitol, in late 2008 or early 2009, said Chris Smith, the owner of William C. Smith & Co.
"In our next step, we'll be having more meetings with the community before we finalize the master plan," Smith said.
Getting the support of Sursum Corda residents, who own the complex, was a factor in the city's selection of the developers, said David Jannarone, D.C.'s director of development.
To help gain their approval, 161 affordable housing units were added to the proposal.
One Vision negotiated with the Sursum Corda board, together with Kettler, a developer formerly named KSI that had bailed out the cooperative in 2005, to reach "agreements in principle" on goals. The most important: maintaining affordable units so that Sursum Corda residents could continue to live in the neighborhood.
"It's definitely a big plus that their plan included a much larger percentage of the residents that live there now," Jannarone said.