FREQUENTLY
ASKED
QUESTIONS

Tell me about RIA.

Located at the site of the former Brookland Manor Apartments and Brentwood Village Shopping Center, RIA is a 20-acre community destination featuring new apartments, homes, and senior living, a revitalized town center, new retailers and restaurants, and lush public spaces.

How will current residents be impacted by the development? Will there be tools or resources in place to support residents during this transition time?

MidCity proudly reports that, it has made a commitment to retain the project-based Section 8 contract that assists 373 families and will provide all residents in good standing with the right to return. For those not familiar with Section 8 and how rents are calculated, even though the proposed buildings will be new, the resident portion of the rent will continue to be calculated based upon 30% of their certified income.  MidCity has committed to try to do all relocations on site and has done so thus far with the only relocations being those from Block 7 to other parts of the property.  Phase 1 consists of Block 7 and MidCity has submitted a Stage 2 PUD Application to the DC Zoning Commission for the construction of two new buildings – a 200-unit affordable senior building and a 131-unit mixed income building.  The Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on February 23, 2017 with a conclusion expected in Summer 2017.  Groundbreaking would occur on or around January 1, 2018.

Additionally, to help with the resident transition process, MidCity has partnered with a not-for-profit entity to conduct a community needs assessment so that we can design programs and individual action plans to support residents in preparation for the new community. MidCity and related interests will likely fund a substantial portion of this initiative privately, but expect that others will also contribute resources to help with these activities. Current residents will be notified of any development impacting their home at least one year prior to the commencement of construction. MidCity will provide support to residents, including a moving stipend and relocation assistance.

What existing buildings will be impacted by the development at RIA?

All of the buildings will eventually be demolished and renewed in a phased redevelopment. The first building to be demolished is the Brentwood Village Shopping Center, which is expected to be razed by year end 2016 and will eventually make way for mixed-use buildings along Rhode Island Avenue – ground floor retail with rental apartments above.  There are three existing multifamily rental buildings on Block 7 where Phase 1 of the project will take place.  These buildings include 64 existing apartment units and will be replaced with 331 new units.  The expectation is that the three existing buildings will be demolished sometime after August 1, 2017 with construction to begin shortly thereafter.

What does the Stage One PUD Approval do and what was the process that was undertaken?

The Stage One PUD Application was approved on November 6, 2015, incorporating substantial input from the community. The project received tremendous support from ANC-5C (with a 7-0 vote), the DC Zoning Commission (with a 5-0 vote), the Brentwood Civic Association, Rhode Island Avenue Main Street, and countless other churches, nonprofits, civic groups, individual homeowners, and residents. The Stage One PUD Approval established the site plan (road network, green space, etc.), height, density, land use, and affordable housing conditions.

As the individual buildings are proposed, as is the case with the Block 7 buildings for which an application was filed in September 2016, MidCity must file a Stage Two PUD Application and reconvene with the community and the Zoning Commission to review the detailed design and architecture of each building. MidCity is committed to engaging in robust dialogue with community members every step of the way. The Stage One PUD Approval provides MidCity with broad approval guidelines; the proposed buildings will meet these requirements in addition to receiving community and Zoning Commission approval.

When will construction begin?

Subject to Zoning Commission approval, construction will commence on or around January 1, 2018 with the development of a 200-unit affordable senior living building and a 131-unit mixed-income building both located in Block 7.  The two new buildings will provide replacement housing for existing residents and will further the tenant relocation plan in a way that allows for greater flexibility in the subsequent phases of the project.  These buildings will be delivered in Summer 2019 which will allow for subsequent phases to commence.

The media, blogs, and others have speculated on the affordable housing commitment here. Want to comment on this?

The Zoning Order issued by the DC Zoning Commission sets forth our voluntary commitments clearly.  Contextual information is set forth below but it is worth noting that on August 1, 2017 all property use encumbrances related to affordable housing will terminate.  Our objective from the outset has been to preserve and improve the affordable housing.   This property is privately owned, and our voluntary affordable housing commitments are as follows:
* Retain the Section 8 contract that assists 373 very-low income families.
* Provide at least 22 percent total affordable housing units; the legislated requirement is 8 percent.
* Provide the opportunity for all residents in good standing to remain in the community.
* Build replacement affordable housing first.
* Aim to perform all resident relocations on site at our expense.
With support from agencies, officials, neighbors and residents, we will collectively build an inclusive community with economic diversity and opportunity for all.

Can you tell me more about the existing Brentwood Village Shopping Center and what your plans are there?

MidCity acquired the shopping center on December 16, 2015 and obtained a raze permit for it on November 21, 2016.  It is expected that the shopping center will be demolished by year-end 2016.  Phase 2A of the project, which includes Blocks 2 and 3 that front Rhode Island Avenue, will not commence until 2019.  MidCity expects to activate the shopping center parking lot area for community serving events in the coming years and is exploring several options currently.  In the Summer of 2016, MidCity hosted a variety of events in the shopping center that included art and music events, a Summer BBQ, and National Night Out among other events.  Ultimately, Blocks 2 and 3 will include ground floor retail with residential uses above.  A new street will be introduced in the development that will bisect the current shopping center and utilize the existing signalized intersection where the Brentwood Fire Station is located.

I heard that 14th Street behind the shopping center is going to close. Is that true?

Legislation was approved by the District of Columbia City Council in October 2016 to close that portion of 14th Street and classify it as private property. The legislation also provided that MidCity would also ultimately dedicate several new streets and alleys to the City as the project gets built out.  The proposed street grid will improve connectivity and the travel experience through the project.  (On a net basis, MidCity is contributing more acreage for new streets and alleys than it is receiving from the City through the closing of a portion of 14th Street.)

What new retailers, businesses, and restaurants will RIA bring to the Rhode Island Avenue Corridor?

MidCity has begun its outreach to full-service grocery stores and has received positive early feedback based upon perceptions of the Rhode Island Avenue NE corridor, demographic trends, and the fact that up to 1,760 households will be located in RIA. MidCity expects conversations with anchor grocers to continue and to advance as planning efforts progress. The mixed-use buildings along Rhode Island Avenue will likely not commence construction until 2019. As the date draws near, MidCity expects to engage fully with the community and listen to what kinds of retailers meet the public’s needs. MidCity views RIA as a living community and a resource to the surrounding neighborhoods. MidCity will propose a retail and restaurant mix that meets the community’s everyday needs and enhances the quality of the neighborhood, while providing opportunity to interact and connect with neighbors and friends.

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This sounds great! How can I support the redevelopment?

MidCity’s hearing before the D.C. Zoning Commission will occur on February 23rd, 2017 at 6:30pm. We would love support from those who are just as excited about the redevelopment as we are!

Individuals or organizations wishing to testify in this case are encouraged to inform the Office of Zoning their intent to testify prior to the hearing date. This can be done by mail at donna.hanousek@dc.gov or by calling (202) 727-0789.

Organizations – 5 minute max; Individuals- 3 minute max

Written statements, in lieu of oral testimony, may be submitted for inclusion in the record. The public is encouraged to submit written testimony through the Interactive Zoning Information System (IZIS) at http://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Login.aspx; however, written statements may also be submitted by mail to 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 200-S, Washington, DC 20001; by e-mail to zcsubmissions@dc.gov; or by fax to (202) 727-6072. Please include the case number on your submission. (Case no. 14-18A)