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?
All current Brookland Manor residents in good standing are welcome in the redeveloped RIA. MidCity proudly reports that it will retain the project-based Section 8 contract that currently assists 373 families. This contract provides 373 permanently affordable units to residents making between 0%-30% of the area median income (AMI). This is the second-largest Section 8 contract in the city, and MidCity’s decision to voluntarily renew it represents a major commitment to the preservation of affordable housing in the city.
For residents currently living in market-rate units at the property, MidCity, working with resident groups, will work to make sure that the DC Housing Authority increases the payment standard for voucher holders to cover the new rent. In the past, the Housing Authority has raised voucher payments in nearby neighborhoods to reflect changing market conditions. We will work with voucher residents and DCHA to make sure that vouchers allow residents to stay at the property.
MidCity has committed to relocating residents on site during construction whenever possible, and is developing the property in phases to avoid resident displacement. MidCity will provide transition support to residents, including a moving stipend and relocation assistance. So far, all relocations from Block 7 (the demolished portion of the site) have occurred on-site, expenses paid by MidCity. Current residents will be notified of any development impacting their home at least one year prior to the commencement of construction.
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 buildings to be demolished were the Brentwood Village Shopping Center and three multifamily rental buildings on Block 7 where Phase 1 of the project will take place.
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/demolition begin? When will there be informational meetings?
We regret that construction of new units is paused while appeals by outside groups are resolved in court. Once legal proceedings conclude, new housing (including hundreds of affordable units) can be constructed.
What is RIAs affordable housing commitment?
MidCity made an unprecedented commitment to retain affordable units at the property, as is consistent with the company’s 50-year history and mission. The Zoning Order issued by the DC Zoning Commission sets forth our voluntary commitments clearly. 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 who make between 0%-30% of area median income (AMI).
* Provide at least 24% total affordable housing units; the legislated requirement is 10 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
For residents currently living in market-rate units at the property, MidCity will work with voucher residents and DCHA to make sure that vouchers allow residents to stay at the property.
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 demolished the existing structures in late 2016. Since mid-2015, MidCity has been using the parking lot for arts and community programming events, including National Night Out, Resident Summer BBQs, and various Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Events.
MidCity is very excited to announce the completion of the surface mural in the former Shopping Center parking lot. Residents and neighbors met with MidCity’s muralist to design the image for the lot – many even were able to participate in painting the mural on MidCity’s Community Painting day! Please check out our social media accounts for mural images.
Phase 2A of the project, which includes Blocks 2 and 3 that front Rhode Island Avenue, will not commence until 2019, at the earliest. 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.
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.