MidCity’s RIA Zoning Order is Affirmed, Development to Commence

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  • March 4, 2021

Today, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals affirmed the DC Zoning Commission’s Order in Case No. 14-18A, approving MidCity’s Phase II Planned Unit Development (PUD) for its RIA redevelopment project. The affirmation of the Zoning Order allows MidCity to proceed with the construction of two affordable apartment buildings as part of the first phase of its master planned RIA development in Northeast DC.

The Phase I and Phase II PUDs for RIA approved the 20-acre Brookland Manor Apartments to be redeveloped into a vibrant, mixed-income, mixed-use destination featuring 1,760 apartments and 181,000 square feet of commercial space, including a full-service grocery store, ground-floor retail, and a 3-acre public park and plaza. The residential component will include 373 rent-restricted Section 8 apartments that will accommodate current residents of Brookland Manor. In total, nearly one quarter of the residential units in the completed multi-phase project will be affordable to renters and townhouse buyers. The project will be constructed in phases, ensuring that there is no off-site displacement of Brookland Manor residents while new homes are being built.

Perspective Rendering of RIA from Rhode Island Avenue, NE courtesy of Perkins Eastman

John Wall, President of MidCity, noted: “The Court’s decision today affirms MidCity’s development plan and the robust commitments we made to the community regarding the preservation of affordable housing. We are ready to deliver on our commitments and will do so expeditiously by commencing construction on our first two buildings at RIA.”

The zoning appeal, brought by a single resident backed by activist groups that routinely litigate development projects, prevented 341 replacement affordable apartment units from being constructed for the existing residents of Brookland Manor. The Court of Appeal’s decision clears the way for the construction of that affordable housing to begin.

Paul Tummonds of Goulston & Storrs, who represented MidCity in the litigation, noted: “We are very pleased that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals recognized the Zoning Commission’s thorough assessment and review of RIA’s provision of affordable housing and protections for existing Brookland Manor residents.  We look forward to working with Mid-City, RIA’s architecture and design team, and Brookland Manor and community stakeholders to bring the entire RIA project to fruition.”

The first building to be constructed is the Alice & Eugene Ford Senior Building, a 200-unit affordable building for seniors located on Saratoga Avenue, NE. The building will be highly amenitized with a fitness center, demonstration kitchen, business center, community services office, medical exam rooms, an outdoor zen garden, and a recreation rooftop.

Also to be constructed in this phase of development is a 141-unit multifamily apartment building, also located on Saratoga Avenue, NE. This building will initially house existing Brookland Manor residents as other phases of Brookland Manor are demolished to make way for new phases of development. Upon completion of the entire project, all RIA buildings (with the exception of the Alice & Eugene Ford Senior Building) will be mixed-income buildings with at least 10% of the units set aside as project-based Section 8 units.

Construction on both buildings is expected to commence in early 2022 with delivery slated for mid-2023.