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Developers selected to redevelop Barry Farm public housing complex

By Jonathan O'Connell - Washington Post

A rendering of what a redeveloped Barry Farm might look like. (Courtesy of D.C. Housing Authority) The board of the D.C. Housing Authority has selected a private sector development team to overhaul Barry Farm, the troubled public housing community in Southeast near Anacostia.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the board selected Preservation of Affordable Housing, a non-profit developer that focuses on housing for low- and moderate-income residents, and A&R Development, based in Baltimore.

The developers are tasked with what may be one of the most difficult redevelopment projects in the city, overhauling the violence- and drug-plagued garden style apartment community into a mixed-income neighborhood that also includes new public housing units for Barry Farm's existing residents.

Located in the poorest of the District's eight wards, Barry Farm plays host to the George Goodman Basketball League in the summer, which has attracted big-name NBA stars like former Washington Wizard Gilbert Arenas.

But in 2005, violence and blight at Barry Farm prompted the District government under then-mayor Anthony Williams to include it in the city's New Communities initiative, in which the District aimed to redevelop some of the city's most troubled public housing projects.

Seven years later little work has been completed. After countless community meetings with District officials, some residents testified before the D.C. Council in February that they were being asked to stay in units where there were rat and insect infestations. Others say they are afraid of moving out of their homes and being displaced. The plans prompted the filming of a documentary, "Barry Farm: Past and Present," that chronicles the neighborhood's history.

Both Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and A&R have experience in the District, with POAH having developed the Garfield Hill Apartments and A&R serving as a partner on multiple other projects, including one on East Capitol Street that is slated to include a Wal-Mart.

Along with its development partners, the housing authority plans to apply next year for a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help fund the work.


Howard Brown details plan for 29-story tower near University of Maryland, Baltimore

(BALTIMORE, MD - April 30, 2013)
Kevin Litten - Baltimore Business Journal.

David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. wants to build a 29-story mixed-use project at 300 W. Baltimore St., a development that Chairman Howard S. Brown said will help revitalize the neighborhood surrounding the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The $70 million project, first reported by the Business Journal in August, is slated to include 100,000 square feet of office space, 224 apartments and first-floor retail that will likely be occupied by a drug store, Brown said.

When Brown disclosed his plans for the project, he said he would wait until he had pre-leased half of the 100,000-square-foot office space before moving ahead. Now, though, Brown said he is beginning the city's approval process without any signed leases and will evaluate the market before beginning construction.

Brown said he has confidence in the project because of the university's presence.

"I think the west side is really driven more by the university, the biotech parks, the medical school - that's the submarket," Brown said. "There's demand down there for sure."

The project will first go before the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, Brown said. UDARP has not yet released agendas for May.

The upper half of the building will include 16 stories of apartments, Brown said. The 100,000 square feet of office space will sit below the apartments, occupying four floors, and nine floors of parking with 424 spaces will sit below that.

A rendering released Monday shows the base of the building, including the garage and retail, will have a brick exterior. The exterior of the upper floors will be glass.

Brown has been a key player in the revitalization of the western section of downtown, even as efforts to redevelop the area surrounding the Hippodrome Theatre have stalled since the historic venue was reopened in 2004.

In March, the fast-casual restaurant Nando Peri Peri opened in the 400 block of West Baltimore Street, joining Panera Bread, PNC Bank, Pita Pit, Samuelson's Diamonds and State Employees' Credit Union in property redeveloped by Brown.

Property acquisitions on the 300 block of West Baltimore have occurred over the last five years, Brown said, and the last parcel - a 93-year-old, 23,000-square-foot office and retail building at 327 W. Baltimore St. - was purchased for $328,000 in February.

Several vacant lots, a small office building and an aging parking garage stand on the site now. The building and the parking garage will be demolished to make way for the new project, Brown said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest project cost estimate, as well as the latest number of stories, apartment units and parking spaces planned for the project, as provided by Lynn E. Abeshouse, a managing principal for David S. Brown partner Abeshouse Partners.


Ward 7 Wal-Mart Gets Mixed-Use Makeover

(WASHINGTON, DC - April 2013)
On April 8th, the D.C. Zoning Commission held a preliminary hearing on the Capitol Gateway Marketplace planned unit development (PUD), a significant public-private partnership in the northeast neighborhood of Capitol View.

The approximately 488,000-square-foot mixed-use project will be anchored by a Wal-Mart superstore, one of the retail giant's six planned locations in the city. The city-owned 12-acre site will also deliver a 283-unit residential building with ground-floor retail, a 21,900-square-foot office building, and a sit-down restaurant to an emerging neighborhood bereft of retail options and employment opportunities.

The proposed project was previously approved in 2002 as the commercial component of the 40-acre Capitol Gateway Estates PUD, funded in part by the HOPE VI program to replace the notorious East Capitol Dwellings. The original plans called for a suburban-style retail center, but were scuttled when the prospective grocery store tenant and the city could not agree upon the size and location of the parking field.

The residential community at the Capitol Gateway Estates, however, was able to go forward. Completed in 2009, the infusion of 379 mixed-income and senior housing units made the retail component "more timely," according to the development team, thus helping to secure a full-service Wal-Mart that includes a grocery store. The proposed shopping and dining options represent a significant addition of retail services to Ward 7, amenities that east-of-the-river neighborhoods have historically lacked.

The project area consists of two vacant D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) parcels that straddle 58th Street, N.E., along the north frontage of East Capitol Street: the 10.6-acre primary parcel to the east with the proposed Wal-Mart, apartments, and office building, and a 1.4-acre parcel to the west that will feature the sit-down restaurant. The site is one block west of the Capitol Heights Metrorail station and the D.C./Maryland line. The three-phase project is being developed jointly by the DCHA, which owns the site, and A&R Development.

The first-phase Wal-Mart building will anchor the primary parcel. The master plan shows the 135,000-square-foot urban superstore fronting the northeast corner of 58th and East Capitol streets, presenting a significant departure from the set-back, parking-dominated footprint of most retail superstores.

The site's steep grade change, rising 48 feet from east to west, allows the designer to stash 337 parking spaces below the store in structured parking. The proposed facade - clad in brick and Trespa panels, with a multi-story glass entryway - bears little resemblance to the company's ubiquitous blue boxes and was positively received by the commission. According to the submitted phasing plan, the developer anticipates a construction start of no later than December 2016.

East of the Wal-Mart, the proposed 283-unit residential building will be the first structure visible upon entering the city along East Capitol Street. Plans show four stories of apartments, 10-percent of which will be reserved for those making 50- to 80-percent of Area Median Income (AMI), rising above a two-story parking podium, which is wrapped on its southern frontage with approximately 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The construction of the second phase of the PUD, which includes the apartment building and an 8,800-square-foot sit-down restaurant on the west parcel, is scheduled to start no later than December 2017.

The final phase will include the 21,900-square-foot office building. Situated behind the apartments, the building, referred to as a "small jewelbox" by the applicant, features two stories of office space perched over a parking lot.

The PUD and associated rezoning request (to C-2-A district) requires relief from a number of zoning requirements. The project will require a special exception for additional retail parking and relief from loading, building height, and roof structure requirements. The public amenity package totals $750,000, and includes two public plazas, a Capital Bikeshare facility, and outreach programs that include adult education, scholarship programs, and science funding.

*Excerpts reprinted with permission from the - The D.C. Newsletter


A&R Companies Adds to Leadership as Part of Strategic Growth Plan

Shay Dugan promoted to Vice President of Operations and
Feras Qumseya joins the firm as Vice President of Development

Baltimore, MD - As part of its strategic growth plan in the mid-Atlantic region, A&R Companies, a leading real estate, development, property management and construction company, recently announced that Shay Dugan has been promoted to Vice President of Operations and Feras Qumseya has joined the firm as Vice President of Development.

"To continue to grow and meet the needs of our residents and partners, we needed to expand our management team," said Executive Vice President Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire. "Shay is a proven leader in residential and commercial real estate management and is a valuable contributor to our organization. We are very excited to have Feras join our team and will leverage his development expertise and knowledge of the Washington, D.C. market as we continue to launch new projects."

A graduate of Pierce College, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration - Real Estate Management, Dugan has served as A&r's director of operations since 2010. Before joining A&R, Dugan worked with Tarragon Corporation, Pennsylvania Residential Real Estate and Development Corporation, JBG Companies, and Summit Properties. Dugan is a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management, the National Apartment Association, and holds her National Center for Housing Management Tax Credit Certification. In her new role, Dugan will oversee the day-to-day operations of A&r's property management operations.

Qumseya rejoins A&R from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, D.C., where he led the largest redevelopment project on the East Coast. Qumseya earned a Bachelor's Degree from Beloit College and a Master's Degree from George Washington University. He is a member of the Real Estate & Finance Alliance Board of Directors at George Washington University and a member of the board of directors at the Global Institute for Technology Advancements. At A&R he will be responsible for the development and construction management activities of the A&R Development Corp.

About A&R
Established 35 years ago, A&R Companies is a family-owned group of businesses focused on real estate development, construction, and property management. A&R Development Corp. develops residential, commercial and mixed-use real estate projects in the mid-Atlantic region. A&R Management, Inc. is A&r's professional property management services business. The companies' portfolio includes residential and commercial properties in various Maryland counties, Baltimore City and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit


Innovation On Many Levels: ULI Announces Winners of 2012 Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and 2012 Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards

For more information, contact: Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051
DENVER (October 19, 2012) - This year's winners of both the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards and the Robert C. Larson Workforce Housing Public Policy Awards were announced today by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing. The winners which embody exemplary achievements in workforce housing by the development community and public policy makers were honored during a ceremony at ULI's Fall Meeting in Denver.
The three recipients of the 2012 Jack Kemp Awards include: The Century Building in Pittsburgh, Pa., Rhode Island Row in Washington, D.C., and Via Verde in New York, N.Y.
The Jack Kemp Awards, named in memory of former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board Jack Kemp, are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability.
According to ULI Terwilliger Center National Advisory Board member Dara Kovel, chief housing officer at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, this year's Jack Kemp Awards winners represent the entire spectrum of housing types and needs. "The winners of the Jack Kemp Awards demonstrate that workforce housing comes in many shapes and sizes, creating innovation on many levels including urban redevelopment, green and sustainable practices, and the reuse of existing buildings," Kovel said.
One of the 2012 Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Awards winners:
 Rhode Island Row, developed through a joint venture between A&R Development Corp and Urban Atlantic that worked closely with District of Columbia agencies to transform an underutilized parking lot into a 330 unit, mixed-use development immediately proximate to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station and only two miles from the entertainment and employment opportunities in downtown Washington, D.C. Development planning began before housing crisis and the developer, as well as its public partners-WMATA, the District of Columbia, and HUD, worked together to form a creative financing solution and keep the project afloat when the real estate market imploded. A sophisticated finance structure including the FHA 220 program, New Market Tax Credits, and the monetization of future tax benefits to the District of Columbia, allowed RI Station, LLC to reserve 55 of the 330 units for households under 50% while the remaining units were priced to be affordable to households earning between 75-120% AMI. Rhode Island Row is unique in that the developer worked closely with the existing community to create a building that met long-time residents' needs and desires, while bringing much needed private investment to the neighborhood.