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Mayor Bowser Announces Further Equitable District Development Opportunities

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Projects Will Bring Housing and Amenities to Neighborhoods Across the District and Opportunities Reserved for Disadvantaged Businesses

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced several upcoming development opportunities that will prioritize equity inclusion in the selection of development teams as well as create affordable housing, retail and job opportunities across the District.

“By intentionally working to break down the traditional barriers to opportunity, we can ensure that residents and local businesses from across the District are sharing in a stronger, more inclusive prosperity that will fuel the District’s economy for years to come,” said Mayor Bowser. “We look forward to working with community partners to expand opportunity and advance DC values at each of these sites.

Today, DMPED is announcing three upcoming development opportunities by 1) issuing the request for proposals (RFP) for a part of the Malcolm X school site at 1351 Alabama Avenue, SE in Ward 8; and 2) starting the surplus process for the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center at 2000 14th Street, NW in Ward 1 and Hill East Phase II at 19th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, SE in Ward 7. The DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) also announced a request for qualifications (RFQ) for its headquarters site at 815 Florida Avenue, NW in Ward 1.

Each development opportunity will also include the new equity inclusion prioritization to increase access to development opportunities for entities or organizations that are owned or majority controlled by individuals determined to be part of a socially disadvantaged population. The first RFP including the equity inclusion prioritization was released July 15 by DMPED for Langston-Slater School at 43 P Street, NW in Ward 5. To view the RFP, visit dmped.dc.gov/page/langstonslater.

According to DC law, the District must surplus properties prior to making them available for disposition. For the Reeves Center and Hill East Phase II, DMPED is beginning the surplus process now and, as part of the new equitable development focus, intentionally providing a longer notice period to businesses interested in participating in these developments but who might need extra time to find, discuss and secure teaming partners and arrangements. DMPED is using this new process to help maximize teaming opportunities and participation.

“We want community builders to know what is coming and to form teams and proposals that reflect the communities that they are redeveloping,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Our goal is to achieve what each neighborhood and community needs, as well as drive economic prosperity in an equitable way and ensure that District residents benefit throughout the entire process of putting these sites back to productive use.”

The Malcom X site at 1351 Alabama Avenue, SE in Ward 8 is part of the former Malcolm X Elementary School campus, which closed in 2013 and is now the home to DC Government facilities and various community-based organizations. The site is adjacent to the Congress Heights Metro Station and close to the Entertainment and Sports Arena on the St Elizabeths East Campus. In addition to the DMPED RFP at this site, the Department of General Services (DGS) is also concurrently issuing a design/build request for proposals for the portion of Lot 806 that includes the physical school building, to be renovated or replaced for a new high school.

The DMPED RFP for Malcom X includes instructions that leave open the possibility for one team to complete both projects. However, submitting a response to do so is not required if teams want to focus on just the single parcel redevelopment. This site has also been identified as an opportunity for teacher and/or educator housing to live in the community where they teach. To view the RFP, visit dmped.dc.gov/page/malcolmx.

The surplus process was also started today for the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Building at 2000 14th Street, NW in Ward 1. The site is located within the U Street corridor, which has been a longstanding and historic hub of cultural, educational and commercial life for African Americans in DC and the area continues to be one of the District’s most flourishing destinations. Across the street from a busy Metrorail station and close to downtown, the Reeves Center is an attractive site prime for new investment.

The site is culturally significant District history and any redevelopment is required to integrate and commemorate that significance. Additionally, the NAACP is seeking to relocate its national headquarters to the site, and the District will prioritize development proposals that include the NAACP as a foundational anchor tenant and a development equity partner. The District will also prioritize teams that maximize the percentage, with a goal of 100%, of partnering entities or organizations that are owned or majority controlled by individuals determined to be part of a socially disadvantaged population.

Additionally, the surplus process was started for Hill East’s Phase II at 19th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, SE in Ward 7. It is comprised of eight parcels located on the Hill East site between the eastern edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the western shore of the Anacostia River.

This new Phase 2 redevelopment of the Hill East campus marks an important step forward in transforming the campus into a vibrant, mixed-use urban waterfront community in accordance with the Hill East Master Plan. After years of planning and engagement with the Hill East community, and following the closure of the DC General Homeless Shelter, in April 2018, DMPED broke ground on Parcel G-1 of development, which will deliver 262 residential units (with 31 affordable units) and over 12,000 square feet of retail space this fall.

This winter, DMPED will break ground on Parcel F-1, a residential community of 100 Permanent Supportive Housing (PHS) units to support very low-income persons and over 12,000 square feet of retail space. For the Phase 2 RFP’s equitable development focus, the District will seek teams that provide small and disadvantaged businesses the opportunity to lead and own/control a “component” (a portion of the site comprising one or more parcels) within the overall development. This “component developer model” helps disadvantaged firms grow and build capacity, while benefiting from the economies of scale and other resources a larger development structure can provide.

Today, DCHFA also announced an RFQ to identify qualified developers for the redevelopment of its office site at 815 Florida Avenue NW in Ward 1. DCHFA seeks to engage a qualified partner to redevelop the site to achieve two goals: first, to monetize the site to provide capital for the relocation of its headquarters and second, to generate resources that will facilitate delivering the most efficient capital source to the affordable housing. As part of this process, DCHFA seeks a partner that can demonstrate successful past performance with government partners in the Capital Region. DCHFA will also prioritize respondents that maximize leadership and/or inclusion of racial and ethnic minorities and that include members of historically disadvantaged groups. To view the RFQ, visit dchfa.org/business-opportunities/development-partner-rfq/.

Today’s announcement is part of a series of solicitations that focus on equitable priorities. Between now and Labor Day, DMPED and other District agencies will announce additional development opportunities with equitable inclusion preferences. These announcements represent a modified version of DMPED’s annual “March Madness,” an event where upcoming District real estate opportunities are revealed to the economic development community.

To receive notification when DMPED RFP opportunities are available sign up for the email distribution list here.

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