WMATA Announces Transit-Focused Development in Congress Heights

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is working with Standard Real Estate Investments, Trammell Crow Company, and nonprofit affordable housing developer National Housing Trust to announce a transit-focused development made possible through land sales vacant lots of WMATA adjacent to the Congress Heights subway station.

The land, just under an acre, is located at the south entrance to the station. The lot will be part of a larger two-acre mixed-use development with plans for a 240,000 square foot office building and 179 affordable housing units at 30-80 percent of the area’s median income levels that are supported by the district’s non-profit Affordable Housing Developer Tax Relief Program.

“Mayor Bowser has carefully led the transformation of St. Elizabeth’s East to reflect the interests and needs of the Congress Heights neighborhood,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “This mixed-use development on Alabama Avenue SE will complement that work and ensure the two entrances to the Congress Heights subway station bring vitality to the neighborhood while advancing DC’s goal of 36,000 new homes by 2025. .”

To date, joint development projects at 27 stations have delivered over 13 million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space. WMATA’s transit-oriented developments generate more than $42 million in annual tax revenue for local jurisdictions and have increased property values ​​within a half-mile radius by more than $160 billion.

“We are thrilled to be part of this project which is generating new economic vitality for the community and affordable housing, as well as a new customer base,” said WMATA Managing Director/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “The sale of this land will support reinvestment in our core business and provide better access to public transit in the communities we serve. »

By expanding housing and employment opportunities near public transit, projects like Congress Heights increase ridership, reduce traffic congestion and its environmental impacts, and create more affordable housing options by reducing expenses associated with owning a car.

“Through this complex transaction, we are taking a giant step towards harnessing the benefits of this extremely well-located site through the office project we have planned with Trammell Crow Company and the affordable housing that National Housing Trust will develop,” said said Jerome Nichols, president of Standard Real Estate Investments.

The development of the land will support DC’s efforts to improve and stimulate growth on the site of the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which is immediately adjacent to the Congress Heights subway station.

The sale brings in approximately $3.1 million for WMATA to support its transit operations. WMATA will retain full operational control of the station, including the entrance, tunnel and related facilities. The main Congress Heights station entrance, bus loop, and Kiss & Ride areas across Alabama Avenue from the development site will not be affected by the project.

Melvin Z. Madore