Somerset Development Company, Jonathan Rose Companies, and Housing Up announced today that construction has begun on The Faircliff, a 125-unit affordable housing project in the historic Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The all-electric building, which is among the most sustainable yet in the District, will be built alongside Novel 14, a 197-unit market rate apartment building built by Crescent Communities. A joint groundbreaking will be held on-site on January 18.
Collectively, The Faircliff and Novel 14 will replace the former 80-unit Faircliff Plaza East apartment complex, quadrupling the total number of housing units on site. The Faircliff consists of 125 new affordable rental units, including replacement of the original 80 units as well as 45 new affordable units available to households with income at or below 50% of Area Median Income, 23 of which are 3-bedroom units. Residents of the former Faircliff Plaza East voted unanimously in 2021 to move forward with the project. Over 80 percent of those residents have elected to return to live at The Faircliff and have temporarily relocated to off-site apartments until construction is complete.
“This property was our first acquisition after we founded the company over twenty years ago, with the belief that the resurgence of Columbia Heights should first and foremost benefit the longstanding residents of this neighborhood,” said Anya Kamara, Partner and Director of Development of Somerset Development Company. “The Faircliff marks a new milestone in that journey, and it would not have been possible without the tireless work and support of all the community leaders and members who helped us to make it a reality.”
“We look forward to increasing affordability in a neighborhood that continues to rapidly expand and ensure its residents are able to stay and grow in this area for years to come.” said Jenny Wu, Managing Director of Development at Jonathan Rose Companies. “We are so grateful for the support of residents of Faircliff Plaza East, our community neighbors, our partners, and the city agencies that made this project possible”.
DC Green Bank, established under the leadership of Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC City Council in 2018 to accelerate the deployment of affordable private and public capital for clean energy projects, delivered a $1.85 million predevelopment loan to enable the project to achieve LEED Platinum and Phius sustainable design certifications.
“The Faircliff project is a prime example of the role that green banks can play to deploy public dollars and unlock private investment for a clean, affordable, and inclusive future for all,” said Jean Nelson-Houpert, Interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer of DC Green Bank. “We are proud to have supported this project with a predevelopment loan that allowed our partners to reach for higher sustainability standards and prioritize inclusive prosperity.”
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) also provided a $500,000 predevelopment loan for the project.
Read the Full Press Release BelowThe-Faircliff-Press-Release-1.17.23