After years of planning and delays, DCHA released a Request for Qualifications back in December for a co-developer to redevelop Greenleaf, the 15-acre public housing project that straddles M Street. Greenleaf was built in 1959 and currently contains 493 public housing units spread over 23 buildings.
According to the RFQ, the development objectives include the following:
- The redevelopment will replace all 493 existing units at the same level of affordability.
- The redevelopment will minimize the movement of residents – to the greatest extent possible, residents will move directly from their old unit to their new unit.
- There will be zero displacement of current Greenleaf residents.
- There will be a mix of market-rate, affordable, and possibly workforce housing.
- Public safely will be improved with increased activity on streets and public spaces.
- The redevelopment will integrate into the surrounding community.
- The redevelopment will support the development of human capital, assisting with such things as job opportunities and supportive services programs.
The phased redevelopment concept for Greenleaf by HR&A Advisors has been designed with a mix of high-rise and townhomes. The high-rise buildings would be concentrated along M Street and Delaware Avenue with the townhomes further away from those two streets. Some retail is anticipated as well along M Street. A unique feature of the redevelopment will the the use of the "build first" model, which would allow the project to proceed without displacing Greenleaf residents. The first phase of development would use a site near the Greenleaf footprint to build a mixed-income building. Once residents move into that first building, it will free up land within Greenleaf to start demolition and development. DC-owned sites that were identified as having the best potential to do build first include the MPD First District parking lot along Delaware Avenue and the DC FEMS Repair Shop at the NW corner of M and Half streets. While the HR&A report suggested a build first site be selected prior to releasing the RFQ, a site has not been chosen yet.
It will take several years to redevelop the site and will probably be done in at least six phases. The deadline to submit proposals for the RFQ is February 1. Then in early March, a RFP will be released to a short list of developers who responded to the RFQ. The winning co-developer partner is expected to be selected by June and a contract will be negotiated with DCHA.
Renderings courtesy of HR&A Advisors