New 400-Unit Apartment Building Coming to Georgia Avenue???

New 400-Unit Apartment Building Coming to Georgia Avenue??? was originally published on Housing Complex on Feb. 25, 2009, at 3:34 pm

I have to admit I didn’t believe this one when I first heard about it. And frankly, I’m still confused. (This, by the way, is the reason for the triple question mark in the headline.)

Developer Foulger-Pratt has proposed a 400-unit residential building with close to 40,000 square feet of retail space at the corner of Georgia and Missouri Avenues in Brightwood.

According to project plans, roughly 32 units will be considered “affordable housing”  for individuals making up to 80 percent of the area median income. Let me explain the quotations marks: 80 percent of the area median income is pretty damn high. Last week’s Northwest Current had a piece on the project. “Affordable housing” rents will be $1,300 for studios, $1,400 for one bedroom units, and $1,650 for two-bedroom units.

Uh. In what realm are these people living in?

Or as neighborhood ANC Commissioner Sara Green says “Everyone knows it’s ludicrous–old, young, black, white. They’re letting the developers do this. Mayor Fenty gets up there and says we have a reasonable affordable housing program in this city, and when a $1,300 studio is affordable housing—It’s a joke. All of us know this.”

Yup, funny, funny stuff, for sure. Let’s take a look at two other apartment buildings in the area:

Walden Commons (1336 Missouri Avenue N.W.)
One bedrooms-$985*
Two bedrooms-$1195*

The Rittenhouse (6101 16th Street N.W.)
One bedrooms-$1195*
Two bedrooms-$1475*
*Starting rates

So when exactly did a supposedly cheap studio in a Metro-inaccessible, under-developed and relatively crime-ridden area reach $1,300? Never.

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