In 2013, New Community Partners (NCP) partnered with Somerset Development Company, the National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation and the Jonathan Rose Companies’ Rose Green Cities Fund to acquire and renovate the 223-unit Channel Square apartment complex, preserving it as mixed-income housing in the rapidly gentrifying Southwest neighborhood of Washington D.C. NCP, Somerset and NHTE secured $7.4 million in District of Columbia Housing Production Trust Fund subsidy to assist in the acquisition of the property, preserving 2/3 of units as affordable housing (<80% AMI). Going forward, the property will be leased as 1/3 low-income, 1/3 moderate-income and 1/3 market-rate rental housing.
Located at 325 P Street, SW, Channel Square is comprised of four low-rise town home buildings containing 75 units and a 10 story high-rise containing 148 units. The $12 million renovation, completed in 2016, stabilized and upgraded the 312,000 SF property with building code updates, water saving upgrades and unit finishes upgrades, new lobby and leasing center, new bicycle room, new recycling facilities, tenant association offices and a new community room and community garden, as well as adding eight new units and eight UFAS (handicapped accessible) units. An example of the upgrades include new boilers, roofs, convector units, solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, LED lighting, and Energy Star appliances. The project architect was Weincek & Associates; the general contractor was Bozutto Construction Company.
In 2016, NHT Renewables, an affiliate of the National Housing Trust, installed the largest photovoltaic solar system on privately-owned property in the District of Columbia. The system generates a significant percentage of the electricity required by the property.
Many of the “affordable” tenants, many of whom are elderly or disabled, have lived at Channel Square since it was constructed in 1968 as part of the urban renewal of Southwest D.C. Most tenants would likely have been displaced by the redevelopment plan that was in motion when the property was purchased by the NCP, Somerset, Rose partnership. An agreement with the tenant association established a resident services program, funded in part from cash flow contributed by the General Partners and overseen by a committee comprised of residents and ownership. The property, like all Somerset/NCP properties, is being managed as “green” and non-smoking property.
Acquisition of the property was also financed with a balance bridge loan from Citi Community Capital, which was refinanced in 2015 by a 12-year loan from Freddie Mac. The acquisition equity of $12 million was provided by the Rose Green Cities Fund, managed by the Jonathan Rose Companies and funded by Citibank, and by NHTE, Somerset Development Company and NCP.