Housing Complex

City Looks to Restart Park Morton Redevelopment

park morton

Two months after terminating its arrangement with the development team it had selected to turn the aging Park Morton public housing complex into a mixed-income neighborhood, the city is seeking a new developer to complete the project.

This week, the D.C. Housing Authority released a request for proposals for a new developer to overhaul the complex, which consists of 12 buildings and 174 units off Georgia Avenue NW in Park View. The city canceled its agreement with the previous developers, the Linthicum, Md.-based Landex Corp. and D.C.-based Warrenton Group, after the team had built only 83 of the 500 planned new units nearly five years after being chosen for the project.

The Park Morton renovation is part of the New Communities Initiative, a program launched by the city in 2005 to replace troubled public housing with a mix of market-rate and low-income units. The idea is that the market-rate units will subsidize the construction of replacement units for all of the public housing units that are demolished, while the new community created will be safer and more pleasant without the concentration of poverty that existed beforehand.

But the program has struggled to accomplish its goals. Nearly a decade after its inception, none of the four New Communities projects is close to completion. The Northwest One and Lincoln Heights developments have stalled, while the Barry Farm renovation plans just got underway with the city’s selection of a developer last summer.

In its solicitation for a Park Morton developer, the Housing Authority laid out its priorities for the project. The new development, it stated, should attract new retail and commercial development along Georgia Avenue and reconnect the street grid at Morton Street. The housing itself should replace all subsidized units, either scattered throughout the site or in a nearby off-site location, and should consist of a combination of apartment buildings and three-unit rowhouses. A neighborhood park should also be part of the plans.

Developers interested in taking over the Park Morton project must submit their proposals by July 1. The city hopes to select a team in the third quarter of this year.

Image via Google Maps

  • Bonnie Blair

    Aaron, with the City deciding that Landex and Warrenton were not doing the job that it should at Park Morton, is there any action being taken to recoup all of the fees to and payments made to Landex, Warrenton and their affiliates? With the big NOFA coming out this week for new affordable housing in DC, are each of these 2 groups being banned from submitting applications or being a part of any team applying for DC funds?

    Is DC going to really do something, not just with the apartments but to show developers that they cannot just collect fees and then walk away without consequence?

    And I would have to call "BS" if the developers blamed the economy for their failure to do their job here!

  • W Jordan

    The failure at Park Morton had more to do with Ward 1 politics than the particular developers involved. Now that the Ward 1 Council incumbent is on the way out, things may work a little better this time around. One think that does have to go is the concept of mixed income developments in which profit from speculative high end units to help subsidize low and moderate income units. That concept has turned out to be a complete con.

  • http://dcha.org Aquarius Vann-Ghasri

    Park Morton in Ward 1, was approved by Council in 2008. New Communities(NC) consist of three key components (1)Human Capital Program (2)Physical Revitalization Plan (3)Redevelopment and Finance Strategy;

    Park Morton Unit Production, CBE and First Source Compliance of Park Morton (The Avenue)-Total Units (83) Replacement (27),Affordable (56) Target Delivery 2011;CBE (44.44 percent;New Hires (15); DC Hires (15) percentage of FV Hires 100 percent as of September 30,13 -what's wrong with this Picture?

    Commissioner Vann-Ghasri, request a Monitoring, and Tracking of Council of New Communities Human Capital Overview. The Human Capital Program provides residents with strengths based support services addressing significant barriers to self-sufficiency; What is the Budget for each NC?; Organizations are selected to provide (Case Management, You Development and Community Wellness Programs, through a competitive Process(How are Providers Notified?);Case Management per Head of Household is VOLUNTEER.

    Encourages and Advocate for a "Community Benefit Package" for Residents of New Communities,with New Community resident participation, along with elect resident council; this practice model (Developers, Coalitions of Community Organizations, for the purpose of "Safeguards to ensure affected residents share in the benefits;

    Residents of New Communities are to have a "VOICE" in shaping their communities benefits tailored to their particular needs, and to "ENFORCE DEVELOPER's Promises (District of Columbia Housing Authority Section 3 Program);

    Community Benefits Movement is only one aspect of a growing movement towards community benefits in land use planning, taking shape through labor community partnership around the country.

    A Right to Return, does not mean it is a resident of the previous NC once the Community is built. Yes, it will be a Public Housing Resident, whose credit (repair, or in good standing); No felony Record, upon returning...;

    First Priority Right to Stay in the Community (How, What are the criteria for "First Priority Right To Stay?";

    The Chair, of the Resident Services/Resident Initiative Committee, advocated successful for Department of Modernization Planning Economic Development (DMPED), and a DCHA Coordination (1)Director's Weekly Status Meeting-Occurs between DMPED Director of NCI and DCHA staff (2)developing MOU to Outline Roles and Responsibilities;

    New Communities-very complex, with ISSUES and CONCERNS, NOT Addressed By Residents.

  • Pingback: The border war begins