D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and members of her administration joined Council member Kenyan McDuffie and community leaders Monday in the groundbreaking of the District Towns at St. Elizabeths East Townhome Development in Ward 8.
District Towns consists of 88 townhome units in the eastern part of the St. Elizabeths East project. David Clark, one of the purchasers of a townhome, expressed excitement at being at the groundbreaking and soon moving into his new home.
“My wife and I look forward to coming here,” he said. “We see all of the development taking place and we want to be here.”
District Towns is being developed by Redbrick LMD, the Knutson Companies, and Gragg-Cardona Partners. The development is located on Sycamore Drive adjacent to Alabama Avenue and 12th Street, 8th Street and Malcolm X Avenue in Southeast and within walking distance of the Congress Heights Metro Station.
Twenty-seven of the 88 units have been slated for households with an annual income at or below 50% of the D.C. area’s MFI (median family income) and 13 will be for 80% of MFI. Additionally, there will be a one-car garage for each residential unit.
Bowser said the new development is a reflection of how the St. Elizabeths East campus is changing.
“The transformation of St. Elizabeths East is truly the community’s vision for this campus to life,” the mayor said. “What the community asked for here — jobs, entertainment, housing, health care — it’s all happening. And now, with these homeownership opportunities, families will be calling the St. Elizabeths East campus home for generations to come.”
Bowser also noted the initiative — the $10 million Black Homeownership Fund — in her fiscal year 2023 budget that supports Blacks owning homes, saying it is a key to building African-American wealth. John Falcicchio, the deputy mayor for planning and economic development, agreed.
“Homeownership is a key element of stability, resilience, and wealth-building,” Falcicchio said. “Residents in all eight wards deserve the opportunity to own their own homes, and we are excited to deliver these new townhomes on the St. Elizabeths East Resilience Campus.”
McDuffie, who represents Ward 5 on the council, said as the chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, he has worked to increase homeownership opportunities for residents.
“We know that this city is becoming increasingly unaffordable,” he said. “As the chair of the committee, I work to see these types of developments take place.”