As Part of #ObviouslyDC Week, Mayor Bowser Announces First-Ever Awardees for the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund
Mayor Bowser announced the awardees for the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a pilot program that provides financial support for non-residential components of mixed-use projects in underserved neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, LDP Holdings LLC was awarded $2.1 million for its Penn Hill project located at 3200 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and South Capitol Improvement LLC was awarded $880,000 for its South Capitol Affordable Housing project located at the intersection of Atlantic and South Capitol Streets, SW.
“The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund is an opportunity for us to infuse economic support into areas that need it most,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through these grants, we are being strategic about investing in projects that will improve the quality of life for residents – in this case, by bringing new jobs, services, and grocery options to the residents of Wards 7 and 8.”
The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, administered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), supports mixed-used, real estate, or retail development projects in targeted census tracts where unemployment is at 10 percent or higher. The grants provide necessary gap funding for the commercial component of development projects and will help create job opportunities and new food options in Wards 7 and 8.
“With these strategic investments in overlooked and underserved communities we are doubling down on the Bowser Administration’s commitment to creating jobs and advancing inclusive prosperity in Washington, DC. When developing the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, we were targeted and intentional in our efforts to put funding for economic development projects in areas most in need of our strategic investment and support. Awarding these grants allows us to get the money out the door in order to drive economic growth in underserved neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner.
LDP LLC is planning a two-pronged redevelopment effort to breathe new life into Penn Hill, formerly known as the Penn Branch Shopping Center. This will include the substantial renovation and re-leasing of the existing commercial building as well as an investment of more than $10 million in private capital for base building renovations and tenant improvements. Additionally, the project will include the redevelopment of the north parking lot to include a grocer, additional retail, and residential housing. This project is estimated to create 400 construction jobs and 200 permanent retail jobs.
South Capitol Improvements LLC, a joint venture between Washington, DC CBE City Interests and Michaels Development Company, has already started construction of its project at the intersection of Atlantic and South Capitol Streets, SW in Ward 8. The 225,000 square-foot development includes 195 units of affordable housing and 5,500 square-feet of community commercial space. The project is the final development in an overall master plan that also includes a primary care clinic, an office building leased to the DC Department of Human Services, and a 172-space parking garage. The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grant will support the buildout for the grocer tenant, Good Food Markets, who will be partnering with a Ward 8 based community group to bring fresh food and job opportunities to the Bellevue community, making this a true community space operated by and for community residents.
The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund aligns with Mayor Bowser’s economic strategy and is part of a suite of signature investments by the Bowser Administration to support access to healthy food in food insecure areas of the District. Other key programs include: Good Food, Joyful Food Markets, Produce Rx, the Healthy Corner Stores Partnership, Food and Friends, and Produce Plus. For example, in her fiscal year 2018 budget, the Mayor invested $1 million in the Joyful Food Markets program.
In addition to the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, the Mayor also announced $89,000 in grant dollars awarded through the Department of Small and Local Business Development’s Grown in DC Pilot Initiative. Grown in DC supports farmers markets and cottage food vendors in areas eligible under the Food, Environmental, and Economic Development in the District of Columbia Act of 2010. The grant program aims to boost that the entrepreneurial ecosystem in DC food deserts through branding and marketing, market operations, training and technical assistance, and additional or flexible grants.
The 2017 Grown in DC grant recipients are Dreaming Out Loud ($37,500), a DC-based non-profit building out urban agricultural systems in Ward 7; Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation ($37,500), a DC-based non-profit focused on workforce, real estate, and business development; and the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) ($14,000), which will conduct community outreach to develop a Made In DC marketing course for food businesses.