Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the Menkiti Group and Dantes Partners to celebrate the grand opening of the Girard Street Senior Apartments. Girard Street Senior Apartments is located at 1545 Girard Street NE and consists of twenty-five (25) one bedroom apartment homes specifically designed for seniors 55 years of age and older. The project was financed by utilizing a combination of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), gap financing from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and private financing from Amalgamated Bank. The development features ten (10) Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units and also incorporates Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) funds - the District's version of project-based vouchers - for 100% of the units. Out-of-pocket rent for residents will be a maximum of 30% of their income.
Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off the ribbon cutting ceremony by talking about the impact Girard Street Senior Apartments will have on the community, and stated "We are on track to produce the 7,500 units that were promised in affordable housing and as we focus on how we spend that $100 million, we have to make sure we have solutions for our most vulnerable residents whose incomes are fixed and our seniors. So to think that we have these 25 wonderful units, I couldn't be more proud."
In addition to Mayor Bowser, speakers included Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Polly Donaldson, Director of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, Adrianne Todman, Executive Director of the DC Housing Authority, Carisa Stanley, First Vice President of Amalgamated Bank, Chris McGraw, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo, Andrew Baldwin, Director of Loan Originations of CSH and Scott Schenkelberg, President and CEO of Miriam's Kitchen.
In speaking on the grand opening of the Girard Street Senior Apartments, Bo Menkiti, CEO and Founder of the Menkiti Group, stated, "The Menkiti Group is proud to deliver another transformative development project to the Washington, DC community. We are particularly pleased that the Girard Street Senior Apartments will allow seniors to age in place with supportive services to enhance the quality of their experience. We view projects such as this as directly connected to the Menkiti Group's mission of transforming lives, careers and communities through real estate."
Many local organizations, financial institutions and government leaders played a role in developing this project. Partners in the project include: Miner Feinstein Architects, Meyer Consulting Engineers Corporation, Setty & Associates, Wiles Mensch Corporation, Bradley Site Design, Compass Design & Development, CDKM Consulting, Hamel Builders, Miriam's Kitchen, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Housing Authority, Amalgamated Bank, Wells Fargo and CSH.
Buwa Binitie, Managing Principal of Dantes Partners, stated, "When I stand here in the Girard Street Senior Apartments, I can't help but be moved by the impact we have in enriching our residents' lives, while at the same time contributing to our community in this way and manner."
DHCD Director, Polly Donaldson, remarked on the project: "The Girard Street Senior Apartments is a great example of how the public and private sectors work together to preserve and produce affordable housing in the District. We are glad that DHCD played a role in providing the gap financing to make this project happen, and congratulate everyone who helped make this vision of more affordable housing for Ward 5 seniors come true."
Adrianne Todman, Executive Director, DCHA, added "These new homes will ensure that seniors with modest incomes will continue to live in the District of Columbia. DCHA is excited to be a part of this project and honored to help our seniors who deserve to live in dignity."
Andrew Baldwin, Director of Loan Originations at CSH, said "We are pleased to join with the City of Washington, D.C., Dantes Partners and the Menkiti Group to advance the creation of supportive housing in the District. The need here is great and we must create even more supportive housing to meet it, but this project is a good step forward and we applaud the Bowser Administration, local agencies, the developers and advocates for helping very vulnerable people access a home of their own and better lives."
Scott Schenkelberg, President and CEO, Miriam's Kitchen, stated "We are so proud to partner with the District of Columbia, Dantes Partners, and the Menkiti Group in order to deliver needed affordable housing and supportive services."
Girard Street Senior Apartments is the fifth joint-development by the Menkiti Group and Dantes Partners. Previous projects delivered by the partnership include Justice Park Apartments and Euclid Vista Condominiums in Columbia Heights and Metropolitan Overlook Condominiums in Eckington. Both firms are currently engaged in the development of Capitol Vista, a mixed-use affordable housing project located at 2nd and H Streets NW.