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Joint venture mixed-use project aims to remake DC’s Ward 7

Al Urbanski

Two developers and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group Washington have broken ground on a mixed-use development in Washington’s Ward 7 that will deliver jobs, apartments, and a supermarket to the under-developed neighborhood.

Phase 1 of Northeast Heights will include a 285,000-sq.-ft. commercial building that will be the headquarters of the city’s Department of General Services. The ground floor will be outfitted with 18,000 sq. ft. of retail.

The site of Northeast Heights at Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road has been designated a Great Streets corridor, where small businesses can apply for grants to cover capital improvements and certain soft costs. The corridor is supported by the Minnesota Avenue Main Street through community-based economic development programs.

“With this project, we’re using all of the tools in our toolbox – our DC Government leasing power, over $50 million in TIF funds, and we’re in an Opportunity Zone,” said Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser, who attended last week’s groundbreaking ceremony with members of the joint venture (pictured at center in photo above). “With an assist from DGS, this development will bring new opportunities, new jobs, and new amenities to the residents of Ward 7.”

Opportunity Zone status affords tax incentives for investments in new business and commercial projects in a historically underserved market.

The estimated $600 million project was touted as a victory for economic development within the Minnesota/Benning Corridor of Ward 7. Future phases of the project to be developed by Cedar Realty Trust will include the development of multifamily residential, more office space, and more retail space that will include the new grocery store. 

Northeast Heights provides busy pedestrian activity and vehicular traffic of about 50,000 cars per day to retailers. Access to the D.C. metro and streetcar stops abide in the area, and the Anacostia Freeway (I-295) runs through it. 

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