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Mayor Bowser Celebrates the Completion of the Historic MLK Gateway Project and DHCD’s New Headquarters in Ward 8

Thursday, April 25, 2024

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and community members celebrated the completion of the MLK Gateway project Phase II in historic Anacostia and cut the ribbon on the new headquarters of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Mayor was joined by members of the Council of the District of Columbia, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, DHCD, the Department of General Services (DGS), and The Menkiti Group. 
“This intersection is often people’s first touchpoint when they come East of the River, a true gateway into Ward 8. We wanted it to be an entryway that symbolizes the strength, resilience, creativity, and flavor of Anacostia, while also bringing jobs, opportunity, and investment to the neighborhood,” said Mayor Bowser. “While we may be cutting the ribbon on Phase II of the MLK Gateway today, the years-long path that led us here has been dotted with victories along this corridor, driven by a combination of District investment and support from business and community partners.”
Phase II of MLK Gateway includes DHCD’s new headquarters at 1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE with street-level retail and office space. Additionally, Phase II includes the new home of a Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP) office, which is the first and only office of a national real estate chain in a neighborhood East of the River. KWCP will establish the East of the River Real Estate Academy, a training center for aspiring real estate entrepreneurs that is designed to open doors to new opportunities for local residents. The project will also house Grounded, a Black women-owned, DC-based plant subscription service, which was supported with a Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grant.
“When we work together as public and private partners to make strategic impacts in our neighborhoods, we have the power to unlock new opportunities for our residents and businesses to thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Nina Albert. “Through the Mayor’s investments in Ward 8, together we can ensure Anacostia’s continued growth and place as one of our city’s premier commercial and arts corridors.”
The MLK Gateway development projects were financed using a combination of $18.2 million in New Market Tax Credits and $15.4 million in Opportunity Zone equity. Phase I also received a $700,000 grant from the District’s Neighborhood Prosperity Fund and Phase II received a $250,000 grant from the same fund.
During her tenure, the Mayor has made investments East of the River a priority, including using DC Government as a catalyst for community-oriented development. Four years ago, the Mayor directed DMPED and DGS to identify locations in Wards 7 and 8 for District Government properties to relocate. Today’s ribbon-cutting follows last year’s opening of the new DGS headquarters in Ward 7 and the recent opening of DC Health’s new headquarters which are also in Anacostia. 
“DHCD is excited to be the anchor tenant in the MLK Gateway Phase II project, and through Mayor Bowser’s vision and leadership, DHCD will continue to be a part of Anacostia,” said DHCD Director Colleen Green, “DHCD has a key role in revitalizing communities, and will continue to leverage local and federal resources to produce and preserve opportunities for affordable housing across the District.”
DHCD’s new office building boasts a total of 107,558 square feet of space. The building features two full levels of underground parking, a secure bike room, and additional above-ground parking. There are four ground-level retail spaces totaling 7,130 square feet, and a shared fitness center. DHCD will occupy 55,000 square feet of office space. DHCD has a new Housing Resource Center, a multi-purpose room for community meetings, a mother’s room, numerous conference rooms with full teleconferencing, kitchen spaces on each floor, penthouse level kitchen area with lounge seating and 5 meeting rooms, and two outdoor patio spaces.
“After negotiating the terms of the lease, DGS was thrilled to lead the project management oversight of the campus to support programmatic efforts of DHCD,” said DGS Director Delano Hunter. “DGS is proud to continue Mayor Bowser’s vision of expanding economic development and services East of the River through the relocation of government offices. We were pleased to partner with DHCD, DMPED, Menkiti Group, Studios Architecture, Consigli & Keystone Construction, and all the fantastic collaborators on this incredible endeavor. Even more exciting is that through this project, 178 District residents were involved in the construction of the project, with 105 of them from Wards 7 and 8.  As we continue to build, maintain, and sustain the District’s facilities, we are eager to work with District agencies in supporting their programmatic needs for the wellbeing of District residents.” 
The development of both phases of the MLK Gateway project was led by local DC-based, Black-owned integrated real estate services company, The Menkiti Group.
“We are proud to celebrate the completion of the final phase of MLK Gateway, a catalytic project east of the river that serves as a center of commerce for Historic Anacostia,” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO, The Menkiti Group. “This significant milestone underscores Mayor Muriel Bowser’s commitment to bringing essential goods and services, retail opportunities, and jobs to the community east of the river and demonstrates how the power of collaboration between the public and private sectors can truly drive neighborhood impact.”
Phase I of MLK Gateway included the restoration of 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail as well as the addition of 20,000 square feet of newly built office space. The project’s anchor tenant is Enlightened Inc., an award-winning, Black-owned information technology and cybersecurity firm. Additional tenants at Phase I include Capital One Café, a full-service coffee and tea bar that provides financial management and banking services; collaborative workspaces for public use; Kitchen Savages, a 40-seat fast casual Southern bistro that was supported through the District’s Nourish DC grant program; AmeriHealth DC’s member wellness center; and Sapodillas, a local Caribbean restaurant scheduled to open its doors next month that was supported by DMPED’s Food Access Fund.

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