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Mayor Bowser Invests $3 Million to Create New Amenities in Neighborhoods Overlooked by Development

Monday, July 1, 2019
Neighborhood Prosperity Fund Grants Awarded to Six Projects that will Create Jobs and Increase Access to Food, Retail, and Entertainment

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced $3 million in Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grants for six diverse projects that will bring new food, retail, and other neighborhood amenities to neighborhoods in Wards 4, 7, and 8.

“With these strategic investments in neighborhoods that too often get overlooked by investors, we are doubling down on our commitment to bring jobs and amenities to every corner of DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are very focused on bringing high-quality resources and amenities to every part of our city – amenities that will set our families and neighborhoods up for long-term success.”

In Ward 8, more than $1 million is being awarded to projects that continue the Bowser Administration’s investments in historic Anacostia on Martin Luther King Avenue SE and along Good Hope Road SE. Saud Jabali-Nash of HEP Construction was awarded $350,000 to expand its office by 2,000 square feet to the second floor at 1227 Good Hope Road SE to accommodate its growing business. Banneker Ventures was awarded $750,000 for the Clara at 2311-2323 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, a housing community of more than 80 affordable housing units. The grant funds will support adding retail to the community and support the renovation and expansion of the American Islamic Heritage Museum, one of the existing tenants in the building.

In Ward 7, two $750,000 awards will increase food access and community amenities in two neighborhoods. In Deanwood, NHP Foundation was awarded $750,000 to support converting the Strand Theater at 5131 Nannie Helen Burroughs NE into Deanwood Smokehouse, transforming the historic theatre into a restaurant, music venue, bar, and community space. Benning Market of 3451 Benning Road NE was awarded $750,000 to support a new market space development in the River Terrace neighborhood, featuring 6,000 square feet of ground retail with a focus on fresh food and startup food operations and 5,500 square feet of office space.

In Ward 4, two awards will support continued development and growth along the emerging Kennedy Street NW retail corridor. An award of $250,000 will support a community commercial kitchen concept and cafe at 441 Kennedy St NW to be developed by the team of Equilibrium Realty and Real Estate Investment, Redlef Group Architect, and Sankofa, which has an existing café and book store on Georgia Avenue NW near Howard University. Also on Kennedy Street NW, Dantes Partners was awarded $150,000 to build out 1,050 square feet of retail on the ground floor of a senior living community at 808-813 Kennedy Street NW.

“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. With these awards we are supporting often overlooked communities with a variety of projects that provide innovative food access, help keep established businesses in the city and drive economic growth,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner.

The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, administered by 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.