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The Barry Farm public housing complex near Anacostia could soon be transformed into a mixed-income community with more than 1,500 housing units, if the team seeking to redevelop the site is able to realize the plans it submitted last week.
It’s a big “if.” Barry Farm is among the public housing projects the city is trying to convert to mixed-income developments under the New Communities program, which has struggled to get these developments off the ground in low-income neighborhoods. Barry Farm may be able to capitalize on its proximity to the Anacostia Metro station and the nearby St. Elizabeths development to attract financing and prospective market-rate tenants, but it’s no slam dunk.
Challenges aside, we now know what the developers have in mind for the complex, thanks to a planned unit development application submitted to the Zoning Commission last week, as first reported by the Washington Business Journal. The application, from the D.C. Housing Authority, Baltimore-based A&R Development, and the nonprofit developer Preservation of Affordable Housing, calls for “approximately 1,324 to 1,879 residential units,” ranging from rowhouses to multifamily buildings. That range takes into account the 432 public housing units currently at Barry Farm, which will be replaced by an equal number of subsidized units. Additionally, according to the application, there will be nearly 60,000 square feet of retail and commercial uses, and more than 85,000 square feet of open space.
The applicants promise “a sustainable, mixed-income community that is well integrated with the surrounding neighborhood and helps to address the physical and human needs of neighborhoods experiencing concentrations of poverty, unemployment, blight and deterioration of the housing stock.”
Map from the PUD application