Epicenter of large-scale riots that erupted following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1968 assassination, Columbia Heights had for decades needed a wholesale restoration and transformation to return the neighborhood to a vibrant urban community. While there were some advantages in terms of retail – dense foot traffic and abundant public transportation — developers were hesitant to invest in an area down on its heels.
Return on Design
DC USA opened 85 percent occupied with Target achieving its second-biggest spring opening week ever. Metro ridership has risen at the Columbia Heights station more than 300 percent since the start of DC USA. The neighborhood has been transformed; 1,100 units of housing built or renovated; more than 1,000 jobs created and more than $12 million in annual tax revenue added to the District’s tax rolls. For the developer return, the retail unit alone appraised for $114 million, nearly double the $65 million total construction cost.
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