D.C. ‘Flatiron’-Style Multifamily Development Receives Full Funding

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Oh, the irony.

As the owners of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building prepare the iconic property for an office-to-residential makeover, developers in Washington, D.C., have finally received full funding to build their own “flatiron” apartment tower in the District’s NoMa neighborhood after nearly a decade of bureaucracy. 

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A venture between The NRP Group and Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MCHDO) has secured a large, and diverse, financing package for the 115-affordable-unit project at 301 Florida Avenue NE, according to Bisnow, citing property records.

The D.C. Housing Finance Agency provided the most funding by issuing $47.6 million in tax-exempt bonds, as well as underwriting $32.3 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits toward the project. D.C.’s Housing Production Trust Fund also provided $33.1 million, with another $9.5 million coming from Green Bank and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funds.

Construction on the long-awaited project, dubbed Emblem, is set to begin next month, with an expected completion by June 2026, per Bisnow.

Yet previous developers have tried to get their version of the flatiron building off the ground since 2016, when a venture between Ditto Residential and Zusin Development sketched out a plan for a 56-unit tower at the lot, which is located just a few blocks away from Union Market. 

Despite D.C. Zoning Commission approval, plans for that project stalled until the partnership ultimately decided to sell the parcel in 2021. The NRP and MCHDO venture pounced on it, getting their own development plan approved about a year later.

“Emblem has been designed to provide housing for the District’s working professionals, particularly service and hospitality professionals who might otherwise endure long commutes from home to work,” Chris Marshall, vice president of development at NRP Group, told Commercial Observer.

NoMa is one of the fastest growing areas in D.C., but not all of the news coming out of the neighborhood has been positive lately. The 99-unit Tribeca building at 40 N Street NE went to a foreclosure auction this month as its tens of millions in debt piled up and its developers fell behind on interest payments. 

Just across the street from Emblem, meanwhile, a 110-unit building dubbed The Lanes sold at a foreclosure auction in May for $38.3 million, just a year after its delivery date, according to Bisnow.

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.