By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Washington, D.C.—The redevelopment of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments has been completed. The 171-unit seniors housing property, formerly called the Campbell Heights Apartments, is a 40-year-old building on 15th Street NW in the District of Columbia.
The project was undertaken by Jair Lynch Development, who partnered with Paul Laurence Dunbar Residents Association (PLDRA) Inc., a nonprofit company. Jair and PLDRA bought the property as a result of the PLDRA exercising its rights under the District of Columbia Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, after the previous owner notified tenants of its intent to sell the property.
The residents renamed the property in honor of famed African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (died 1906; “What dreams we have and how they fly/Like rosy clouds across the sky”). Its redevelopment effort resulted in substantial renovation of the existing building, with the goal of its long-term preservation as affordable senior housing.
Renovations included a new HVAC system, new elevator assemblies, lobby and common area finishes, and ADA improvements. Also, every unit received about $25,000 in renovations and upgrades for kitchen, bath and interior finishes. Though an extensive renovation, residents were able to stay in place throughout construction. Residents are also protected under a new HUD housing covenant, which preserves affordability for every unit for the next 30 years.
Jair Lynch structured a complex package of debt and equity totaling $43.3 million to facilitate the rehabilitation of the property. The financing package included Housing Revenue Bonds insured by HUD through the FFHA’s 221(d)(4) mortgage insurance program. Tax-exempt bonds were issued by the DC Housing Finance Agency as part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s New Issue Bond Program, which was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The debt package also includes taxable GNMA mortgage-backed securities.