Work Starts on Monroe Street Market in D.C.

Ground has been broken for the multi-phase, multi-use Monroe Street Market in Washington, D.C., which will include 720 multifamily residential units and 45 townhomes along with a number of commercial property uses.

Washington, D.C.—Ground has been broken for the multi-phase, multi-use Monroe Street Market in Washington, D.C., which will include 720 multifamily residential units and 45 townhomes, along with a number of commercial property uses. The goal, according to developers the Bozzuto Group, Abdo Development and Pritzker Realty Group, is to create college-town-style Main Street.

That’s a fitting notion, since the development is located on 8.9 acres of Catholic University’s campus in Washington, adjacent to the Brookland-CUA Metrorail station and roughly three miles north of the U.S. Capitol. Catholic University (in full, the Catholic University of America), which was founded in 1887, is the national University of the Catholic Church in America and currently enrolls more than 6,800 graduate and undergraduate students.

The Monroe Street Market project was launched in May 2008 when the university selected Abdo Development as the project’s developer. In 2010, Abdo, which is headquartered in the district and specializes in real estate development in the northeastern United States, teamed with D.C.-based Bozzuto and Chicago-based Pritzker. Financing of the $200 million project consists of a construction loan provided by Bank of America, TD Bank and Fifth Third Bank, as well as equity provided by Bozzuto, Abdo and Pritzker.

Besides the residential units, Monroe Street Market will also include 80,000 square feet of street-level retail, 15,000 square feet of artist studio space, a 3,000-square-foot community arts center, and 850 parking spaces. There will also be walkways and a 1,000-square-foot public square. The university demolished three residential halls to make way for Monroe Street Market in February. The project’s first phase, which will include 562 apartment units by Bozzuto, is slated for a 2013 completion.

Lately the Washington, D.C., metro area has been a hotbed of multifamily and—because of the relative strength of its economy—other kinds of development. Currently, according the Urban Turf, which tracks new condo and apartment development in metro D.C., 76 new rental apartments are under development in the market, while 63 condo projects are likewise under way.

Near Monroe Street Market are a number of other new developments, including Dance Place and Artspace Lofts, which is distinctive for offering most of its units as live-work studios to artists making less than 60 percent of area median income. In the case of Monroe Street Market, 8 percent of its residential units will be affordable housing available to tenants who make less than 80 percent of area median income.