July 13, 2024

Housing Finance Development

It's Your Housing Finance Development

Washington Housing Conservancy Buys D.C. Development| Housing Finance Magazine

Washington Housing Conservancy’s purchase of the 212-unit Loree Grand expands its portfolio to five affordable apartment properties with more than 1,600 units.
JOHN MAGOR, John Magor
Washington Housing Conservancy’s purchase of the 212-unit Loree Grand expands its portfolio to five affordable apartment properties with more than 1,600 units.

The nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) has acquired the 212-unit Loree Grand property to preserve the affordability of homes for moderate- and low-income families in Washington, D.C.

With its second purchase in the District, the organization expands its portfolio to five affordable apartment properties encompassing more than 1,600 units, all acquired within the past two years in the nation’s capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. WHC is moving closer to reaching its initial goal of acquiring, preserving, and managing 3,000 affordable rental homes while creating greater opportunity for individuals and families in inclusive, mixed-income communities.

The acquisition of Loree Grand is in partnership with Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund and the Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool, an investment vehicle managed by developer JBG Smith.

The $71.5 million acquisition of the 10-story apartment community enables WHC to stabilize rents for moderate-income workers and their families who would be at risk of displacement in a highly competitive housing market. The purchase helps maintain and create resident opportunities in an amenity-rich, walkable neighborhood with convenient access to public transportation, retail, child care, and other essential services.

Bordered by the NoMa, Union Market, and H Street neighborhoods, the development features studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments within walking distance of Union Station, Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian Museums. With well-appointed kitchens, expansive views, and a fitness center, the Loree Grand is noted for its family-friendly environments with average unit sizes of just over 900 square feet, one of the largest in the submarket, according to the team.

WHC plans to preserve Loree Grand’s existing 30 inclusionary zoning units for 99 years, create an additional 129 affordable units for residents earning 80% of the area median income (AMI) or less, and set aside the remaining 53 units for residents earning 120% of the AMI or less.

“The acquisition of the Loree Grand and our promise of affordable rents serve both current and future residents and our mission to promote housing stability,” said Kimberly Driggins, WHC executive director. “With tremendous support from Amazon and its Housing Equity Fund and the Impact Pool, we are preserving long-term affordability in diverse, high-opportunity neighborhoods under tremendous redevelopment pressure. And we ensure that more middle-income earners—like first responders, hospitality workers, and teachers—are relieved of the rent burdens that make it hard to save money and build wealth for their future.”

“To help ensure access to housing for low- to moderate-income individuals and families, we must work to preserve affordability for the long-term,” said Catherine Buell, director of Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund. “WHC’s purchase of the Loree Grand does just that, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support their work.”

Eagle Bank provided first mortgage financing; the Amazon Housing Equity Fund provided subordinate financing, and the Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool provided mezzanine financing for the acquisition. Arnold & Porter provided pro bono legal counsel to WHC on the transaction.

Under WHC ownership and property management from JBG SMITH, Loree Grand residents will experience the benefits of WHC core commitments to advance community building and inclusivity, said officials.

“JBG SMITH and the Impact Pool are pleased to help WHC preserve housing throughout the greater Washington region. We believe this unique approach will continue to serve as a model for how the private sector can work our communities to create and preserve more rental homes that are affordable,” said AJ Jackson, executive vice president of social impact investing at JBG SMITH.

WHC completed its first purchase in December 2020 with the acquisition of Crystal House in Arlington County, Virginia, made possible with financial support from Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund. Other properties in the WHC portfolio include Hamilton Manor and Earle Manor in suburban Maryland, and Huntwood Courts in the D.C.’s Deanwood neighborhood.