On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Mayor Bowser and WC Smith will celebrate the opening of Archer Park, a new apartment community on Mississippi Ave in southeast DC, with 190 affordable units, a fitness center, club room and underground parking. Ten of the units have been designated permanent supportive housing for families moving out of homelessness. Community of Hope will provide case management and support services for those families. Archer Park is a model of green development, with a rooftop solar array, a green roof, and 80 bicycle parking spaces.
WC Smith has long been active in the area around Archer Park. In 2007 and 2011, WC Smith led 800 volunteers to clean up and revitalize Oxon Run Park, rehabilitating the amphitheater and constructing a new baseball field. In 2005, WC Smith led the creation of THEARC, the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus at 1900 Mississippi Ave SE, where nine nonprofit partners provide art and dance classes, medical care, afterschool programs, performances, healthy food and recreational opportunities to the broader community. Most activities are low or no cost. This winter, the third building at THEARC will open, bringing the total number of partners to 14.
Archer Park is built on the site of the former Trenton Terrace, a dilapidated apartment community that was torn down in 2006. Also on the site Ryan Homes is building 74 for-sale townhomes.
The DC Department of Housing and Community Development provided $11.3 million in subordinate financing from the Housing Production Trust Fund. The DC Housing Financing Agency provided 4% low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bond financing in the amount of $28.285 million. SunTrust Bank is the lender and Wells Fargo Bank is the tax credit investor partner.
As with all WC Smith projects, the design stressed environmental sustainability. WC Smith collaborated with long-time partner the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), a local nonprofit, which provided technical and financial assistance to optimize energy efficiency and reduce emissions. In addition to the solar array and green roof, Archer Park includes a naturalized landscape, Energy Star appliances and fixtures, LED lighting, and an efficient HVAC system. The combined natural gas and electricity savings will result in more than $120,000 in annual cost savings and prevent the emissions of 650 metric tons of carbon per year. Throughout the past years, joint projects between the DCSEU and WC Smith have resulted in $10 million in lifetime energy cost savings and prevented the emission of 56,000 metric tons of CO2 – that’s the equivalent of 61 million pounds of coal burned.