by Jon Banister
Mayor Muriel Bowser was on hand Wednesday to mark the groundbreaking of the latest major multifamily project at Union Market.
Level 2 Development, Federal Capital Partners and Clark Enterprises broke ground on The Highline, a 318-unit apartment building with 10k SF of ground-floor retail at 320 Florida Ave. NE. The $100M project is expected to deliver in the first quarter of 2019.
In addition to setting aside 13 units in the building for those making 80% AMI or below, the development team has agreed to build 13 affordable townhouses in Ivy City. The three-bedroom homes on Central Place NE will be set aside for those earning up to 50% of AMI.
Construction financing for the project was provided by United Bank and EB5 Capital. Bowser said her November 2015 trade mission to China, on which Level 2 principal David Franco joined her, led to the EB-5 funding. The program, which has come under intense federal scrutiny, allows foreign nationals to invest in real estate projects in exchange for immigrant visas.
Level 2 is building another Union Market apartment building next door in partnership with Trammell Crow and Edens. That 432-unit building will include a Latin-inspired marketplace on the ground floor. It is expected to deliver toward the end of 2018. Franco is a panelist at Bisnow's Northeast DC Update event on March 23.
Those deliveries will come after LCOR and Edens' 187-unit mixed-use building at 1240 4th St. NE, which has signed a Trader Joe's on the ground floor and is expected to open later this year.