MetroTowns at Parkside, The Linda Joy and Kenneth Jay Pollin Community, not only replaces the former Parkside Additions public housing project with 42 energy-efficient apartments but also adds homeownership opportunities for the Washington, D.C., workforce. 

The city had identified the site of the obsolete Parkside Additions project for redevelopment. But the Pollin Memorial Community Development, a joint venture between developer Enterprise Homes and the Abe Pollin estate, wanted the project to be more transformative than just redeveloping the public housing. So it negotiated with the National Park Service to acquire an overgrown vacant parcel across the street to add 83 affordable homeownership units for residents earning between 40% and 100% of the area median income.

“We wanted to provide workers an opportunity to take advantage of the D.C. homeownership market and build equity in a way other homeowners do,” says Christine Madigan, executive vice president of Enterprise Homes. “We also felt that because the neighborhood was predominantly comprised of rental that it would be important to stabilize it with people who had a long-term investment and stake in the community.”

Madigan says that three former Parkside Additions households and six other former public housing families are among the new homeowners.

The idea for the development came from Abe Pollin, a civic leader in the District of Columbia and owner of several professional sports teams, who was dedicated to improving the quality of life for the city’s residents. Pollin passed away in November 2009 before construction started. The project is named in honor of two of Pollin’s children who died young.

“I wish he could have seen it, but I am glad we could get it done. His determination was really inspiring for all of us on the team,” says Madigan. “It has been transformative for the neighborhood and meets a real need for the city.”

The District of Columbia provided ample support for the $34 million mixed-use development, which was to be completed in June.