- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The D.C. Housing Authority and Bethesda real estate developer EYA plan to hold a “work force housing” lottery Saturday for town houses near the site of the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium.

Work force housing is the focus of a government program that helps middle-income wage earners purchase homes that would normally be out of their financial reach.

Potential buyers who earn between 60 percent and 115 percent of the area’s median income, roughly equivalent to $72,000 per year for a family of four, are eligible to participate in the lottery.

The lottery for 20 units will be held at 9 a.m. at 1023 Fourth St. SE, site of the Capitol Quarter community of town houses and apartments. Anyone whose name is picked in the random drawing, and who meets income and credit guidelines, has the option to buy one of the homes.

The houses are located near downtown and Capitol Hill job centers, allowing residents to avoid heavy traffic in commutes from the suburbs.

Unlike most homes in the area, they are designed to offer “all the charm of Capitol Hill without the problems of 100-year-old wiring,” said Brian Allan Jackson, project manager for EYA’s Capitol Quarter.

EYA decided to use a lottery because of the popularity of the first 20 homes it sold Oct. 21.

“They were all sold out within the first afternoon,” Mr. Jackson said. “We had people camped out overnight at the sales office.”

The D.C. Housing Authority, which manages public housing in the District, chose EYA to design and build the town houses as part of its Hope VI program to convert low-income public housing developments into mixed-income, mixed-use projects.

Previously, the site was reserved only for low-income households in the 700-unit Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg public housing development.

In 2002, the D.C. Housing Authority received a $35 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to tear down the units and replace them with housing that would create fewer “social issues,” said Adrianne Todman, the D.C. Housing Authority’s deputy chief of staff.

“We leveraged that into what is now about a $500 million project,” Miss Todman said. “The advantage of not having all poor people in distressed housing is that by changing the dynamics of the site, you create opportunities for a range of people, including low-income families.”

The work force housing begins at $295,000 for a two-bedroom town house. The market-rate town houses begin in the $500,000 range.

Capitol Quarter will include 121 market-rate town houses, 91 work force housing town houses and 111 subsidized units. Another 707 apartments are set aside for public housing.

In other news …

• Chicago developer Fifield Companies is entering the Washington market with the start of construction for Dulles View, a 355,000-square-foot office complex in Herndon.

The two eight-story buildings are scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2008 in the Dulles Corridor, at the intersection of Route 28 and Frying Pan Road.

Dulles View is the first of several projects Fifield plans to build in the Washington area.

“With high-tech firms continuing to target the Virginia suburbs, this region has garnered a reputation as a thriving tech corridor,” said Steve Fifield, chairman of Fifield Companies.

Property Lines runs on Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail tram [email protected]

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