Nonprofit organization SOME (So Others Might Eat), has opened Roberts Residences, an affordable apartment community in Northeast Washington, D.C.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Robertson Residences, Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of SOME

Situated at 1515 North Capitol Street NE, Roberts Residences is at 15 stories the tallest building in the city’s Ward 5. The 139-unit, 92,000-square-foot structure is intended for single adult residents. Residents will move into their new homes this month.

All units are allocated for those earning less than 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and 75 residences are set aside for people earning less than 30 percent of AMI. A partnership with the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) ensures 75 of the units are subsidized. That ensures residents contribute only 30 percent of their rent based on their income, and DCHA paying for the remaining 70 percent for subsidized units.

Residents will be able to take advantage of amenities that include Wi-Fi-enabled rooms. 

Lingering effects

SOME faced two key hurdles to the Roberts Residences project: interest rates and Covid-era supply chain issues. “Without question, the pandemic and its lingering effects significantly impacted the supply chain, making it difficult to obtain construction materials and other essential resources,” Troy Swanda, chief operations officer for SOME, told Multi-Housing News. “In close partnership with our extraordinary building partner, Clark Construction, we worked diligently to secure essential items well ahead of time. This included procuring construction materials and equipment such as steel, elevators and generators. We minimized potential delays by securing these resources in advance and kept the project on track.”

A second obstacle was the steady rise in the cost of capital during construction. “Interest rates fluctuated significantly, and this had a substantial impact on the project’s financing,” Swanda said. “Fortunately, we leveraged our reserves and additional savings in the overall project costs to cover the difference.”

Strategic location

The location of Roberts Residences reflected the strategy of putting the property only blocks from SOME’s main campus on O Street NW. That ensures residents have access to emergency, social and health care services.

In a prepared company statement, a SOME official noted the opening of the property represents a shared attainment achievable through the commitment of partners that include the Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, JP Morgan Chase, Lument and Enterprise.

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