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New studios and one-bedrooms proposed for Congress Heights apartment complex

Horizon Hill Ventures is planning to renovate and expand three apartment buildings a block from the Congress Heights metro station in Southeast.

The buildings, at the corner of 13th and Savannah streets SE, currently have a total of 65 units among them, mainly two- and three-bedroom units. Horizon is proposing to expand two of the buildings, renovate the third, and increase the number of one-bedroom and studio apartments to bring the complex, which will be called Congress Heights Station, up to 110 units total.

"We're taking three buildings that ... need some attention, some TLC," says Josh Dworken, managing director. The aging buildings will be gutted and reconfigured to include more studios and one-bedrooms--the complex currently has nine three-bedroom units and the rest are two-bedroom. Horizon Hill is applying for funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development to help pay for the building, which will be designated as affordable.

The horseshoe-shaped buildings surround courtyards that, in the renderings, are filled with trees and greenery. The buildings will also incorporate modest green roofs.

Congress Heights Station is a block from the Congress Heights metro and a short walk from the St. Elizabeths campus, which the D.C. government is developing into an "innovation hub" where Microsoft and other companies will establish a presence. St. Elizabeths is also the site of the under-development headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security. Both megaprojects are expected to revitalize the Congress Heights neighborhood, which has some of the lowest incomes, and highest unemployment, in the city.

"We're pretty excited about it," Dworken says. "That area is starting to undergo some major changes."

The Board of Zoning Adjustment gave its stamp of approval to the project March 18. Dworken says the developer could break ground in the second quarter of 2015.

This article has been updated with comments from Josh Dworken.

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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