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Fendall Heights to get new community center and office, free up four units

Fendall Heights' entryway

Fendall Heights at 2025 Fendall Street SE is gaining a new community space and offices in their basement. So Others Might Eat, the D.C.-based nonprofit that manages the building, received a permit to install the new center and offices last week.

"SOME is proud to be partnering with the Veterans Administration and the DC Housing Authority to provide affordable housing for homeless veterans and their families at our property on Fendall Street," says SOME President Fr. John Adams. 

The 29-unit apartment building for homeless veterans and their families has had an undeveloped basement since the building was constructed in 2010. With the construction of the roughly 2,000 square feet of space, there will be enough room for a 700-square-foot community center and staff offices.

The child/community center will focus on school-age children of about eight years and older and provide tutoring help, activities and other recreational and social events. "This will not be a daycare," says Troy Swanda, housing development director at SOME. The center will also hold classes for the parents in topics like money management.

Groundbreaking is set for next week with a small contractor named Eichberg Construction leading the construction efforts. The work is expected to be complete within three or four months and will also allow SOME to open up four apartments that have been previously unused.

SOME just opened the program at Fendall Heights in April, supporting 21 veteran-headed families in two-bedroom apartments and eight single veterans in one-bedroom apartments.  The building was originally meant to be sold as affordable-income condos for upward of $125,000 per unit. The units never sold, and SOME is now managing the property and providing supportive services.

Near the historic Frederick Douglass house, Fendall Heights is within a stone's throw of the heart of Anacostia. Anacostia has seen a flood of new development lately thanks, in part, to the Anacostia Business Improvement District incentives and the ARCH Development Corporation that helps fund and support small businesses and artists in historic Anacostia. Some of the most recent developments in the Anacostia neighborhood are The Last Shall Be First Consignment shop, ,more Riverwalk access and trails,  Martha's Outfitters thrift store, 24 new affordable condos coming to 1700 W Street SE, and proposals for an 11th Street Bridge park.

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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