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WASHINGTON, DC-The federally subsidized housing complex Sursum Corda will undergo a redevelopment, courtesy of a plan put in place between the 167 families who own the low-income property and KSI Services Inc., a multifamily and residential/mixed-use property developer. The Vienna, VA-based company committed to an agreement with the co-op board that will allow KSI to convert the 199-unit property into a 500-unit condominium project.

The deal is valued at approximately $130.9 million. KSI will spend $235,000 on each of the new units and give the 167 households $80,000 each, as well as a 49% ownership stake in the development. Additionally the existing residents will have the opportunity to use the $80,000 as a down-payment for the purchase of one of the new condos at cost.

Sursum Corda was developed in 1968 on a nearly six-acre parcel near New York Avenue and N. Capitol Street, just a mile northeast of the MCI Center and 1.5 miles southwest of Gallaudet University. The property, consisting of 115 townhomes and 44 apartments, went co-op in 1992 when residents purchased it for $10. But the co-op board was left with the task of restoring a complex that had fallen into disrepair. So when HUD announced plans to foreclose on Sursum Corda after it failed to pass inspection last year, board members sought help from private developers in an effort to save the complex.

Soon after, as a pretext to solidifying a deal, KSI upgraded the property to meet HUD standards. Then a better offer from another development group came to the fore. KSI then presented a proposal nearly double in value in comparison to the first offer and the board accepted. KSI anticipates that work could get under way on the condo project in spring of next year.

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