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WASHINGTON, DC-Perseus Realty is planning to develop a 350,000-sf mixed-use project in the District’s U Street Corridor. The total value of the project is $100 million, John Wood Bolton Jr., executive vice president of Perseus tells GlobeSt.com, and will consist of a completely redeveloped 45,000-sff YMCA, the construction of 200 apartment units and 12,000 sf of retail space.

The project will be carved out one of the city’s most historic blocks bounded by 14th Street on the west, W Street on the south, and Florida Avenue on the north. As part of the project Perseus will preserve five townhouses facing 14th Street, which are expected to house community retail shops and restaurants.

Construction is expected to begin Q1 or Q2 2008. The entire project is scheduled to deliver in 2010.

The DC-based developer has joint ventured with two partners for this project: an institutional equity partner that Bolton declined to name, and FLGA LLC, a local minority-owned and managed real estate development company.

Receiving the mandate to redevelop the YMCA facilitated the larger development, Bolton says. The Anthony Bowen YMCA was the nation’s first African American YMCA when it opened in 1912, and has served as anchor in the U Street Corridor ever since, according to Perseus Realty president Robert Cohen.

U-Street itself has its own historic bona fides. It was home to jazz icon Duke Ellington, up until the mid 50s and even later it was the District’s center of African American commerce and culture–a neighborhood on par with New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s Bronzeville in significance, Bolton notes.

Perseus is developing a $15-million facility that will include a 25-meter indoor swimming pool and locker rooms, basketball court, wellness center, child care rooms, rooftop terrace, community rooms and offices. Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient, the building is being designed to receive a Silver LEED rating. Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc. and Dorsky Hodgson & Partners, Inc. are the project architects.

Eight percent of the approximate 200 rental apartments that will also be developed will be made available to appropriate tenants under the District’s new inclusionary zoning regulation. The seven-story apartment building will also have a below-grade parking garage.

The company already has rough ideas of its strategy for the retail component of the project. “We have loosely identified those stores we would like to see as part of the project and will be meeting soon with our retail broker to discuss the marketing,” Bolton says. He declined to name the broker.

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