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WASHINGTON, DC-The Jair Lynch Cos., the National Capital Revitalization Corp. and San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners broke ground last week on a $23-million mixed-use project in the Columbia Heights submarket of the District. Called Solea, it is a mixed-income, mixed-use project that has incorporated the live/work concept in its living and retail components, founder Jair Lynch tells GlobeSt.com.

“Washington has a growing class of professionals consisting of small businesses, lobbyists, realtors, attorneys, etc. They have not been able to find appropriate places to live near where they work,” he says. Flexible live/work quarters would allow someone to set up a home office or small business in their own condo or apartment.

Retail condos are another new concept the developers are incorporating in Solea. “Retail gentrification, I believe, will be the next big policy discussion.”

Solea encompasses a 60,700-sf area known as Parcel 34, at the northwest corner of 14th Street and Florida Avenue, gateway to the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

The project will feature 52 residential condominiums, at least seven live/work units and three retail condominiums. Plans call for 21 of the residential units to be set aside for affordable and work force housing, and two of the retail condominiums as affordable retail space for local businesses. Committed tenants include Zawadi and Trade Secrets.

The JLC-led development team includes Sorg & Associates as the architect and a joint venture between Hamel Builders and Gilford Corp. as the general contractor.

NCRC has contributed land to the partnership in exchange for a share in the profits, which will be reinvested in the city’s underserved communities, as reported by GlobeSt.com. MacFarlane Partners is the institutional equity investor and Wachovia is the construction lender for the project.

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