Left to right, Affordable Homes and Communities CEO Paul Bernard, The Westerly resident Amber Johnson, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and Hoffman & Associates COO Maria Thompson pose at the grand opening of The Westerly. Courtesy of Daniel Swartz

By Southwester Staff

On Monday, June 17, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and others gathered to mark the grand opening of The Westerly, a mixed-use development on 4th Street SW just south of I Street SW. 

The Westerly offers 449 units of housing, ranging from studio apartments to two bedrooms with dens. Of these units, 136 units are designated as affordable, split evenly between households earning 30% and 50% of the area median income. Attendees at the grand opening highlighted the significant need for affordable housing in Southwest and across DC, and noted the demand for affordable units at The Westerly far outstripped supply. 

The building also includes over 29,000 square feet of retail, with tenants including Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe, GoodVets, AppleTree Public Charter School, and a forthcoming dedicated cultural space for the arts. 

“We know that to meet our city’s housing needs and goals, we have to be relentlessly creative in how we invest in, execute, and deliver projects in neighborhoods across our city,” Bowser said in a press release. “We’re proud that what was once a vacant parcel is now a mixed-use and mixed-income community that is bringing more vibrancy and creating new opportunities in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood.”  

The opening marks the completion of the project known as Waterfront Station II, a 59,044 square foot parcel of land that for years sat vacant and was once the site of the Waterside Mall and offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2016, the District and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development selected Hoffman & Associates, Affordable Homes and Communities, CityPartners, and Paramount Development to lead redevelopment of the site. 

“In the heart of our vibrant Southwest neighborhood, The Westerly embodies our commitment to delivering innovative communities that bring us together,” said Maria Thompson, COO of Hoffman & Associates. 

The project utilized an innovative financing model by combining a market-rate equity investor with 4% and 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Department of Housing and Community Development and the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency. 

“We’re proud to partner with Hoffman & Associates to integrate this deeply affordable housing component within the overall development,” Paul Bernard, President and CEO of Affordable Homes and Communities said in a press release. “We’ve created a dynamic, mixed-income community of opportunity where residents at all income levels live side-by-side in a vibrant, growing neighborhood.”

Designed by Torti Gallas + Partners, The Westerly’s façade includes cascading angular balconies, intended to mimic the movement of wind and water. Among the amenities for residents, The Westerly offers a rooftop pool with views of the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument as well as coworking and meeting spaces. 

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