WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2023) – Enterprise Community Development, an affiliate of Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) and the largest affordable housing owner and developer in the mid-Atlantic market, today announced the first partner for its innovative Let’s Build Accelerator (LBA). Housing provider Durrani Development has been selected to partner with Enterprise Community Development on a new affordable, multifamily apartment building in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. This is the first project of this unique joint development model that addresses the various challenges, including access to capital and development capacity, faced by non-institutionally resourced real-estate developers.
Enterprise Community Development, which is one of the top five largest nonprofit affordable housing providers in the country based on portfolio size, launched LBA in late 2021. The program recognizes the unique challenges, perspectives and opportunities of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and community- and faith-based developers and allows partners from these previously marginalized groups to access the necessary capital and development capacity to organically grow their communities.
This first LBA project is a new construction, four-story, affordable, multifamily apartment building in Washington, D.C.’s Randle Heights neighborhood southeast of the Anacostia River that features the removal of a vacant, dilapidated, former rehab facility. Durrani Development, a boutique real estate development firm focusing on affordable homes in the Washington, D.C. metro region, and Enterprise Community Development have joined forces on the development of a $47 million, 86-unit new construction, affordable housing community along Alabama Avenue in the District’s Ward 8. In addition to providing new, energy efficient housing units affordable to the community, the transformation will include development of a new playground and community room for residents and their families. The project replaces blocks known for neglect and disinvestment with beacons of hope and inclusive change. Having developed and invested in several projects of various sizes, Alabama Avenue marks Durrani Development’s first affordable housing project and, once completed, will be its largest project developed. This is Enterprise Community Development’s second investment in this area following its 2022 purchase of the Skyland Apartments.
“This is the most innovative program I have ever been a part of,” said Shelynda Brown, vice president of real estate, Enterprise Community Development. “Providing capital is great but doing so in partnership also enhances and expands the development capacity and knowledge to execute on current and future projects. This expansive commitment to ‘partnering’ truly makes Let’s Build Accelerator unique.”
Enterprise Community Development collaborated with Durrani Development to close on and begin construction of the project, which responds to a critical gap in the region’s affordable housing landscape.
“Having lived in low-income, all-affordable apartments when I immigrated to the United States, I know the value and importance of providing clean, safe and comfortable housing to individuals and families,” said Mustafa Durrani of Durrani Development. “Partnering with a mentor like Enterprise Community Development, that shares the same vision of providing good housing people can afford, will allow me to further develop quality affordable homes throughout the D.C. metro area for many years to come.”
Funding for the project comes from a $12.9 million Housing Production Trust Fund loan from the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $23.1 million in tax exempt bonds from the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), $9.8 million in permanent debt from R4 Capital and a total of $21.1 million from R4 Equity in LIHTC, DC LIHTC and Solar credits.
In addition to the project announced today, Enterprise continues to evaluate several other projects that have entered the LBA robust pipeline. Two projects nearing the end of underwriting include one that would reflect the partner’s largest project to date in a significant redevelopment opportunity in a target neighborhood of D.C. The plans call for a neighborhood-changing development that will bring over 400 units of new housing with a total investment of more than $175 million.
A second project, expected to close in the coming weeks, will support new investment of almost $3 million into Baltimore’s historically Black Upton neighborhood in West Baltimore City through the refashioning of vacant and abandoned rowhouses into modern, stylish and community enhancing for-sale homes. Critical resources from the City of Baltimore are a key component of this transaction, delivering subsidies to support affordability for future homebuyers and financing for the renovation of the long-vacant rowhomes that are being given a new life in the proud, legacy-rich Upton community. The transformative project leverages more than $70 million in development Enterprise Community Development has undertaken over the past two decades in the neighborhood. This includes more than $9 million in the past five years in updates to its affordable rental apartments at Heritage Crossing.
A critical component of the LBA is the Let’s Build Accelerator Fund, which is a unique tool in the marketplace through its focus on ensuring that the economic rewards of these development initiatives are fairly shared with the talented pool of neighborhood-led and faith-based partners who have helped envision these projects. Through the fund, partners are able to access equity capital, enabling them to co-invest with Enterprise Community Development and directly participate in financial benefits ranging from developer fee income to cash flows with a genuine seat at the table as a co-sponsor. Upon exit, the initial funds extended to the partner to enable their co-investment are returned to the Let’s Build Accelerator Fund, structured as a revolving fund to support future partnerships and projects. Partners retain fees and earnings with an ability to participate in value appreciation at time of exit.
Enterprise Community Development will leverage its talents and resources to execute meaningful partnerships that allow LBA partners to participate substantively as co-developers and financial partners, leading to successful projects, enhanced development capacity and the creation of long-term wealth.
“We set out to leverage our market position to drive a more inclusive industry while co-creating new projects that expand opportunity and services to local communities,” said Enterprise Community Development President Brian McLaughlin. “We’re matching our resources and our deeply talented team of over 100 professionals directly with BIPOC, community-based and faith-based developer visionaries who bring their unique perspectives to potential projects in the Mid-Atlantic. In this way, we help to greenlight projects with amplified impact and propel the development leaders of the future.”
“Perhaps the most energizing aspect of the Let’s Build Accelerator,” said McLaughlin, “is that we are actualizing the robust experiences of our partners and creating better and more attainable housing in communities and for residents that deeply need them. The multiplier effect here is transformative.”
During the LBA’s first year, Enterprise Community Development received over 40 applications from companies located from North Carolina to New Jersey, who responded to the initial call for partners for projects, totaling more than $750 million and more than 2,000 units.
Enterprise Community Development is now seeking partners and projects for LBA, including affordable housing, mixed-use developments and needed community assets such as retail, multifamily communities, senior communities and Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH). Those interested in learning more and applying, can visit www.letsbuildaccelerator.org. Selections will be made on a rolling basis.
About Enterprise Community Development
Enterprise Community Development is the top nonprofit owner and developer of affordable homes in the Mid-Atlantic and is an affiliate of Enterprise Community Partners. Formed from two Mid-Atlantic affordable housing powerhouses, Enterprise Homes, Inc. and Community Preservation and Development Corporation, Enterprise Community Development specializes in high-impact residential development, property management and resident supportive services. With 60 years of collective experience, Enterprise Community Development’s $1.2 billion AUM and a portfolio includes 13,000 apartment units across more than 110 communities and supporting over 21,000 residents. For more information, visit www.enterprisecommunitydevelopment.org.