Torti Gallas was commissioned by The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), Enterprise Homes, Inc., and the Abe Pollin Grantor Trust to create an attractive, yet affordable, residential neighborhood. Located within the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood, the MetroTowns community sits between Anacostia Avenue and Hayes Streets in northeast Washington, DC. Its close proximity to the Minnesota Avenue metro station as well as César Chávez public charter school and National Park Service (NPS) land creates the perfect location for a neighborhood with a purpose.
The MetroTowns neighborhood provides workforce housing for Ward 7 families, as well as one-for-one replacement of the “Parkside Additions” affordable rental units that were razed in 2010/2011. The new homes boast high efficiency appliances and windows, open floor plans, some elevator townhouse units and several homes have integral garages. The community also includes accessible and adaptable units.
The new community master plan also included the creation of paths to public areas so that residents may enjoy the new neighborhood park, corner park, and walking/biking trail that borders the NPS land. Grading strategies were employed to both decrease the number of accessible ramps and to increase the number of visitable units on site. Accessible off-street parking, on-street parking and integral parking are provided. Indigenous vegetation, a mature tree save strategy, innovative stormwater management techniques and the use of rain barrels are but a few of the sustainable features found throughout the neighborhood.
Though Abe Pollin was unable to witness the groundbreaking ceremony, it was his hope to continue to provide attractive and affordable housing for all. The Abe Pollin Grantor Trust committed more funding toward this worthy philanthropic effort. The project is planned in two phases and designed to meet Green Communities requirements.