The Menkiti Group Celebrates Groundbreaking on Phase II of MLK Gateway Project in Historic Anacostia

The Menkiti Group | November 23, 2021


Construction on the second phase of MLK Gateway is underway, paving the way for a completed gateway to Historic Anacostia that drives neighborhood impact by early 2023.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Menkiti Group was joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser and city officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of the second phase of MLK Gateway, the new epicenter of commerce, culture, and technology with a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail in Historic Anacostia. The development of this project is being led by The Menkiti Group and co-developed by SHIFT Capital, and Enlightened Inc. Located at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE directly across the street from the completed first phase of the project, Phase II will be home to a newly built five-story office and retail building with two levels of underground parking that totals over 104,000 SF.


"It is an honor to celebrate the groundbreaking of the second phase of this transformative project alongside city officials, partners, and Anacostia residents and business owners who all share a similar belief in the power and potential of this community," said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO, The Menkiti Group.

The second phase of MLK Gateway will include construction of a new building at 1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE with neighborhood-serving street-level retail and multistory office space above. The project is anchored by Washington, D.C.'s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) which will be retaining its headquarters in the historic Anacostia neighborhood and is part of Mayor Muriel Bowser's initiative to locate public agencies east of the Anacostia River. Additionally, it will be home to a new Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP) office bringing a national real estate chain east of the river. At MLK Gateway, KWCP will found the East of the River Real Estate Academy, a training center for aspiring real estate entrepreneurs designed to open doors to new opportunities for local residents.

"MLK Gateway II shows how mission-driven development and community-focused investment works," said Brian Murray, CEO of SHIFT Capital. "Together with The Menkiti Group's team and our partners, we have created a value-aligned capital stack that drives equity throughout the development process and unites us on purpose to deliver for the Anacostia community."

The second phase of MLK Gateway has secured over $60 million in financing, proving that there is great power in public and private collaboration to make strategic investments in existing communities. Financing for the second phase of the project includes a combination of New Market Tax Credits, Opportunity Zone equity, and a Neighborhood Prosperity Grant provided by DMPED. Financing partners for the second phase include EagleBank, LISC's Black Economic Development Fund, Atlantic Union Bank, Chase, NCIF, Harbor Bank, Industrial Bank, The Community Builders, Georgetown Impact Fund, Forza Fund, Chestnut Funds, and SHIFT Capital.

"Investing in projects like MLK Gateway allows EagleBank to fulfill our mission to serve the community, so that together we can serve the area for many years to come," said Ryan Riel, EVP, and Chief Real Estate Lending Officer at EagleBank. "The Menkiti Group has been a top-notch partner throughout this process and we're excited to see this project come to life in the long under-served Anacostia neighborhood."

Through engaging with the community and local business owners east of the river over the past six years, The Menkiti Group has been able to bring to life the local residents' vision for the neighborhood and the second phase of MLK Gateway is an expansion of that momentum in historic Anacostia. The design of the building by STUDIOS Architecture embraces and incorporates the neighborhoods historic character and includes a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail and a new home for powerful and transformative DC-based businesses.

"Chestnut Funds is proud to partner with both SHIFT Capital and The Menkiti Group. Our team values working with local partners who are embedded in communities and leading impactful projects such as MLK II," says Steen Watson, CEO of Chestnut Funds. "Phase II of the MLK Gateway project will activate an important community corridor, better connect the historic Anacostia neighborhood to downtown DC, and provide access to additional retail goods and services as well as job opportunities."

The development of both phases of MLK Gateway is being led by local D.C.-based Black-owned integrated real estate services company, The Menkiti Group. MLK Gateway is a powerful example of a successful collaboration between the D.C. Government, private sector, and local residents.

"LISC is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work with the Menkiti Group as an investor in MLK Gateway II," said George Ashton, Managing Director, LISC Strategic Investments. "The Black Economic Development Fund's $8 million loan further facilitates commercial development and job growth to the area, empowering local opportunities at the heart of the historic Anacostia neighborhood."

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Bo Menkiti and The Menkiti Group were joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio, Enlightened Inc. President and CEO Antwanye Ford, CEO of SHIFT Capital, Brian Murray, and community members as well as representatives and partners of the projects.

"At The Menkiti Group we have remained diligent over the last 17 years to pursue our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate and MLK Gateway is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the fabric of life in America's urban communities. We are proud to celebrate the power and potential of Anacostia and continue our momentum of delivering a transformative project for this great community," said Menkiti.

ABOUT THE MENKITI GROUP

Founded in 2004, The Menkiti Group is a 100% minority-owned Certified Business Enterprise headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional offices in Worcester, Massachusetts. The organization was founded with the mission to transform lives, careers, and communities through real estate. The Menkiti Group is a double bottom line company, measuring success in terms of financial and positive social impact. The company's approach to urban neighborhood transformation and investment is centered upon residential and commercial development, residential sales, and commercial brokerage.

The Menkiti Group invests in abandoned and underutilized properties and transforms them into exciting and affordable homes and workspaces. Projects range from residential renovations and the development and tenanting of main street commercial properties to large-scale, mixed-use, transit-oriented development projects. Over the past 17 years, The Menkiti Group has invested over $250MM in DC's emerging neighborhoods, worked on the development of over 2.1MM SF of real estate, and has assisted over 2,000 families in purchasing their first homes. For more information, please visit MenkitiGroup.com or call (202) 733-5455.


SOURCE The Menkiti Group

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