At Neighborhood Development Company (NDC), we look for opportunities to benefit the community, invest in real estate projects that fill local needs and promote growth that creates a cycle of progress for underserved and under-recognized areas. As part of a larger development project, the Benning Market at 3451 Benning Road in Washington DC’s Ward 7 is a great example of this type of innovation with a community focus.
Meeting Unmet Community Needs
According to the USDA, more than 20 million Americans live in food deserts, many of whom are low income. “Food deserts” are places where residents have limited or no access to healthy food choices like fresh fruits and vegetables because of a lack of local grocery stores. This can lead to health implications as well as food insecurity. NDC found that the River Terrace neighborhood of NE Washington, in and around the 3400 block of Benning Road was one such location, where no large grocery stores were in reasonable access to the residents. The latest news clip on NBC reinforces these issues. The Benning Market is designed to bring healthy food to the community.
A Unique, Mixed Use Space
Benning Market will be more than a grocery store. Offering commercial, retail and office space, Benning Market will be a location that draws economic activity and investment into the neighborhood. Benning Market’s anchor enterprise is Market 7, a community marketplace founded and led by Mary Blackford, a Ward 7 resident, and entrepreneur. By developing sustainable commerce within the community, Market 7’s mission is to revitalize and restore the economic stability, holistic health, and social needs of the residents in Ward 7. Its core principles are to EAT sustainably sourced food options; SHOP in a creative marketplace that sells products, provides employment opportunities and engages the community; and LEARN by building a strong support system that equips local entrepreneurs to be innovative and profitable.
The Start of Something Big
In addition to Market 7 and the other businesses occupying 3451 Benning, NDC is bringing further development to the area. 3443 Benning is an 8,400 SF in-fill development that provides additional retail, commercial and office space to River Terrace, which is part of the Great Streets commercial revitalization initiative. In addition, 3450 Eads Street will be a 49-unit workforce housing development targeted to serve families. The development consists of an on-site manager’s office with a community room, and on-site parking. The building has been designed to achieve Passive Housing Institute U.S. certification. With other projects and a nearby network of parks lining the Anacostia River, the residence will be extremely attractive and serve the needs of the community.
NDC is so excited to be a part of the Minnesota Avenue location of the Great Streets DC Program. Through its innovative development strategy, NDC sees its role as improving the community through attractive public/private partnership investments that accomplish the important community, environmental and economic goals. To learn more about investing with NDC, contact us today.