Tag Archives: MLK Gateway

The Menkiti Group Celebrates Grand Opening of Luxury Apartment Building in Worcester, MA

Reported on December 10, 2021 By Victoria Zelefsky, Director of Brand Communications of The Menkiti Group

The Menkiti Group | 3401 8th Street NE | Washington | DC 20017

Chatham Lofts to serve as a sophisticated urban residential apartment community in the heart of Worcester’s historic Theatre District.


WORCESTER, Mass., Dec. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Menkiti Group was joined by City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of Chatham Lofts. This project marks the first delivery of a completed development in downtown Worcester by The Menkiti Group, a D.C.-based Black-owned integrated real estate services company. Chatham Lofts is a collection of 24 new luxury apartments in the heart of the Theatre District that highlight the building’s unique architectural features. Located at 6 Chatham Street, Chatham Lofts plays an enduring role in the continued renaissance of Worcester’s urban core and offers a sophisticated and centrally located home for city-dwellers who desire the conveniences of a walkable downtown Worcester.

“We are proud to deliver Chatham Lofts, the first of many projects proving our commitment to help build a strong, thriving neighborhood in downtown Worcester,” said Mark Rengel, Vice President of Development at The Menkiti Group. “It’s an honor to infuse development into under-utilized architectural gems like 6 Chatham Street to help them reach their full potential. We believe in the future of downtown Worcester and Chatham Lofts signifies an important step in the advancement of our commitment to bring investment and commercial and residential density back to the historic and vibrant Theatre District.”

Chatham Lofts is a new market-rate apartment community featuring 24 luxury apartments comprised of studios, and one-to-two-bedroom units housed in a six-story historic building. Each unit is uniquely designed to highlight the existing architecture in order to deliver a distinctive residential living experience.

Project design team members include local General Contractor, R.P. Masiello, Elton + Hampton Architects, Petersen Engineering (MEP/FP), John J. Murphy, Jr. Electrical Construction & Engineering, Northeastern Engineering (Structural), Graves Engineering (Civil) and MacRostie Historic Advisors who served as the Historic Consultant. Chatham Lofts received approval for listing on the National Register of Historic Places from the National Park Service and qualified for both federal and state historic tax credits.

The project also received state and local support through a Housing Development Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) Agreement with the City of Worcester and Housing Development (HD) Investment Tax Credits through the Massachusetts Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHCD). Chatham Lofts was financed through an equity investment by the MG Capital’s eMpower Worcester Opportunity Zone Fund and debt provided by Webster Five and the PCI Fund.

“Webster Five is proud to have been part of bringing this new downtown project to fruition,” said Webster Five Vice President & Business Lending Officer Monica Thomas-Bonnick. “Chatham Lofts adds to the vitality of downtown Worcester while honoring and preserving an iconic, historic building. That kind of thoughtful development is a win for the city.”

The grand opening of Chatham Lofts marks the completed rehabilitation and historic restoration of three adjacent structures built in 1892, 1915, and 1926. From the time of their original construction, the buildings served for many decades as the headquarters of the Worcester Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Over the years the building was home to other prominent local organizations including the Worcester Foothills Theatre, WICN Public Radio, and the Performing Arts School of Worcester.

“With the opening of Chatham Lofts the city is excited to see this historic building in downtown comeback to life,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “By adding 24 new units of housing in the Theatre district, Chatham Lofts adds density and foot traffic that will benefit the many retail and cultural sites in addition to providing beautiful homes for people. This project is one more example of the revitalization of downtown Worcester.”

6 Chatham Street was originally purchased in 2015 by the late Ifeanyi A. Menkiti, a former poet and philosophy professor at Wellesley College who had a distinct vision for downtown Worcester. His legacy lives on with The Menkiti Group and the enterprise is committed to building upon Worcester’s storied history to create a new thriving downtown which further helps realize their mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate. With this project, The Menkiti Group successfully developed high-quality housing and infused sophistication into the downtown Worcester housing market by bringing back to life a significant cultural and historic asset in the city.

Chatham Lofts signifies an important milestone in The Menkiti Group’s overarching goal to bring new life and vibrancy to the Theatre District in support of the City’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan. In addition to Chatham Lofts, The Menkiti Group’s strategically positioned and growing portfolio of properties in Worcester include 401-405 Main Street (formerly Shacks Clothing), 554 Main Street, and 204 Main Street. Earlier this year, Chatham Lofts, and 401-405 Main Street were both awarded the Silver Hammer Award, an annual award given by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to acknowledge construction or rehabilitation projects that provide an extraordinary impact on the physical landscape and assist in revitalizing the community.

“We are very excited to see progress on redevelopment in the Theatre District led by The Menkiti Group with projects like Chatham Lofts,” said Bill Aldrich, Founder and Co-Owner/ Chef of Theatre Café and Center Stage Bistro. “We look forward to our Center Stage Bistro opening in their flagship property at 554 Main Street this upcoming spring.”

Bo Menkiti, Mark Rengel, and members of The Menkiti Group team were joined at Thursday’s ceremony by City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., Mayor Joseph Petty, District 2 Councilor Candy F. Mero-Carlson, and community members as well as representatives and partners of the project.

“At The Menkiti Group we have remained diligent over the last 17 years in pursuing our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate, and we are proud to be delivering this unique residential project that continues the momentum of economic development in the City of Worcester,” said Menkiti. “When I first visited Worcester with my father, it was amazing to see the grit, determination, energy, and potential represented in the restaurants, small businesses, and creative community that chose to establish a home downtown. Witnessing first-hand the commitment of the city’s residents and small businesses and the exceptionally strong municipal leadership, it was clear that everyone is committed to the potential that is in Worcester and it is exciting to be part helping to realize the community’s vision for downtown by delivering an impactful project like Chatham Lofts.”

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 single-family 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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 Victoria Zelefsky | vzelefsky@menkitigroup.com

The Menkiti Group Expands Commercial Real Estate Team with New VP to Further its Momentum in Worcester

Reported on December 1, 2021 By Victoria Zelefsky, Director of Brand Communications of The Menkiti Group

The Menkiti Group | 3401 8th Street NE | Washington | DC 20017


Left to Right: Mark Rengel, Vice President of Development and Michael McElaney, Vice President of Commercial Real Estate

WORCESTER, Mass., Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — With a portfolio that is rapidly expanding across Massachusetts and the Greater Washington Area, The Menkiti Group, an integrated real estate services firm based in Washington, DC with additional offices in Worcester, MA, has appointed.

Mike McElaney as their new Vice President of Commercial Real Estate. McElaney joins The Menkiti Group at a pivotal moment for the firm as they have crossed the threshold of developing over two million square feet of catalytic projects with a majority of that space dedicated to commercial use with exponential growth in Worcester, MA and Washington, DC.

Based in New England and with ties to Worcester as an alumnus of the College of the Holy Cross, McElaney will lead The Menkiti Group’s vision and strategy for the New England region while overseeing commercial leasing on a national basis. In this role, McElaney will play a key part in directing the firm’s portfolio strategy through sourcing, negotiating, and executing commercial transactions across the enterprise.

“The Menkiti Group has an impressive reputation in both the New England and Greater Washington, DC markets and has built an impressive portfolio of real estate. I’m thrilled to join a team of motivated and passionate real estate thought leaders with a unique mission driven approach to real estate investment and development” said Mike McElaney, Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at The Menkiti Group. “As an alumnus of the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, it’s great to be back in the area!” 

As a way of extending The Menkiti Group’s mission to transform lives, careers, and communities through real estate, the addition of McElaney provides an opportunity for the firm to expand its reach within the communities they serve. Initial areas of focus for McElaney will include Main Street in Worcester: 554 Main, and 401-405 Main Street (the former Shacks Building), two buildings that the firm is renovating to bring back the historic integrity of downtown Worcester and other catalytic projects in Washington, DC for the firm including MLK Gateway, a two-phase project located in the heart of historic Anacostia.

McElaney brings over 15 years of experience as a commercial real estate broker and has negotiated and executed over five million square feet of commercial leasing and sales transactions. Prior to joining The Menkiti Group, he was responsible for sourcing and executing new business opportunities throughout New England as Senior Vice President for Avison Young. Before his time at Avision Young, McElaney spent over a decade at Colliers International.

“There is significant momentum in the Worcester marketplace, and we are excited to have Mike leading our commercial leasing efforts” said Mark Rengel, Vice President of Development at The Menkiti Group. “He has quickly become an integral part of The Menkiti Group team, and I look forward to seeing our continued growth in Worcester and beyond with Mike at the helm.”

Over the last 17 years, The Menkiti Group has established a strong track record of success and developed over two million square feet of catalytic projects in Washington, DC and Worcester, MA. By expanding commercial leasing efforts, the enterprise is formalizing its growth and expansion strategy.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining The Menkiti Group,” said McElaney. “I look forward to adding value to the existing portfolio while finding opportunities to enter new markets.”

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.

SOURCE The Menkiti Group

 Victoria Zelefsky | vzelefsky@menkitigroup.com

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

Reported on November 23, 2021 By Victoria Zelefsky, Director of Brand Communications of The Menkiti Group

The Menkiti Group | 3401 8th Street NE | Washington | DC 20017

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.


Groundbreaking on Phase II of the MLK Gateway project in Historic Anacostia hosted on Monday, November 15, 2021.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) PR Newswire– The Menkiti Group was joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser and city officials for a 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.

 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.

 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.

###

 Victoria Zelefsky | vzelefsky@menkitigroup.com

The Menkiti Group Celebrates Ribbon Cutting on Phase I of MLK Gateway Project in Historic Anacostia

Reported on November 18, 2021 By Victoria Zelefsky, Director of Brand Communications of The Menkiti Group

The Menkiti Group | 3401 8th Street NE | Washington | DC 20017

Phase I of MLK Gateway reaches completion, providing a backdrop for a new epicenter of commerce, culture, and technology in Ward 8.


Ribbon cutting on Phase I of the MLK Gateway project in Historic Anacostia hosted on Monday, November 15, 2021.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) PR Newswire– The Menkiti Group was joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser and city officials for a ribbon cutting earlier this week on November 15 to celebrate the completion of Phase One of the historic MLK Gateway project in Anacostia. The first phase of the project includes a mix of uses and features the restoration of 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail as well as 20,000 square feet of newly built office space.

“We are proud to deliver phase one of this catalytic project east of the river,” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO, The Menkiti Group. “We have been actively engaged with the historic Anacostia community, working together with the Bowser Administration, DMPED, and local leaders, residents and business owners to execute on a collaborative vision for equitable and sustainable economic development in Ward 8 and believe that MLK Gateway demonstrates how the power of collaboration between the public and private sectors can truly drive neighborhood impact.”

The project is anchored and co-developed by Enlightened Inc., an award-winning Black-owned information technology and cybersecurity firm that has relocated its nearly 150 District-based employees to this new headquarters in historic Anacostia. By moving to MLK Gateway, Enlightened became the largest private technology employer to move east of the Anacostia River in four decades, further accelerating job growth in Historic Anacostia. Enlightened plans to launch a technology incubator to groom growing tech firms to do business with the federal government and will run a cybersecurity training program to enable local residents to gain marketable information technology skills.

“Enlightened is proud to be a part of this community and to be an agent of positive economic development,” said Antwanye Ford, President and CEO, Enlightened Inc. “Bringing training programs and jobs is what we love to do, and we are looking forward to leading the charge in developing local entrepreneurs, launching businesses, and creating a national tech hub at the entrance to Anacostia.”

Additional tenants at phase one include a new restaurant run by The Gaston Group, a Ward 8-based business and Capital One Café, a full-service coffee and tea bar with collaborative workspaces and meeting rooms for public use. The café, which occupies approximately 3,700 square feet of retail space, brings locally sourced food and beverages, complimentary Wi-Fi, private rooms for guests to enjoy, and financial education opportunities for the community.  

“We are continuing the transformation of this historic neighborhood by revitalizing the gateway of the Anacostia business area,” said Mayor Bowser. “My Administration never gave up on this project because we know it has helped us bring jobs, housing, and new amenities to Ward 8.”

The first phase of MLK Gateway was financed using a combination of $4.25 million in New Market Tax Credits and $3.3 million in Opportunity Zone funding, grant funding, and senior debt. The project was one of the first in the country to deploy a combination of both Opportunity Zone funding and New Market Tax Credits. Additionally, the project also received a $700,000 grant from DMPED’s Neighborhood Prosperity Fund. Financing partners for the first phase of MLK Gateway include PNC Bank, City First Bank, LISC, Consortium America, and Uplands Real Estate Partners.

“The completion of MLK Gateway Phase I brings economic opportunities and jobs to the historic Anacostia community,” said George Ashton, Managing Director, LISC Strategic Investments.  “LISC is proud to partner with mission driven developers like The Menkiti Group that build impactful community-based projects that are directly responsive to the community’s needs. We are excited to celebrate this milestone and look forward to continuing to support our Ward 8 residents.”

“As fellow Washingtonians, we are thrilled to partner with The Menkiti Group to deliver vibrant retail and high-quality jobs to historic Anacostia,” said Joshua Hoffman, Principal, Uplands Real Estate Partners. “MLK Gateway represents the best of what a public-private partnership can achieve.”

Through engaging with the community and local business owners, The Menkiti Group has been able to bring to life the local residents’ vision for the neighborhood. The design of the building by architects Hickok Cole embraces and incorporates the site’s existing historic facades, a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail, and provides a gateway to commerce, culture, and technology at the entrance to Anacostia.

“It’s a privilege to be entrusted by The Menkiti Group, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and the Anacostia community to design Phase I of MLK Gateway. We’ve been deeply integrated within the community, working with local review boards from the start, and committed to delivering a design that bridges the gap between Anacostia’s history and its bright path forward,” said Bertin Radifera, Senior Associate and Senior Project Manager at Hickok Cole. “We are incredibly proud to play a role in launching Anacostia’s next chapter and look forward to engaging with this vibrant community on many more opportunities down the road.”

Located at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, MLK Gateway is a two-phased community-oriented project that drives neighborhood impact in the heart of historic Anacostia. The development of both phases of the project 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.

At the ribbon cutting 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, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Capital One, Andy Navarette, 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 this project is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the fabric of life in America’s urban communities. We are proud to celebrate this significant milestone in bringing to life the community’s vision for the historic MLK Gateway alongside partners who share a similar commitment to driving neighborhood impact for Anacostia. We look forward to continuing to work with the community to show the power and strength of D.C. residents east of the river,” 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.

###

 Victoria Zelefsky | vzelefsky@menkitigroup.com

The Menkiti Group Celebrates Major Milestones on Historic MLK Gateway Project in Anacostia

Reported on November 15, 2021 By Victoria Zelefsky, Director of Brand Communications of The Menkiti Group

The Menkiti Group | 3401 8th Street NE | Washington | DC 20017

MLK Gateway to serve as the new epicenter of commerce, culture, and technology with a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail.


MLK Gateway in Historic Anacostia. Pictured left is Phase I of the project and pictured right is Phase II of the project. Located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave and Good Hope Road.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Menkiti Group was joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser and city officials Monday to celebrate two major milestones for MLK Gateway: the ribbon cutting of its completion of the first phase and the groundbreaking of its second phase. The development of both phases of the project is being led by a 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. Located at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, MLK Gateway is a community-oriented project that drives neighborhood impact in the heart of historic Anacostia.

“We are proud to deliver phase one and break ground on the second phase of this catalytic project east of the river,” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO, The Menkiti Group. “We believe MLK Gateway is an innovative example of community-led participative development and demonstrates how the power of collaboration between the public and private sectors can truly drive neighborhood impact.”

The first phase of MLK Gateway includes a mix of uses and features the restoration of 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail as well as 20,000 square feet of newly built office space. The project is anchored by Enlightened Inc., an award-winning Black-owned information technology and cybersecurity firm that has relocated its nearly 150 District-based employees to this new headquarters in historic Anacostia. Additional tenants at phase one include Capital One Café, a full-service coffee and tea bar with collaborative workspaces and meeting rooms for public use, and a new restaurant run by The Gaston Group, a Ward 8-based business. The phase one building’s design embraces and incorporates the site’s existing historic facades, a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail, and provides a backdrop for a new epicenter of commerce, culture, and technology in Anacostia.

“Enlightened is proud to be a part of this community and to be an agent of positive economic development,” said Antwanye Ford, President and CEO, Enlightened Inc. “Bringing training programs and jobs is what we love to do, and we are looking forward to leading the charge in developing local entrepreneurs, launching businesses, and creating a national tech hub at the entrance to Anacostia.”

The second phase of MLK Gateway will include the construction of a new building at 1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE with 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 on the east side of the Anacostia River. Additionally, phase two 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.

“At MLK Gateway, we’re collaborating with partners and leaders who know DC and who know Ward 8. And, together, we’re delivering results: jobs, opportunity, a new restaurant, and more,” said Mayor Bowser. “This is the second Neighborhood Prosperity Fund project that we’re celebrating in the past three days – on Saturday we were in Bellevue to open the new Good Food Market. We made a commitment to the community, and now we’re delivering. Today, we’re back in Ward 8, welcoming a Black-owned technology firm and celebrating all the opportunity that this site represents.”

Through numerous meetings and engagement with community groups, residents, and local businesses, The Menkiti Group has been able to bring to life the city and local residents’ vision for the neighborhood. The Menkiti Group is honored to execute on that vision and further realize its mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate and they remain dedicated to driving neighborhood impact as they continue on into the second phase of this project.

“MLK Gateway demonstrates what we can deliver when the public and private sectors work together to make big, strategic investments in existing communities,” said John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “We triple downed on this project using New Tax Credits, Opportunity Zone, and Neighborhood Prosperity funds to make sure the residents of Ward 8 were supported.”

Both phases of MLK Gateway are models for public and private collaboration. The partners for phase one include The Menkiti Group, Enlightened Inc., the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), PNC Bank, RMS Investment Group, and City First Bank of DC. The partners for phase two include The Menkiti Group, Enlightened Inc., SHIFT Capital, DMPED, DHCD, EagleBank, LISC Black Economic Development Fund, Chestnut Funds, Chase Bank, Harbor Bank, NCIF, and Industrial Bank.

“It’s an exciting experience to leverage District assets in a purposeful manner with the clear intention of strengthening the Ward 8 economy,” said Department of General Services (DGS) Director Keith A. Anderson.  “That’s precisely what we achieved when we negotiated a new headquarters lease for the Department of Housing and Community Development; this space will ensure their staff can continue providing and creating innovative programming services for the District.”

Bo Menkiti and The Menkiti Group were joined at Monday’s ceremony 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, SHIFT Capital CEO, 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 this project is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the fabric of life in America’s urban communities. We are proud to celebrate this significant milestone in bringing to life the community’s vision for the historic MLK Gateway alongside partners who share a similar commitment to driving neighborhood impact for Anacostia. We look forward to continuing to work with the community to show the power and strength of D.C. residents east of the river,” 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 single-family 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 $225MM 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.

 Victoria Zelefsky | vzelefsky@menkitigroup.com

The Menkiti Group Reveals Intended Plans for MLK Gateway, Anacostia

Curbed DC featured an article on our proposed development plans for the MLK Gateway project in Historic Anacostia. The Menkiti Group has partnered with Enlightened, Inc. to form MLK Gateway Community Partners (MGCP, LLC), creating a 100% minority-owned, local District-based entity to redevelop the site.

HERE is an overview of with more details on our proposed project.

The riverside neighborhood of Anacostia and its surrounding East of the River communities are known for their strong sense of community and rich history, and it is our vision that our proposed development project will serve as a catalyst for a thriving, diverse, and economically vibrant commercial corridor.

mlk-gateway-rendering

CurbedDC reported: “There are two finalists for the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Anacostia’s MLK Gateway, which was introduced during the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s (DMPED) March Madness event. This “Gateway” is located at 1201-1215 Good Hope Road SE and 1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE with plans for small to medium scaled commercial and mixed-use developments.”

Read the full article for more insight into our proposal to build on the inherent assets of the Anacostia neighborhood to create a dynamic mixed-use destination for retail, arts, innovation, and commerce for this important project.