Tag Archives: real estate

Menkiti Group’s first Worcester project aiming for April opening

WBJ- Menkiti Group- 6 Chatham

Written and Published by Worcester Business Journal

By Grant Welker – Almost six years after the Menkiti family bought its first downtown Worcester property, residents will soon be moving into a new housing site in an old YWCA the family’s development firm has renovated.

The new development, called Chatham Lofts, brings 24 apartments to a six-story building off Main Street a short walk from the Hanover Theatre, a part of downtown just south of City Hall city officials have prioritized for new development and investment.

Chatham Lofts is roughly two-third complete, with plans for an opening to residents around April. Pre-leasing marketing has begun in the past few weeks.

The Menkiti Group, a Washington, D.C., property developer, bought the Chatham Street site in April 2015, spending $800,000 on a deal that didn’t make big news at the time. Four years ago, Ifeanyi Menkiti, a Wellesley College professor, bought the former Shack’s men’s clothing store building at Main and Mechanic streets. The idea then was for a cultural center to complement his art endeavors in Cambridge, including the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square, which he bought in 2006.

PHOTO | GRANT WELKER Chatham Lofts will include some units with 14-foot-high windows.

Menkiti died in 2019, but the family’s plans for Worcester have continued, and the Menkiti Group has become a high-profile name in Worcester development.

Chatham Lofts, in a tan brick building that was initially a YWCA boarding house dating to the 1890s, is the first of what could be a series of downtown Worcester buildings that the Menkiti Group brings back to use — and to their historic architectural appearance. In addition to Chatham Lofts and the Shack’s building, the firm has a five-story, 53,000-square-foot building similarly dating to the late 1800s at 542 Main St., whose office and first-floor retail space sit vacant today. Next door at 536 Main St., a building long known for its use as a pawn shop and check-cashing store, awaits a new use.

A few blocks up Main Street past the old Shack’s building, Menkiti owns 204 Main St., the home of Courthouse Cafe. Like the Shack’s building, a modern siding addition once covering its historical facade has been removed, with further renovation work to come.

Those other projects are in various stages of progress toward completion.

The Shack’s building, including a restoration of its brick exterior, could open for a new Bank of America office by late summer or early fall. The building, which was designed by the same architect as Mechanics Hall, will recapture its former architectural glory, said Mark Rengel, the Menkiti Group’s vice president of development.

“It looks like a new building,” Rengel said.

PHOTO | GRANT WELKERTile from a former indoor swimming pool has been retained to form walls in some units and along a hallway.

The glass-facade building at 536 Main St. is undergoing hazardous material abatement, with renovation work expected to begin in earnest later this year. The building is slated for first-floor commercial use and upstairs offices. Next door, 554 Main St. requires the least renovation work, and already has two proposed uses: an eatery called Center Stage Bistro and a boxing gym, which Menkiti hopes can open this year. They’re slated to be joined by upper-floor offices.

The smaller building at 204 Main St., once a furniture showroom and warehouse, remains in an earlier design phase with work planned to start by the end of the year. The building is planned to include 20 residential units above the Courthouse Cafe and another retail tenant.

As for Chatham Lofts, the nearly $10-million renovation was helped by historic tax credits that discounted about a quarter of that cost, Rengel said, attributing the aid to making the project feasible. The building sat empty for most of the past decade, and its renovation has included some unique touches. Tile from an indoor swimming pool remains as part of a wall in some units, as well as part of a hallway. Arched windows that reach 14 feet in height are the focus point of 24-foot ceiling heights in duplexes built into what used to be the building’s gymnasium.

Renovating such an old and complex building, which is actually several structures that date to different years, took significant work, Rengel said.

“It was fairly complex,” he said. “There were a lot of hairy situations that we had to untangle.”

Rents will start at roughly $1,400 for a one-bedroom unit, which can range in size from 525 feet to as much as 1,183 square feet for a duplex. A sixth-floor penthouse spans 1,466 feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

NewRez and Shelter Mortgage Partner with The Menkiti Group to Launch Mission Mortgage LLC

DC Based Minority Entrepreneur Teams Up with Leading National Mortgage Lender and Servicer

Reported on December 7, 2020

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

(FORT WASHINGTON, PA) NewRez LLC (“NewRez”), a national mortgage lender and servicer, announced today, in partnership with The Menkiti Group, a DC-based, minority-owned integrated real estate services company, the launch of a new joint venture mortgage company, Mission Mortgage LLC (“Mission Mortgage”). Mission Mortgage, focused on residential mortgage lending, will be headquartered in Washington, DC (“DC”), with clients across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The new joint venture lender is led by Tom O’Keefe, a 25-year mortgage industry veteran and will be NewRez’s 19th JV partnership under the portfolio of Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC (“Shelter Mortgage”), the NewRez business division focused on joint venture lending. 

The Menkiti Group’s mission is to transform lives, careers and communities through real estate. The associated family of companies, led by Bo Menkiti, its Founder and CEO, are focused on strengthening neighborhoods through the strategic development, management, and sale of residential and commercial property. The Menkiti Group is a double bottom line firm, measuring not only financial success but social impact as well. NewRez contributes to the community as a corporation and promotes employee volunteerism and contribution through its community investment program, NewRez Neighborhood Outreach Works (“NOW”). Both companies have a deep passion for strengthening and giving back to the communities in which their employees live and work.

“The Menkiti Group is the perfect fit for a partnership as we continue to grow our Joint Venture network,” said Randy VandenHouten, Senior Vice President of Joint Venture and Retail Lending of Shelter Mortgage Company. “Our organizations are aligned in recognizing that lending is about more than just home financing – it is about building communities and investing in individuals and families. We are thrilled to add a partner with such an innovative approach to real estate and passion for the work that they do.”

“Shelter Mortgage and NewRez offer everything we are looking for in a mortgage lending partner – breadth of experience, a wide product offering and market strength. In conjunction with Shelter Mortgage and NewRez, we are excited to be able to offer this high level of service to the local communities and customers we serve,” added Bo Menkiti. “We are confident this partnership will help us reach more borrowers, facilitate greater access to homeownership, drive wealth creation for those we serve, and strengthen our ability to fulfill our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate.”

Inspired by The Menkiti Group’s endeavors to invest in their local community, Mission Mortgage will make a donation to a charitable cause for every closed loan. The priority areas of impact will be Housing, Education, Youth and Entrepreneurship, and will be facilitated by The CPMG Foundation, the non-profit organization co-founded by The Menkiti Group.

For more information on the Shelter Mortgage joint venture platform, please contact Randy.VandenHouten@sheltermortgage.com or go to newrez.com.


About NewRez LLC

NewRez LLC (NewRez) is a leading nationwide mortgage lender and servicer. As a lender, NewRez focuses on offering a breadth of industry-leading products, supported by a loan process that blends both human interaction and the benefits of technology into an unparalleled customer experience. Founded in 2008 and licensed to lend in 49 states, NewRez is headquartered in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and operates multiple lending channels, including Correspondent Lending, Wholesale, Direct-to-Consumer, Retail, and a network of joint venture partners. The servicing business operates through NewRez’s servicing division, which consists of its performing loan servicing division, NewRez Servicing, and its special servicing division, Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing. NewRez also has several affiliates that perform various services in the mortgage and real estate industries. These include Avenue 365 Lender Services, LLC, a title agency, and E Street Appraisal Management LLC, an appraisal management company. NewRez is member of the New Residential Investment Corp. family. More information is available at www.newrez.com.

About Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C.
Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C. (Shelter) is a leading retail residential mortgage originator predominantly focused on conforming purchase money loans generated through relationships with realtors, builders, and relocation companies. Founded in 1984 as a subsidiary of a community bank, Shelter joined the NewRez family of companies in 2014. The company has loan officers across the country with joint venture and partner relationships in over 30 states. Shelter has built a strong platform via its differentiated, partnership-based origination model, focus on purchase money originations and compliance-oriented culture.

About The Menkiti Group

Founded in 2004, the Menkiti Group is a minority-owned Certified Business Enterprise headquartered in the District of Columbia. The organization was founded with a mission to transform lives, careers, and communities through real estate. They are a proud double bottom line company, measuring success in terms of financial and social impact. The company’s approach to urban neighborhood transformation and investment is centered upon residential and commercial development, residential sales, and commercial brokerage. 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. More information is available at www.menkitigroup.com.

The Menkiti Group Hosts Construction Tour of Unique Residential Development in Downtown Worcester

6 Chatham

6 Chatham Street is the inaugural project in a series of revitalization efforts The Menkiti Group is actively pursuing in the Theatre District

Reported on October 26, 2020

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

(WORCESTER, MA) – The Menkiti Group was joined by City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. along with city officials and civic leaders Monday, October 26 to tour the ongoing construction of Chatham Lofts, a new, market-rate residential apartment community located at 6 Chatham Street, Worcester, MA.  The project consists of the complete 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).  More recently, the property served as the home of the Worcester Center for the Performing Arts. With the introduction of these unique residences, The Menkiti Group is excited to breathe new life into an architectural gem in the heart of Downtown Worcester.

“We are proud to be delivering this residential project in tandem with nearby neighborhood serving retail and commercial office space to continue to drive the momentum of economic development in the City of Worcester, and more specifically the Theatre District” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Menkiti Group.  “Chatham Lofts signifies the first step in the launch Menkiti Group’s investment committed to enhancing the existence of an 18-hour thriving, diverse and culturally vibrant neighborhood supporting local residents, small business, theatre, the arts, and contributing to the city as a whole,”

At project completion, the newly renovated building will feature a total of 24 market-rate, residential apartments comprised of ten studio units, eight one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit.  The completed project will feature a wide array of residential unit configurations, including two-story duplex units with beautifully articulated arched masonry window openings and full floor penthouse units with expansive views of the Worcester skyline.

“We are extremely excited for this project to be part of the renaissance of downtown Worcester.  Chatham Lofts takes every opportunity to highlight the existing architecture in order to deliver a distinctive residential living experience.  In concert with other nearby investments, our overarching goal is to bring new life and vibrancy to the Theatre District in support of the City’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan,” said Mark Rengel, Vice President of Development, The Menkiti Group.

Project design team members include R.P Masiello as the General Contractor, Elton + Hampton Architects, Petersen Engineering (MEP/FP), John J. Murphy, Jr. Electrical Construction & Engineering, Northeastern Engineering (Structural), Graves Engineering (Civil)  and MacRostie Historic Advisors serve as the Historic Consultant. 

The project has received preliminary approval for listing on the National Register of Historic Places from the National Park Service and has qualified for both federal and state historic tax credits.  The project is also receiving 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).  Chatham Lofts is being financed by Webster Five and the PCI Fund and equity has been raised through The Menkiti Group’s eMpower Worcester Opportunity Zone Fund, part of the Department of the Treasury’s Opportunity Zone (OZ) program.

“This project builds on the momentum of establishing a dynamic downtown neighborhood,” said city Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “It is a critical part of bringing more folks to Worcester and generating activity in and around the downtown core. It also brings to new life a real architectural gem in Downtown Worcester. The people living in Chatham Lofts will be able to walk to nearby restaurants and stores and take in all the splendor of the Theatre District. Worcester is the Heart of the Commonwealth, and the downtown area is the heartbeat of the City. That heartbeat continues to beat stronger with the addition of projects like Chatham Lofts.”

Bo Menkiti and members of The Menkiti Group team were joined at Monday’s construction tour by City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, Timothy P. Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, and community members as well as representatives and partners of the project.

 “Our company is committed to enhancing the fabric of life in America’s urban communities and the City of Worcester has welcomed us and deployment of our neighborhood investment model into their community,” said Menkiti. “Great cities are made up of great neighborhoods and the authenticity of Worcester and the strength and support of its people and its small businesses are what drew us here and drive our long-term commitment to the city.”


The Menkiti Group is a Washington, D.C.-based real estate services company dedicated to enhancing the fabric of life in America’s urban neighborhoods through the strategic development, management, and sale of residential and commercial property. Over the past 15 years, The Menkiti Group has delivered and maintained in its pipeline more than 1.5 million square feet of property, has invested over $200 million in D.C.’s emerging neighborhoods, 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

MLK Gateway Welcomes Capital One Café To Historic Anacostia

Capital One Café inks lease for third Washington, D.C. location east of the river

Reported on August 14, 2020

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Menkiti Group, a local DC-based minority-owned integrated real estate services company focused on enhancing urban neighborhoods, announced today that Capital One Café will be the newest tenant at the historic Anacostia MLK Gateway project opening in 2021.

Located at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, MLK Gateway is a collaboration of DC Government and the private sector, including the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), The Menkiti Group, and Enlightened, Inc., and is poised to become a catalytic center of commerce and street-fronting retail, driving economic opportunity in the heart of historic Anacostia.

“Our vision for MLK Gateway has always been to create a community-oriented project that drives neighborhood impact,” said Bo Menkiti, founder and chief executive officer, The Menkiti Group. “The opportunity to have Capital One Café join us as a tenant at MLK Gateway further delivers on the mission to enhance historic Anacostia with neighborhood offerings that support community engagement and economic vitality.”

Phase One of MLK Gateway includes a mix of commercial 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 information technology and cybersecurity firm that will relocate its new headquarters to MLK Gateway. The project’s design embraces and incorporates the site’s existing historic facades and is a rich backdrop for a new epicenter of commerce, culture, and technology with a vibrant mix of neighborhood-serving retail.

“Mayor Bowser was thrilled to work with The Menkiti Group to revitalize the MLK Gateway and to relocate Enlightened’s headquarters to the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Avenue in historic Anacostia,” said John J. Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “The addition of Capital One as a retail tenant will provide further vibrancy and also give residents better access to a major financial institution.”

Capital One Café will occupy approximately 3,700 square feet at MLK Gateway, bringing reimagined design and banking services to the space. The Café will offer a full-service coffee and tea bar featuring locally sourced food and beverages, complimentary Wi-Fi, as well as nooks and meeting rooms for the public to use as collaborative workspaces. Intentionally designed to provide a relaxed and inviting atmosphere to both customers as well as neighborhood guests, all visitors will also be able to engage in a variety of financial education opportunities while in the Café.   

From interactive screens showcasing financial management content to free confidential one-on-one Money Coaching sessions to regularly scheduled free Money Workshops, the Café provides an experience that highlights opportunity paths to achieve financial goals. Café Ambassadors will also be on site to assist with exploring banking solutions and options while ATMs will be readily available for banking services.

“Capital One Cafés are not only a place to get help with accounts or focus on financial wellness, they serve as a convening space for the local community. Our investment in the Anacostia MLK Gateway location gives us the chance to bring that experience to another important DC neighborhood, complementing our existing network of Cafés and Branches,said Jennifer Windbeck, Senior Vice President of Capital One Cafés, Branches, & Private Banking.

Consistently focused on building with and for the communities and customers it serves, Capital One Café will offer free meeting space for neighborhood associations, non-profits and students. Supporting various organizations across the D.C. Metropolitan area, Capital One has strong relationships with Anacostia-based community partners including the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, and ARCH Development Corporation.

The Menkiti Group has been actively engaged with the historic Anacostia community for the past four years, working together with the Bowser Administration and DMPED to execute on a collaborative vision for equitable and sustainable economic development in Ward 8.  MLK Gateway will include the launch of a technology incubator activating the site for the greater part of the day and providing jobs and pathways to opportunity for residents and businesses. Phase Two of the project includes the construction of a new building at 1909-1913 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE with street-level retail and multi-story office space above which will serve as the new home for the DC Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Our commitment has and always will be to enhance the fabric of life in America’s urban communities. We are honored to partner with Mayor Bowser, DMPED, Enlightened and Capital One who share a similar commitment as we develop this project that brings to life the community’s vision for the future of the Anacostia neighborhood,” said Menkiti.


The Menkiti Group is a Washington, D.C.-based real estate services company dedicated to enhancing the fabric of life in America’s urban neighborhoods through the strategic development, management, and sale of residential and commercial property. Over the past 15 years, The Menkiti Group has delivered and maintains in its pipeline more than 2 million square feet of property, has invested over $200 million in D.C.’s emerging neighborhoods and has assisted over 2,000 families in purchasing their first homes. For more information, please visit MenkitiGroup.com.


Capital One Financial Corporation (​www.capitalone.com​) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $243.7 billion in deposits and $365.7 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2017. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has branches located primarily in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index. Visit the Capital One newsroom for more ​Capital One news​.

 Maya Nadeem | 443.309.5092 | maya@menkitigroup.com

MG Residential is a 2019 Washingtonian Top Team

The reason we’re on the Washingtonian list of Top Agents once again? It’s our incredible clients! We are so thankful to every one of them, from first-time home buyers, to repeat clients that entrust us to help them find their 2nd or 3rd home, or the right investment property. We are grateful for their business – and appreciate each referral or inquiry sent our way.

Being in the Top 1% of agents nationwide holds us to the highest standards, which means we’ve got to have the knowledge and experience that our clients need and trust. Since 2004 we’ve completed over $1.1 billion in sales, and we’ve assisted over 2,500 families purchase homes, including 1,100 first-time home buyers.

Guided by in-depth knowledge to evaluate, prepare, price, and showcase properties, we get top results for our clients. With more than 175 new construction units sold, we are also go-to experts for many developers and investors.

We are also pleased to share the news that six of our KWCP Agent Entrepreneur colleagues are included on the Top 100 Best Realtors List.
This exclusive designation is reserved for real estate professionals recognized for their outstanding performance, their market knowledge, integrity, communication skills, and closing preparation as acknowledged by their peers and more than 25,000 Washingtonian magazine subscribers.

Congratulations to these outstanding agents we are so fortunate to work with!

Harrison Beacher
Marjorie Dick Stuart
Joel Nelson
Veronica Seva-Gonzalez
Martin Signore
Theresa Taylor

Menkiti Group Named Inman 2019 Innovator Award Finalist

Real Estate industry news and information source Inman has once again named the industry’s most forward-thinking and groundbreaking members in its annual list of Innovator Award Finalists for 2019, and The Menkiti Group has been named one of ten finalists for the Most Innovative Brokerage or Team.

Recognition has been given to 60 different finalists from across the real estate industry, grouped into the following six categories:

  • Most Innovative Real Estate Technology
  • Most Innovative Real Estate Company
  • Most Innovative Brokerage or Team
  • Most Innovative Podcast or Video Show
  • Most Innovative MLS, Association or Industry Organization
  • Most Innovative Marketing

Of note, The Menkiti Group with the nationally recognized sales team of MG Residential is the only Washington, DC-based brokerage or team to be included on the Brokerage or Team list, AND in the overall Inman 2019 Innovation finalists.

Also of note, KW Command, the industry-changing, one-stop mobile application that streamlines agents’ workload, allowing them to automate tasks, create customized marketing campaigns and manage databases and contacts from Keller Williams was named to the Most Innovative Real Estate Technology list. The Menkiti Group is the operating and management company behind Keller Williams Capital Properties, a leading mid-Atlantic brokerage and Top 15 of all KW national affiliate companies.

In July, Inman will announce its Innovator of the Year winner, someone who has consistently pushed the envelope this year, as well as the Nate Ellis Give Back Award winner, honoring an individual or organization that has made a difference through its philanthropy, activism or other commitment to the industry this year.

Learn more about The Menkiti Group, MG Residential, or KW Capital Properties by visiting MenkitiGroup.com

Cheers to Careers! Real Estate Industry Panel Discussion

The award-winning MG Residential Sales Team is currently hiring for passionate real estate professionals licensed in DC, MD, and VA, who seek career growth and can see themselves embracing our mission of Transforming Lives, Careers, and Communities through Real Estate.

Join us on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:30-7:00 PM for a happy hour and panel discussion with four of our Neighborhood Experts and learn how a full-service team culture may benefit you and your business. Registration is requested: http://bit.ly/2ZMt3ey

5 Stunning Kitchens That Prove Going Bold Is Worth the Risk

Source: Jennifer Barger – Washingtonian.com

Below are five stunning kitchen trends that prove going bold is worth the risk.

  1. Dark and Handsome
    Brass hardware, patterned tile floors, and dark navy cabinets
  2. Blue Wave
    One part calm and Two parts creative
  3. Traffic Stopper
    An eye-catching burst of color
  4. The Great Indoors
    Earthy yet sophisticated
  5. Crayola Kitchen
    Black concrete countertops with edgy modern cabinets

Our favorite is the Blue Wave – teal, white and beachy wood combine in a peaceful space. Learn more about the Five Trends on Washingtonian.com.

Check out our Blue Wave kitchens at 700 16th Street NE in Kingman Park at MGLivingDC.com.

The Menkiti Group To Buy Worcester Building From MassDevelopment

From massdevelopment.com:

October 17, 2018

The Menkiti Group, through its subsidiary 526 Main Street Partners LLC, has executed a purchase and sale agreement with MassDevelopment to buy 526-538 Main Street in Worcester, the former Pawn Shop building that MassDevelopment bought last year through its Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Equity Investment program. MassDevelopment purchased the building in 2017 and made façade improvements before soliciting interest from developers through an RFP process.

The Menkiti Group, an integrated real estate services company, submitted a comprehensive proposal to reactivate the building by providing opportunities for retail, arts, and cultural amenities that will reinforce the neighborhood’s identity as a destination for arts and entertainment. The sale is expected to close in spring 2019.

“Our anticipated purchase of 526-528 Main Street will add to The Menkiti Group’s growing portfolio of projects in the Worcester Theater District, and further demonstrates our commitment to that neighborhood and to its future,” said Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO of The Menkiti Group. “We recognize the significant architectural, cultural, and educational community assets that are here, and we look forward to working with existing stakeholders, local creatives, and entrepreneurs to enhance and harness those assets to develop a thriving, diverse, and economically vibrant neighborhood.”

“The Menkiti Group has a strong presence here in Worcester’s TDI District and throughout the city, and is the right team to lead 526-538 Main Street into the next stage of development,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment was proud to invest in this key property through our TDI Equity Investment program and we look forward to seeing this revitalized building breathe new life into downtown Worcester.”

The redevelopment of 526-538 Main Street, a two-story building located across the street from the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory in Worcester’s Theatre District, is critical to advancing the city’s vision for transforming its downtown. Following the departure of the Pawn Shop from the building in March 2018, 526-538 Main Street contains 8,000 square feet of vacant space on the building’s first floor and 8,400 square feet of vacant space on the building’s second floor. The Muse Bar, a contemporary bar established in 2015, occupies 1,000 square feet on the building’s first floor. Since MassDevelopment purchased the building in 2017, the Agency worked with the Theatre District Alliance to install new signage that visually improved the building and marketed the property.

“As our downtown revitalization efforts continue with a complete re-imagining of Main Street, reactivating this key property in our Theatre District is a vital piece of our overall development plan,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus. “We thank MassDevelopment and the Menkiti Group for making this important project a reality through the TDI program.”

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative is a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment.

MassDevelopment uses its TDI Equity Investment program to make equity investments in properties with potential to spur transformative development in and around a TDI District. Through the program, MassDevelopment invests in near-term projects that will have significant economic impacts within a district; are consistent with Commonwealth and Agency priorities; engage and build capacity in local communities and partners; catalyze market demand and support district goals; and lack other sufficient funding sources to proceed.

Worcester is one of 10 Gateway Cities selected in 2014 to host pilot TDI Districts—along with Brockton, Everett, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lynn, Malden, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Revere, and Springfield. As a part of the TDI program, each District receives a range of real estate development services to support local visions for redevelopment and to catalyze economic activity and investment. The vision for Worcester’s Theatre District is to become a bustling hub of cultural activity and entertainment within the downtown, leveraging institutional, residential, and commercial growth anchors to create a mixed-use neighborhood for residents and visitors alike to live, work, and play.

“The announcement of this sale is an exciting development in bolstering the great momentum that the Theatre District is currently witnessing,” said Craig Blais, President and CEO of the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC). “This purchase is yet another example of MassDevelopment’s TDI investment programs and the indelible impact that they continue to have within the Theatre District.  The 526 Main Street property has long been viewed as a distress property and the WBDC commends the Menkiti Group’s willingness to take on this difficult property.  This complements our block by block strategy connecting CitySquare to Main Street.”

“The 526-538 Main Street building had been a real detractor to the area until MassDevelopment purchased it,” said Hanover Theatre President and CEO Troy Siebels. “We’re glad to see that they’ve identified a buyer in Menkiti Group that’s committed to using the building in a way that contributes positively to the theatre district.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.

Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment
617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School Breaks Ground


New Southeast school will provide a state-of-the-art, holistic learning environment for 300 young students

October 4, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday Mayor Muriel Bowser joined The Menkiti Group and Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new 38,000 square foot state-of-the-art school building, slated to open in August 2019.

The new Early Childhood Academy (ECA) school building is located at 885 Barnaby Street, SE, and consists of a repurposed former church with a new, modern addition to bring the school’s learning, activity, music, administrative, and multi-purposes spaces all under one roof. The school currently operates from two disparate, non-school use centers on adjacent properties.

The project, which is being financed through a combination of ECA PCS funds, grant funding from the Office of the State Superintendent, DC Government facilities allotments, and federal New Markets Tax Credits, marks a milestone for new development in the Washington Highlands neighborhood. The deal was structured as a unique lease-to-own arrangement in which ECA PCS has acquired the site from The Menkiti Group to build equity for the future.

Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the crowd of attendees from ECA, including members of the Board of Trustees, school administration, teachers, aides, students, parents, project stakeholders and partners, and members of the Washington Heights neighborhood by talking about the impact the new ECA will have on the community, stating “This is going to be the learning space and play space that the students, families, and staff at ECA deserve,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “When we invest in our school facilities, we’re investing in the future of our students and communities.”

In addition to Mayor Bowser, speakers included, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Sr., Wendy Edwards, Executive Director of ECA, Dennis Sawyers, President of the Board for ECA, Thann Ingraham, Principal for ECA, and Mark Rengel, Menkiti Group VP of Development and Project Manager for the ECA project.

At the groundbreaking Menkiti Group Founder and CEO Bo Menkiti also addressed the crowd, offering his reflections on the project, stating: “The Menkiti Group is proud to have this opportunity to develop and deliver not just another transformative development project to the Washington, DC community, but one that truly exemplifies our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate. We are particularly pleased that the new Early Childhood Academy will allow young students the opportunity to have a safe, holistic learning environment as soon as the doors open next year, and for many generations in this neighborhood to come.”

ECA Executive Director Wendy Edwards, who has been with ECA since 2005, the first year that the school was in operation, shared her thoughts on the milestone occasion: “After 14 years housed in two small community centers, we are thrilled that our students at Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School will start the 2019-2020 school year in the beautiful and spacious, brand new facility that they deserve.”

Many local organizations, financial institutions, and government leaders played a role in developing this project. Partners in the project include: DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education; Low Income Investment Fund; City First Bank; City First Enterprises; Chase Bank; United Bank; Industrial Bank; Cohn Reznick LLP; TenSquare; Cox Graae + Spack Architects; Meridian Construction; Built Environment Engineers; M.A. Design Group; Robert Silman Associates; DMY Capitol; A2 Services; Dan Triman, LEED AP+; CDKM Consulting; McKeever Services; New Columbia Solar, and DC SEU. Project progress is available at MenkitGroup.com/development.