FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Affordable housing project provides work and living space for local artists
ARLINGTON VA, February 24, 2010 — Arlington, VA-based Bognet Construction (www.bognet.com) has signed a deal to build the Brookland Artspace Lofts, a four-story, 57,000-square-foot arts campus in Washington, D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood.
The $13.1 million project will include 41 affordable apartment units for artists, and a dance and music rehearsal studio with gallery for Dance Place, a modern dance and arts education organization. The architecture firm is D.C.-based Hickok Cole, which has worked with Bognet Construction on prior projects.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for April 9; the project is expected to be completed by July 2011.
“The Brookland Artspace Lofts will feature open interiors, underground parking, performance areas, and wide hallways and large elevators so the artists can easily transport their artwork around the building,” says Jim Bognet of Bognet Construction.
Bognet adds that the building will also feature a mosaic tile installation that will be provided by community volunteers, and a “green” roof that will be installed as a community service project.
The District’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will provide $10.4 million in stimulus funding, including $1 million in low-income housing tax credits for the role Artspace is playing in revitalizing the Brookland neighborhood.
More art in the Brookland neighborhood
Discussions about the project began in 2006 when the leaders of Artspace worked with the D.C. Department of Housing and Development, then subsequently with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.
“The government had developed a policy that would direct D.C. agencies to work together to create and fund art projects that act as an effective tool for economic revitalization,” explains Heidi Kurtze, director of property development at Artspace. “The Brookland Artspace Lofts are a result of that initiative.”
Kurtze says the goal of the project is to create affordable units where artists and their families can live and work.
“Thirty-nine of the units will be available to households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, and two units are set aside for Dance Place,” Kurtze notes. “Artspace will support Dance Place in its effort to renovate its existing theater space, which is located next door at 3225 8th Street, N.E. We also plan to create an outdoor plaza and performance area between the two buildings.”
Kurtze adds that working on the Brookland project has been a wonderful experience for Artspace.
“The leadership and support this project has received from DHCD has been tremendous,” she says. “They created the partnership between Artspace and Dance Place that has allowed us to create a stronger vision for this project.”
“Plus, the team members we have assembled are just great to work with. In fact, the reason we picked Bognet is because they are committed to helping the arts, and that’s fairly unusual for a general contractor. We respect and appreciate that.”
About Bognet Construction
Bognet Construction, founded in 1998 by Jim Bognet and Jeff Kaiser, is a $50 million company based in Arlington, Virginia. With its team of project managers, superintendents and support staff, the commercial builder completes tenant interiors and base building projects for some of the region’s largest corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations including Freddie Mac, Chemonics International and General Dynamics. Most recently, Bognet Construction built the offices for Visa International and ManTech International, and has completed multiple projects for the General Services Administration and related federal agencies.
Bognet Construction is committed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, a standard for “green” building design. Most of the company’s project managers have earned LEED accreditation. For more information visit www.bognet.com.
Artspace’s mission is to create, foster and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations. This mission is pursued through development projects, asset management activities, consulting services and community-building activities that serve artists and arts organizations of all disciplines, cultures and economic circumstances. By creating this space, Artspace supports the continued professional growth of artists, and enhances the cultural and economic vitality of the surrounding community. For more information, go to www.artspace.org.
About the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development
The mission of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is to create and preserve opportunities for affordable housing and economic development, and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia. DHCD’s key objectives are to:
• Finance the production of quality affordable housing and homeownership opportunities at the project level and the household level
• Preserve quality affordable housing and homeownership opportunities
• Increase economic opportunities for low and moderate income residents
• Ensure fair and quality housing by administering rental-housing regulations.
More information about DHCD and its programs, go to www.dhcd.dc.gov.
About Hickok Cole
Hickok Cole Architects Inc. is a 55-person, award-winning architecture, housing, interior design and master-planning firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is also one of the most successful architectural firms in the region, experiencing steady growth over a period of 20 years. Having designed more than 60 million square feet of corporate office buildings, multifamily housing and interiors in the two decades since its founding, the firm is committed to client satisfaction through great design, great management and a great place to work.
With more than 9 million square feet of LEED projects either in design or under construction, Hickok Cole Architects has a strong commitment to sustainable design principles. The firm is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and more than 75 percent of is professional staff are LEED certified. For more information, go to www.hickokcole.com.