WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Mayor, Pollin Family Break Ground On Affordable Housing

Play associated audio
Mayor Gray and members of the D.C. Council were on hand for the groundbreaking of MetroTowns at Parkside.
Markette Smith
Mayor Gray and members of the D.C. Council were on hand for the groundbreaking of MetroTowns at Parkside.

The last charitable project of late D.C. philanthropist Abe Pollin is closer to completion, as groundbreaking begins on an affordable housing development in Northeast D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is seeing to it that the philanthropist's vision of providing a path to home ownership to the masses is realized.

The vision for MetroTowns started with a bus ride. Pollin wanted to scout out a spot where he could build housing for D.C.'s low and middle-income workers.

"We traveled all through Wards 7 and 8 to look at housing opportunities throughout the Wards and eventually we found this parcel with the help of the District of Columbia," recalls John Stranix, one of the Pollin family's closest advisers.

Ward 7 resident Dorothy Douglass says the late Washington Wizards owner was more than an investor: "Well, Mr. Abe Pollin was also Santa Claus. He would come around and all the Wizards would come with him on the bus and they would choose some families in the community that need to have Christmas. And they got toys and bikes, they TVs. They got all the works. And he himself, personally, would come to the house."

Mayor Gray hopes the Ward 7 development will breathe new life into the community, in the way that Pollin’s investment in the Verizon Center transformed Chinatown: "For those who remember, not only was 7th Street a ghost town, it was almost a place where people wouldn’t go because they were fearful of their own safety."

The project is developed through a public-private partnership between the City of Washington and the family of the late Abe Pollin.

Plans for the new Pollin community include energy-efficient townhomes priced below market rates, and with special financing for District Government employees.


Latest LGBT Films Move Beyond 'Coming Out' Narrative

There are a large number of LGBT films in theaters this fall. NPR explores what that says about Hollywood and society in general.

Remembering Paul Prudhomme, The Louisiana Chef Who 'Made Magic'

The New Orleans chef changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking. He has died at the age of 75.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.