Donatelli closes financing for $65M Park 7 at Minnesota Benning

Donatelli Development Inc. has secured financing for its $65 million Park 7 at Minnesota Benning, a key ingredient to the District’s Minnesota Avenue Great Streets program, according to developer Chris Donatelli.

“This project is going to bring a lot of residents and some great retailers,” Donatelli said. “It should be a real shot in the arm to the neighborhood.”

Located on 5 acres adjacent to the Minnesota Avenue Metro station, Park 7 is slated to include 376 residential units (92 percent affordable to households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income), 20,000 square feet of retail and 255 parking spaces. The remaining residential units will be market rate apartments.

Work, which will begin this week, is expected to take two years. D.C.-based McCullough Construction LLC will be the general contractor.

Donatelli, with minority partner Blue Skye Development and Construction, was awarded development rights to the D.C.-owned site in 2009.

But groundbreaking has been pushed back several times as the design was tweaked (reducing the number of underground parking spaces), costs reduced and the complicated financing settled. The delays frustrated area residents and raised questions about whether the project would ever happen.

Park 7 will take advantage of federal low-income housing tax credits, D.C. Housing Finance Agency bonds and private equity from Bank of America, Donatelli said. Ward 7 D.C. Councilwoman Yvette Alexander’s bill to provide the project millions of dollars in tax breaks over 30 years was withdrawn, Donatelli said, as interest rates fell and the legislative process was taking too long.

Donatelli’s project is the second of two expected to reinvigorate the Minnesota Avenue Metro area. The first phase, a new headquarters for the D.C. Department of Employment Services, opened in December 2010. The $95 million Minnesota-Benning Government Center includes 229,000 square feet of office space, 6,500 square feet of retail space, a community meeting room and a career center.

“What makes McCullough Construction special is that they hold themselves to very high standards in everything that they undertake. They pay very close attention to detail during all phases of a project — and this includes pre-construction planning and post-construction punch-out. Aside from the actual physical construction, the individuals there have the highest level of honesty and integrity. We look forward to working with McCullough on many projects in the future.”

- Chris Donatelli, Donatelli Development

“McCullough Construction, LLC has performed several major renovations for our firm over the past eight years. The majority of these projects included a complete replacement of building mechanical and electrical systems. Their work has been superior, completed within the project schedule and within budget. We would not hesitate to have McCullough Construction work on any future projects and would highly recommend them.”

– Richard S. Cohen, Willco Companies

“McCullough played a key role in transforming a vacant lot into a distinctive Class A Office and Retail project in the heart of historic Annapolis, MD. They successfully addressed the many challenges of the project site and thrived in the urban environment. The City of Annapolis Mayor’s office called several times during the project’s construction to applaud McCullough efforts in minimizing any interference with the public and adjacent businesses. Tom McCullough’s personal involvement from pre-construction through closeout added confidence to the entire project team.”

- Craig Pittinger, Siena Corporation

“McCullough Construction, LLC recently completed a major renovation of our hotel in Washington, DC. The work took place in a fully operational hotel and included the renovation of structural, mechanical and plumbing systems. This project was a “fast track” project and McCullough Construction’s work was on time and under budget.”

- Perry Parker, Red Roof Inn

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Mccullough Residential, L.L.C.
McCullough Residential, L.L.C., located in Washington, D.C. is a developer and builder of luxury single family homes in the D.C. area.

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