MLK Gateway Project finishes phase one in Anacostia, begins phase two


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and other officials celebrated in Anacostia on November 15 as the first phase of the MLK Gateway Project was officially marked complete, and the ground broke on the second phase.

The project is a transformational project aimed at bringing office space, retail and other neighborhood amenities to the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Southeast, the corridor into Anacostia in Ward 8.

“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.”

Phase one replaced a formerly empty lot with two mixed-use buildings totaling 34,000 square feet. 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 Anacostia. 

Additional tenants at phase one include Capital One Café, a full-service coffee and tea bar that provides financial management and banking services as well as collaborative workspaces for public use, and a new restaurant run by Ward 8-based business, The Gaston Group. Earlier this year, The Gaston Group received a $145,000 grant through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund to support the bringing Kitchen Savages, a 40-seat fast-casual southern bistro, to the development.

“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.”

“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.”

Phase two of MLK Gateway will include the construction of a new building at 1909 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast with street-level retail and multistory office space above. The project is anchored by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which will move from its current headquarters in Anacostia. Phase two is expected to be complete in the summer of 2022.

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