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Damen Court Apartments Sold, New Owners Plan Renovations

By Stephanie Lulay | November 5, 2014 6:03am
 The Damen Court apartments, a low-income housing development at 2020 S. Damen Ave., is two blocks away from the United Center.
The Damen Court apartments, a low-income housing development at 2020 S. Damen Ave., is two blocks away from the United Center.
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NEAR WEST SIDE — A Washington D.C.-based group has bought the Damen Court Apartments, a low-income rental property near the United Center.

In partnership with the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, the Housing Partnership Equity Trust, a real estate investment trust, has bought the 150-apartment property located at 220 S. Damen Ave. The group plans to renovate the property and preserve it "as a critical component of the affordable housing stock" in the neighborhood, according to a press release.

The Hispanic Housing Development Corporation will now manage and operate Damen Court and oversee the redevelopment of the property. Planned renovations include updates to the on-site community center, common areas, the heating and air conditioning systems, roofs, balconies and windows, according to Timi Lewis, Housing Partnership Network vice president of marketing and communications.

The group does not anticipate residents will be displaced during the upgrades. 

Lewis said that the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation is still lining up financing for the project, but once started, the renovations are expected to take 1-1½ years.  

The Section 8 apartments include a mix or one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. 

“The area around the building is gentrifying rapidly, making the need to preserve affordable housing all the more important," said Drew Ades, president of the Housing Partnership Equity Trust.

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust was created by the Housing Partnership Network and 12 non-profit housing developers to preserve affordable rental homes for families, seniors and those with low or modest incomes. The Damen Court property is the group's fifth property.

The Housing Partnership Equity Trust launched in 2013 with investment capital from Prudential Financial, Inc., Citi, Morgan Stanley, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Housing Partnership Network and several non-profit members. The trust allows the non-profits to better compete with for-profit developers, bypassing limited subsidy dollars and complex finance packages that are difficult to assemble, Lewis said.

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