Breaking Down More Barriers Through Design
On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, the ribbon was cut at 809 Kennedy Street NW, in the Brightwood Park Neighborhood in the District of Columbia, marking the opening of the Todd A. Lee Senior Residences. It was an honor to have contributed to such an amazing project, alongside Dantes Partners, Gilbane Development Company, and DCHFA, in honor of the late Todd Lee, who was an advocate for affordable housing in the District of Columbia.
Todd A. Lee Residences is a thirty-eight unit, fifty-five and older community located in Ward 4. The residences are affordable, being available for anyone earning below fifty-percent of the area’s median income.
The punch walks leading up to the ribbon cutting ceremony were filled with attention to detail and making sure everything was true to our design and ADA compliant. It is the many small details that makes these residences even more special and welcoming to our older community. It is not only making it affordable, but also providing the essence of a comforting home.
We had the honor of having this project recognized and visited by Mayor Muriel Bowser. During her speech during the ceremony, she promised to invest 400 million dollars into the House Production Trust Fund, in hopes of producing 36,000 housing units by 2025.
“We have to be intentional by what we do… and you have my promise to keep pushing”
The thirty-eight unit community also includes 1,700 square feet of community spaces -- including a first floor lounge and fitness suite, and a multipurpose room and outdoor activity space in the penthouse. At ground level, there is over 1,000 square feet of retail, making this building multi-use, and bringing opportunity for economic growth and more retail to the Kennedy Street retail corridor.
This project, along with the recent completion of Livingston Place, is raising the bar not only for affordable housing and senior living, but also for future development in the District of Columbia. The attention to details by our team not only makes this an affordable housing, senior living complex, but also is shaping a future community. We are looking forward to seeing the future of the Todd A. Lee Residences.
The Soto team is excited to welcome our second junior intern of the summer, Janine James, to our team for the next three weeks. Janine is seventeen years old and a rising senior from Elizabeth Seton High School, in Bladensburg, Maryland.
This summer, Soto brought on two junior interns from Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, to teach them what it is like to work in the architectural field and to help guide them in what kind of career they would like to pursue in the future. Alina D'Andrade was the first, and worked here, at Soto, for three weeks. Alina is a rising junior at Elizabeth Seton High School, who enjoys math and art and is a member of the varsity volleyball team at her high school. While at Soto, she experienced working with architectural software, like Sketchup, and assisted in design process of some of our current projects.
I really enjoyed my summer internship at Soto Architecture, which allowed me to experience the nuts and bolts of architecture. I enjoyed being able to learn how buildings are planned out and how to create them using SketchUp. I also had fun going through the different steps in making a building from designing in SketchUp to putting up furniture. My favorite part of this internship was being able to go to different sites to do punch walks and put up furniture with the team.
We enjoyed having Alina join our team, as we were all eager to introduce her to the exciting world of architecture. We can't wait to see how this experience will influence our junior architectural intern in the future, honored to have had her on our team, and have no doubt she will continue to keep up the amazing talent and hardwork she exhibited here at Soto in the future!