New DC charter school building to include apartments for teachers

WASHINGTON — Nonprofit St. Paul on Fourth Street has acquired a five-acre property and building that was part of St. Paul’s College, and is renovating it for two charter schools and affordable teacher housing.

St. Paul on Fourth purchased the property, at 3015 4th Street NE for $12.5 million with a loan from Building Hope, Reinvestment Fund, Low Income Investment Fund and Capital Impact Partners.

Building Hope, founded in 2008, is a charter school facilities fund that supports charter school growth with financing, development and incubator space.

“More and more families in D.C. are choosing public charter schools annually,” said S. Joseph Bruno, president of Building Hope. “Unfortunately, finding adequate and affordable space is still the major hurdle facing charter school growth in D.C. today. We will continue to identify innovative facility solutions such as this mixed-use property to meet the needs.”

The existing building is being converted to studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. They will be ready to rent next year at below-market rates and will be available to any public school teacher of staffer in the District, not just those teaching at the charter schools sharing the space.

A total of 10 apartments will be included in the building, and the rental rates won’t be set until the renovations are complete. The project’s entire renovation budget is $2.5 million.

Lee Montessori, an elementary school, and Washington Leadership Academy, a new charter school that will start in the fall, will occupy the classroom space.

Lee Montessori plans to add a grade a year at the new location, reaching 225 students in preschool through sixth grade.

Washington Leadership Academy, co-founded by Seth Andrew who also founded Democracy Prep Public

Schools, will start at the new location with ninth-graders and expand to ninth through 12th within three years.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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