Story: MLK Gateway

The Sponsor

The revitalization of the original gateway to historic Anacostia--located at the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE is a key economic development priority for the District of Columbia. The Menkiti Group, a minority-owned, DC-based real estate firm, won development rights to the gateway site from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) through an RFP process that prioritized generating commercial activity to the project site. In the past12 years, Menkiti has invested over $160 million and developed over 600,000 SF in DC.

The Project

At the crossroads of Anacostia’s main corridors, The Mentiki Group used $15 MM of New Markets Tax Credits and $2.78 MM of Opportunity Zone equity to craft a new entry point to the neighborhood - MLK Gateway, a new 34,000 SF, $21.7 million tech headquarters rising in historic Anacostia, one of Washington, D.C.’s most underinvested areas. The project was completed in October 2021 and offers the historic restoration of ground floor retail along with newly designed office space. The project engaged 20 companies in the design, marketing, and development of the project: 15 DC-based and 14 minority/women-owned.

Impact Statistics

  • $8m Broadstreet NMTC Allocation
  • 61 Projected Permanent Jobs Created

The Impact

MLK Gateway’s anchor tenant is Enlightened, Inc., a minority-owned cyber security technology consulting firm. In an unprecedented move for DC’s tech sector, Enlightened relocated its company headquarters from downtown DC to MLK Gateway, bringing the first ever tech jobs to this neighborhood corridor. Enlightened also operates a technology incubator to cultivate minority-owned technology companies and a jobs training center. Enlightened’s sophisticated cybersecurity lab will be accessible to companies in the incubator, increasing opportunities for MBEs to engage in national security and defense contracting.

Retail tenants on site will include a sit-down restaurant, a small grocer providing fresh and healthy produce to this food desert community, a coffee shop, and a major financial institution. These additional businesses are expected to create 61 permanent jobs.