On June 7th, Vesta Corporation and the Park Southern Residents’ Council celebrated the reopening of the modern, revitalized 800 Southern Avenue Apartment Homes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Attendees, including residents, elected officials, community leaders, and partners, came together to celebrate this momentous occasion. Watch the video below for highlights from the day.

The former Park Southern Apartments were originally built in 1965 to provide housing opportunities for individuals and families who did not qualify for federal housing subsidies. The largest apartment complex in the Washington Highlands neighborhood, Park Southern was the jewel of the community for many years. After the original manager left, deterioration of the neighborhood and changes in ownership led to the property falling into disrepair and in need of critical updates throughout the community. By 2014 the owners were in default on their loan and The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) seized the property.

DHCD transferred management duties to Vesta in 2014. In 2017, Vesta partnered with the Park Southern Residents’ Council to purchase the property with the aim of restoring Park Southern to the proud stature it once held.

The high-rise building includes 360 apartment homes with modern amenities, including energy-efficient appliances and convenient common areas. This project began in 2020 and managed to make impressive progress during the pandemic, finishing on time within the original 3-year timeframe. Every aspect of the building was redone. The total cost of the project was over $80 million and is Vesta’s largest and most impressive redevelopment to date.

What makes this redevelopment noteworthy is the comprehensive renovation of every unit and major mechanical systems. Along with the installation of a new boiler, the exterior of the building underwent a facelift, and the lobby was refreshed with a stunning mural adorning the wall.

The reopening of 800 Southern Avenue Apartment Homes is an exciting milestone for both Vesta Corporation and the Park Southern Residents’ Council. It represents a significant investment in the Washington, D.C. community and provides affordable housing opportunities for those who need it most. The entire project has been a labor of love and reflects the hard work and dedication of the team involved.

“All units at the property are restricted to residents earning 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or lower,” said Arthur Greenblatt, CEO of Vesta Corporation. Empowering families in the community to find affordable housing options was an essential part of undertaking this project for Vesta.

The transformation of this community is an excellent example of what can happen when residents and industry leaders come together to invest in its infrastructure. The entire project sought to respect the history and culture of the neighborhood while providing a modern living experience. The results are clear, 800 Southern Avenue has once again become a proud and prominent fixture in the community.

A group of Vesta employees celebrate the 800 Southern Avenue Ribbon Cutting

Christopher E. Donald Executive Director/CEO of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) said at the event “One of the things that I think about when I think about Park Southern is when we walked through here with Todd Lee, our former leader. One of the things that he said…we have to do something about the front of this building to recognize the residents and how the residents should be treated. Because when you drive up to a building and you see what a building looks like before you walk in and you see a building in disrepair, you know how the people who own that building feel about them. Arthur accepted that challenge. And so today, when I look at this building, I see something beautiful… we know that it was meant for people like you, folks who work hard every day, who earn an honest income to have somewhere affordable, beautiful and healthy, to live. And so today we celebrate yet another manifestation of that. We are grateful to Arthur and his team.”

Vesta expresses its gratitude to DCHFA, DHCD, PNC, HUD, the City of the District of Columbia, Park Southern Residents Council, and Marous Brothers Construction for their contributions to this project.

Providing affordable housing is a critical issue, and the outcome of this project represents a significant contribution to this cause. It is our hope that 800 Southern Avenue inspires others to invest in their communities and embark on similar revitalization efforts.



Jaime Larkin
Author: Jaime Larkin

Brand Coordinator for Vesta