By Jordan Scott
The clamor and construction that has energized much of Anacostia over the past few years, with new retail and cultural spots, can also add chic contemporary residential communities to the list thanks to the efforts of Stanton View Development. Headed by native of Southeast D.C., Donte Lee serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer with the help of his Chief Operating Officer, Jerry Vines.
Under Lee’s guidance the firm has seen success in adding affordable residential housing to a part of the city that has long seen blighted properties boarded up and high levels of rental units instead of homeownership. With office locations here in the District and in Baltimore MD, Stanton View Development has twenty years of experience that has shown dedication to building developments that in turn build communities. The firm began in Prince George’s County in 1994 when Mr. Lee and Mr. Vine sought out on a mission to provide affordable housing, turning renters into buyers. Today the two men are bringing their skills and expertise to Ward 8.
Stanton’s latest development, 31 new town homes, sits within the Stanton Road/Gainesville Street community. These three level townhomes come in three distinct models that bear the names of prominent African American figures such as the Banneker (Benjamin Banneker), cartographer of Washington D.C., the Carver (George Washington Carver) scientist and peanut and sweet potato innovator, and the Douglas (Frederick Douglass) a Southeast resident and abolitionist.
The town homes start in the high 300’s and offer the latest amenities such as brick and stone fronts, bay windows, granite countertops, hardwood floors, and garage storage. On top of the amenities the homes offer, the location is also considered prime, as it is minutes away from the Washington National’s Stadium and the Metrorail Subway.
Mr. Lee explains that he recognized a need not only for affordable housing but also for financial literacy for the constituents of Southeast, in particular Ward 8. “With all my developments, I’ve sought to provide residents with quality housing that they can comfortably afford.” Mr. Lee stressed that Ward 8 in particular has a need for affordable housing so he chose to focus on home ownership in a land of renters and leasers.
Lee’s success has not come without its share of challenges. He said, “Being a developer of color and walking into banks was difficult to acquire loans…particularly in the mid-90’s.” He said that with most independent business ventures the odds are rarely in your favor, but credits his success to God and the business friendliness of Washington, D.C. “There’s a ton of opportunity for small business owners that are committed,” he said. One of his keys to success for future small business owners is to ‘remain persistent’ because he says challenges will arise.
Looking toward the future, Lee outlines his vision of two hundred affordable housing units to occupy ward 8, specifically, in 6 years. He said he and his team are committed to keeping the price point steady for first-time buyers. Although this is an arduous task, he is still committed.
As plans from the past manifest themselves presently, Lee, Vine and Stanton View Development have their eyes locked on the future. As they look to Southeast to be their new haven to birth affordable dwellings Stanton View Development also keeps a firm gaze as to what the future holds for them- more affordable housing developments and more teamwork with local businesses to create an all inclusive community.