The residents of Carver Terrace apartment complex first approached Telesis Corporation in 1997 when their 407 units of privately-owned housing were about to be sold to an investor. Mr. Whitman lead Telesis’s efforts to form a partnership with the residents to buy the property and restore a neighborhood so violent that it was known locally as “Little Vietnam.” The $35.5 million housing restoration, now complete, stabilized and safe, includes 312 fully renovated units that meet modern housing standards, a substantial increase in the number of large family units and new landscaping throughout.
Mr. Whitman lead the effort to arrange funding from Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund to acquire and hold the property while he worked with others at Telesis and its financial partners to organize and close the initial $30 million redevelopment financing in 2000. The construction and permanent financing includes tax-exempt bonds issued by the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency and Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity. Telesis’s other financial partners in the restoration of Carver Terrace are MMA Financial, District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development, District of Columbia Housing Authority, Eisenhower Foundation and Ford Foundation.
While designing the planned improvements and organizing acquisition and predevelopment financing with Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund, Telesis and the tenant association established and supported numerous community programs, including resident participation in the construction of their new homes. A new community center includes a computer lab, after-school and adult programs, a summer camp, a convenience store and offices for the Carver Tenant’s Association. Today, residents of Carver Terrace work together with Telesis Corporation and its property management affiliate to implement youth services and other community programs.