- Cites goal of preserving affordable housing options along revitalized Pike
- AHC, Inc. to buy, build six-story apartment building under Form Based Code
- Project to include ground-floor retail
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved lending the non-profit AHC Inc., up to $6 million for the purchase of a Columbia Pike site and construction of an 83-unit affordable apartment building that is compliant with all Form Based Code requirements.
The proposed development will be located at 5511 Columbia Pike, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. It will replace a Shell gas station, undeveloped land and a part of the parking lot of Harvey Hall, an affordable apartment building.
“It is through public-private partnerships like this that the County is working to preserve affordable housing opportunities on Columbia Pike as the corridor redevelops,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “This is an important investment that will help ensure that Columbia Pike, even as it is revitalized with more ground-floor retail, more public spaces and new housing, remains affordable for working people.”
The Board voted 4 to 0 to approve the funding.
County to use AHIF money
Funding for the project will come from federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the AHC Multifamily Revolving Loan Fund and the County’s Fiscal Year 2012 Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). AHIF is the County’s main financing program for the development of affordable housing. Comprised of local and federal dollars, it is a revolving loan fund that provides low-interest, secondary loans as an incentive for developers to provide affordable housing.
AHC, Inc., a non-profit affordable housing developer who frequently partners with the County, will build the complex under the Form Based Code, a specific set of design guidelines crafted by the community to spur revitalization of the Pike.
Affordable, Accessible and Supportive Units
The planned six-story structure will be built around a central courtyard with 6,728-square feet of ground-floor retail on the Pike, and will include an underground parking garage. Nineteen apartments will be affordable to households earning 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI; $53,750 for a family of four). Sixty-four units will be made affordable to households earning 60 percent of the AMI ($64,500 for a family of four). Five units will be fully accessible, two will be accessible for persons with hearing or vision impairments, and six will be supportive housing for households earning 40 percent or less of the AMI.
The building will include efficiencies, two and three bedroom apartments. All the apartments will be contractually obligated to remain affordable for 60 years.
The County is contributing $6 million in the form of two loans with a 30-year term at 2.6 percent annual compounding interest rate to help AHC finance the project. AHC also will be applying for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
Form Based Code
This project would be the first project to receive administrative approval under Arlington’s innovative Form Based Code. AHC plans to build the project to be fully compliant with Form Based Code requirements. In 2003, Arlington was one of the first local jurisdictions to adopt this innovative approach to community design.
To learn more about this planned project, visit the County Board website. Scroll down to Item 29 on the County Board Agenda to read the staff report.
- Learn more about revitalization efforts on Columbia Pike.