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AHC will begin construction next week on a replacement for the Berkeley apartments.The project will offer apartment units to those earning between 40 to 80 percent of AMI.It is one of several affordable housing developments being built by AHC in Northern Virginia.

Nonprofit developer AHC Inc. is set to begin construction next week on a $100 million project that will transform a 1960s apartment complex in south Arlington into a much larger mixed-income rental community.

Mary Claire Davis, project manager with Arlington-based AHC, said her company will tear down The Berkeley apartments at 2900 S. Glebe Road, which consists of two buildings totaling 138 affordable housing units. It will replace them with two five-story buildings totaling 256 units, 63 percent of which will be available to households earning 60 percent of the area median income. Another 21 percent will be affordable to those making 50 percent of AMI while 1 percent will be available to those making 40 percent. Fifteen percent will be affordable to those making 80 percent of AMI.

The project will deliver in 2020, offering units with rents ranging anywhere from $880 per month to $1,700 on the high end.

The project, designed by MTFA Architecture, is significant in that it fits within the county’s adopted Affordable Housing Master Plan. The Berkeley will go up in an area with a lower share of affordable housing.

"When we acquired it in 2001, we used some of the affordable housing financing programs, but we found that there were some residents who lived there that were not wealthy but [whose incomes] exceeded the parameters of those programs and we didn’t want to displace them," Davis said. "We’ve always had about 20 percent of the Berkeley at around market-rate. In redeveloping, we wanted to keep some similar mix because we wanted to have as many of the households who have to be relocated to come back if they want to."

Davis said AHC is pursing a redevelopment due to structural issues with the current building. "When we contemplated doing another renovation, the cost to solidify all these problems was so large it led us to consider whether we could redevelop and start anew," she said.

The project is being financed by a combination of company funds, private construction loans, low-income housing tax credits from Virginia Housing Development Authority, and loans from Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund.

AHC is advancing the project as it also builds other affordable developments in Alexandria, including the 113-unit Spire.

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