The Arlandrian: New affordable housing proposed for Reed Avenue



The next decade will bring extraordinary transformation to Lynhaven, Arlandria and surrounding communities. With so much development planned to happen in Potomac Yard, it’s no surprise that parcels around us will be developed and redeveloped. One of the first examples of that is planned for the northwest corner of East Reed Avenue and JD Highway, what was once a gas station, now a vacant lot owned by the City of Alexandria.


The building is envisioned to be a multi-family housing project developed by Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC), a non-profit organization that builds, maintains and manages affordable housing. AHC has been in business for 35 years and has developed and manages 3500 units in Arlington and Fairfax. This is their first project in Alexandria.


The building, occupying the vacant lot on the corner (3600 JD Highway) as well as 120 Reed and the duplex at 118 Reed, is envisioned to have 59 apartment units entirely reserved as affordable housing.  For this project, affordable housing means that residents will have to show income for a family of four below 60% of the area median income, or about $56,000 per year. The building will be comprised of one-bedroom units (500-700 square feet) and two-bedroom units (980-1165 square feet). If the building were to open today, the rent for the one-bedroom would be $1,194 per month, and for a two-bedroom, $1,432. 


The project is proposed to be five stories along the JD Highway frontage and four stories along Reed Avenue.  This is of a similar scale to the Preston condominium across Reed. Underground parking will provide 47 spaces for the building’s residents. 


There are a number of planning, zoning and transportation complexities associated with the AHC development, including a required change in the Reed Avenue zoning, and a potential right-turn lane from southbound Route One onto Reed Avenue. 


At the Lynhaven Citizens Association meeting on November 7th (7:00 p.m. at Cora Kelly Rec Center), the community will hear a presentation on the building from AHC as well as on the associated issues from the City’s perspective. AHC is on a very short timeline because they will need to apply for federal low-income housing credit in March, 2012. This will be our most important presentation and opportunity to offer feedback during the process. If you are not able to attend and would like to comment, you can contact Gwen Wright with the City of Alexandria directly at gwen.wright@alexandriava.govor 703-746-3811. 

Submitted by Joe Bondi


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