Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Macedonia Invades Arlington

Another 100% affordable housing development is making its way to Arlington, this time in the form of the Macedonia Apartments. Much like the nearby Views at Clarendon project, the Macedonia, too, is the product of a joint venture between a local church - in this case, the Macedonia Baptist Church - and two local development initiatives - AHC, Inc. and the Bonder & Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC).

Occupying three neighboring parcels at 2219, 2229 and 2237 Shirlington Road, the Macedonia will be a 36-unit, four-story apartment complex, composed of 19 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom units for Arlington residents earning less than 60% of the area median income. The remainder of the building's 40,000 square feet will go toward two sections of commercial office space. One will be dedicated to new offices for the BAJCDC, whose current office stands at 2229 Shirlington Road and will be demolished to make way for the Macedonia; the other will serve as “a small business incubator.”

AHC, Inc.’s Project Manager, Curtis Adams, elaborated on exactly what that means. “Other cities have these economic development programs…where there are shared costs of overhead and sometimes shared administration costs,” says Adams. “[Then], people who have an office space to work out of can hopefully start to create new jobs in Arlington.” The project is being designed by Bonstra Haresign Architects.

Additionally, the County’s Department of Human Services has recommended a grant of $40,000 for “four permanent Supportive Housing units” in the complex - intended to provide accessible housing for the disabled. This is well-worn territory for AHC – they currently own and operate a total of 3,337 apartments throughout 28 rental communities, all of which are designated as “affordable housing" with some especially suited to the needs of the handicapped.

The Macedonia Baptist Church originally acquired the parcels on either side of the BAJCDC back in 1999 with the intent to “revitalize the Nauck neighborhood and provide affordable housing to area residents.” Since that time, the church has taken on AHC as the project’s Development Manager and created a nonprofit entity, the Shirlington Road Development Corporation, to pursue low income tax credits for the Macedonia. Though the development team’s request for permits was unanimously approved by Arlington County Planning Board in May of this year, the timeline is currently contingent on a new round of funding.

“Orginallly, we were hoping to begin construction this summer. We failed to win low income housing tax credits for the project, so we’ll be going in and competing for a whole new round of funding come January,” says Adams. “We hope to begin construction in the late spring of 2009.”

The Macedonia is just the latest in a rash of affordable housing projects under development in the metro area. Other low or mixed-income developments in the pipeline include the aforementioned Views at Clarendon, the Parc Rosslyn, the James Bland revitalization, and the Fort Myer Heights North Plan in Northern Virginia; Northwest One, Hartford Knolls, the Pollin Memorial Community Development, Donatelli's Minnesota-Benning project and Temperance Court in the District; and the Edgemoor project in Bethesda.


Anonymous said...

jesus christ that thing is ugly!

Anonymous said...

It's funny how affordable means ugly. We must resist this invasion.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you go to a service oriented firm rather then a design firm.

Anonymous said...

Having had some involvement with Bonstra Haresign, they are more than a "service oriented firm". The level of design they incorporate is generally appropriate to the project. The other point to make is that most "design firms" only earn the title in their own imagination and can be useless when it comes to actually getting the building constructed.

Anonymous said...

(add to post above) ...although I do admit this project is lacking.....

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