Monday, December 01, 2008

The Views at Clarendon Stumps for Final Approval

After more than four years of legal and financial troubles, the Views at Clarendon seems to be finally be on track for construction and, if their luck holds out, a 2011 delivery. Nonprofit developer the Views at Clarendon Corporation (VCC) - a joint venture between the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and the First Baptist Church of Clarendon - still intends to bring a 116-unit mixed-income apartment building to the church's current site at 1210 North Highland Street, a deal that will preserve the existing church.

Perhaps not surprisingly for a religious organization, VCC is aiming their project at providing housing for disadvantaged tenants by way of housing that is both affordable and accessible to the handicapped. The Views will boast 46 market rate units – 6 of which will be “100% accessible” - and 70 "affordable" units – 6 of which will be reserved for families making under 50% of the area median income. Additionally, another 5 units will go towards the “County supportive housing program.” The building's floorplans will range from studios to three bedrooms, coupled with 120-space underground parking garage – just one block from Clarendon Metro. The project is being designed by MTFA Architecture.

Given that its developer is a nonprofit entity, the Views faced serious delays as APAH tracked down funding for the project. Just last week, the development corporation upped their Affordable Housing Investment Fund loan request from $5.3 million up to $6.5 million – on top of the low-income housing tax credits and additional federal loans that have already been secured. According to APAH, “this additional financing will enable construction to be completed by the end of 2011.” The Arlington County Board will decide whether or not that loan goes through at its meeting on December 13th.

A need for increased funding, however, is not the first hang-up that Views has run into on the rocky road to development. The project was first approved in October 2004, and was then tied up in a zoning dispute that stretched all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court. After two years, a $200,000 lawsuit, and a “technical adjustment” to the applicable zoning ordinance, the county provided salvation to the church by giving approval in February 2007. Locals had filed a lawsuit to reverse the original zoning approval, objecting to the plan that would keep the current church and its 107-foot steeple, and include daycare and "moderately priced" housing. A circuit court judge had ruled against the neighbors in 2005, reversed in 2006 when the Virginia Supremes determined that the zoning board acted against its own zoning ordinance, a decision which begat the February 2007 approval. A further lawsuit to stop the project was dismissed in July, 2007.


IMGoph on Dec 2, 2008, 6:41:00 AM said...

studious units, eh? so which floor will be designated "study hall"? :)

Ken on Dec 2, 2008, 9:08:00 AM said...

he he, I get it. Thanks for catching the typo, we've changed it in the original.

Ryan on Jan 13, 2010, 10:29:00 PM said...

One more typo: the architecture firm's name is MTFA, not MFTA. Seems to be a common mistake.

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