Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Affordable Housing Complex Delayed

A proposed 59-unit affordable housing project in Alexandria, at the corner of East Reed Avenue and Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway, has been delayed a year after developers at AHC, Inc. missed a mid-March deadline for their affordable housing tax credit application.  Developers are now aiming for a March 2013 application.

Though the project has been in the works for almost two years, a number of issues prevented the application from coming together in time. While city planners supported the project, calling it "an excellent opportunity to secure affordable housing, with minimal City financial support, in an area that will soon redevelop in a way that would likely make such a project unfeasible in the future due to escalating land values," they also raised concerns over the streetscaping. Planners also cited the possibly inadequate amount of parking contained in the proposed design (0.7 spaces per unit rather than their preferred ratio of 1.1 spaces per unit), and redesigns couldn't be produced in time to accommodate required public hearings and the tax credit deadline.

The proposed project, designed by Bonstra | Haresign, would assemble the city-owned parcel at 3600 Jefferson Davis Highway with three privately-owned adjacent parcels at 120 and 118 E. Reed Avenue (which AHC currently has under site control), as the site of a five-story multi-family apartment building, owned and operated by AHC.  Preliminary concept plans call for one- and two-bedroom units at 60% of AMI (about $56,000/yr), though the exact orientation of the building is still under discussion.

"We're still talking about the exact placement of the building," said John Welsh, Vice President at AHC, of the present timeline.  "Ideally, we'd like to conclude zoning and planning by the summer, apply for the financing in March of next year, close sometime in July, and then start construction in the fall.  The city is still interested, they've just asked for some followups.  We're going to keep this thing going."

Complications relating to funding may also have contributed to the delays.  The project is being funded by a complicated package of tax credits, AHC investment, and an approximately $1.1 million affordable housing loan from the city.  AHC would pay market value to the city for the vacant lot at 3600 Jefferson Davis Highway, but would seek to defer this payment (with interest) until after the 15-year tax credit period.  The addition of a parking garage caused the amount of the required city loan to balloon, necessitating another analysis by the City Office of Housing, and a redetermination in the amount of the loan.

AHC, Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable housing, has developed 38 housing projects since 1975 containing over 3,200 units; this is their first project in Alexandria.

Alexandria, Virginia real estate development news


Unknown on Apr 26, 2012, 12:33:00 PM said...

real estate is such a fast pasted and changing part of the world. I'm not sure how much I know about it, but I'd like to know more. My parents run a small real estate business and there is so much to learn.

Anonymous said...

They really need to allow the southbound route 1 right lane that merges away 40 feet before Reed Ave to be continued as a right turn only lane for Reed. Otherwise it is a horrible choke-point on high traffic days.

Anonymous said...

That corner is already crowded enough, due to the condos on the other side of Reed, and the Reserve at Potomac Yard next door.

Anonymous said...

why is a parking garage needed for an 100% affordable housing project? are these 2 car families and yet qualify for this benefit. Also, with metro arriving and bus service expanding this project needs limited parking as it is.

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