With sledge hammers and shovels, local leaders, community members and partners helped kick off the redevelopment of The Berkeley, an aging affordable apartment complex in Arlington, VA.
Arlington-based nonprofit developer AHC Inc. is transforming the outdated property into a new affordable community with 256 apartments – almost doubling the original 137 homes. The $100 million redevelopment is expected to welcome residents in 2020.
Nearly 50 people helped celebrate the milestone event. Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, who represents the neighborhood, took the first whack at the building. Former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple and Arlington County Board leaders Christian Dorsey and Erik Gutshall also participated.
The 4.6 acre project, five years in planning, is significant because it complements Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Master Plan by providing affordable apartments in a neighborhood that has a lower share of affordable housing.
“AHC is excited about building something new in this part of the County that will welcome so many more families looking for a comfortable, modern and affordable home in Arlington,” said Mary Claire Davis, AHC Inc. Director and Berkeley Development Manager.
The redevelopment also includes a broader mix of housing options than most affordable projects. “Along with much-needed affordable housing, we are also adding ‘missing middle’ housing for households that earn 60% to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – a demographic that is having an increasingly tough time finding homes they can afford,” said AHC Board Vice-Chair John Snyder. “We are also including a large number of apartments for families – a real need here in Arlington. Eighty-one percent of the new homes will have two or three bedrooms.”
The new development also complements the Four Mile Run Master Plan with a green design, active outdoor spaces and increased access to the waterfront through additional access points and a much wider pedestrian/bike trail. Reduced impervious surfaces along the stream will minimize run off by 80 percent. The buildings also limit environmental impact by meeting EarthCraft Gold standards.
Other positive community benefits include space for resident services, fitness room, playground and outdoor sport court.
“I want to thank AHC and all of you here for improving the quality of life for countless people and making the dream of what is and should be Arlington more real every day,” said Delegate Lopez.
The project’s financing includes up to $20.9 million in revolving loan funds from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). The redevelopment also won $2.5 million in 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which will provide approximately $24 million in equity financing. The highly competitive federal program, designed to encourage the development of affordable rental housing, is administered through the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). The project also received approximately $1 million in 4% LIHTC tax credits, which will generate roughly $10 million in equity. NeighborWorksAmerica helped fund pre-development costs.
Project partners include Arlington County; Capital One; Harkins Builders; Hudson Housing; Klein Hornig, LLP; Michael T. Foster Architects; NeighborWorks America; Walter L. Phillips, Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.; Virginia Housing Development Authority; and Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.
Photo Left to Right: AHC Board members C.C. Jenkins and John Snyder, Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey, AHC President and CEO Walter D. Webdale, Arlington County Board member Erik Gutshall, and AHC Board member Wanda Pierce, helped “Knock Down” the Berkeley.
Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,000 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.