February 5, 2015 – Davis Place, a 10-unit condominium in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood, has received a DESIGNArlington 2015 Merit Award. The biennial awards program aims to increase public awareness of outstanding design in Arlington. Davis Place, which was developed by AHC Inc., provides affordable homeownership opportunities for moderate-income families. The project was designed by Cunningham Quill Architects and built by Abramson Properties.
The three-story, burgundy and beige building is open and airy with large windows, spacious living spaces, wide kitchens, extra storage space, and outdoor living areas for each home. Six of the 10 condos are three-bedroom units with more than 1,350 square feet. The remainder of the apartments have two bedrooms. The homes are available to first-time homebuyers who earn up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, which is $87,360 for a family of four.
Many factors contributed to the Davis Place story – a generous donor, an impassioned community activist, a 30+ year partnership between AHC and the Nauck neighborhood, and funding support from Arlington County that helps make the homes affordable to moderate-income buyers.
The project began when AHC Inc., an Arlington-based nonprofit developer, received the property from an anonymous donor, who stipulated the land be used for affordable housing.
“The generous donation gave AHC an opportunity to focus on a challenging niche – moderate-income families who have a particularly hard time finding affordable homeownership options in Arlington,” explained Walter D. Webdale, AHC President and CEO. “We worked with Cunningham Quill to create a cohesive design that said this was a community – and not just another generic condo building that looked like apartments.”
Arlington County’s Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program (MIPAP) is a critical part of the project’s affordability. The County’s program, which enables eligible homebuyers to receive up to 25 percent of the purchase price, covers a large amount of the down payment and closing costs and reduces the mortgage on the home to a manageable amount
The building is named in honor of Jennie Davis, an AHC founding member and a long-time affordable housing advocate. Ms. Davis lived in Nauck and was president of the Nauck Civic Association for more than 20 years. “Jennie was dedicated to making affordable housing a reality for more Arlington residents, and this building ensures her legacy lives on,” says Carlton Miller, AHC’s Vice President of Construction.
The ArlingtonDESIGN program, initiated in 2009, recognizes design work that enhances all aspects of the County’s built environment, such as notable architectural, historic preservation, landscape and public art projects. Two other AHC properties have also received recognition through the DESIGNArlington program – The Jordan in 2011 and The Shelton in 2009.
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 6,500 apartment units in 50 properties in Virginia and Maryland. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 2,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education programs and activities.