Alexandria Approves Amazon-Related Loans for Affordable Housing

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The Alexandria City Council has approved three loans totaling $1.15 million that will bring financing to more than 720 affordable apartments around Alexandria, Va.

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Nonprofit developer Alexandria Housing Development Corporation will receive a $500,000 loan to build a 375-unit affordable housing property in the Arlandria neighborhood and a $250,000 loan to construct a mix of 40 apartments and 15 townhomes in the city’s West End.

“Alexandria has lost over 90 percent of its naturally occurring affordable housing stock since the year 2000, and recent business and regional developments have placed many of our neighborhoods under intense redevelopment pressure,” Jon Frederick, AHDC’s president and CEO, told Commercial Observer.

The Arlandria project will be constructed along the 3600 and 3700 blocks of Mount Vernon Avenue where a strip mall currently sits. The West End project involves three parcels along the 4500 block of Seminary Road.

“The two proposed projects would allow us to deliver a variety of housing solutions—homeownership, rental and supportive housing—to further our mission, in addition to creating space that can support other nonprofits or community providers along the way,” Frederick said. “These pre-development loans will help us analyze, design, and gather community feedback on the proposed developments, so we can create solutions that benefit all stakeholders.”

Fellow nonprofit developer Wesley Housing will receive a $400,000 loan to renovate and expand Parcview Apartments, located at 5380 Holmes Run Parkway in the city’s Landmark neighborhood. Currently, the building offers 149 units, but the plan is to expand to 291 units, with a second building constructed on what is currently a pool and parking lot.

“Wesley Housing’s mission is to build up the lives of our most vulnerable community members by creating and operating healthy, supportive, stable, affordable housing communities,” Shelley Murphy, Wesley Housing’s president and CEO, told CO. “ParcView II will wholly deliver upon our mission with an equitable housing option in a high-resource area of the City of Alexandria. The $400,000 loan from the city will help us conduct the leg work needed to move the project through the collaborative zoning and entitlement process.”

The news is a big step in the city’s ambitious plan to build another 2,250 affordable homes by 2030.

According to Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, the loans were available thanks to an extra $1 million in capital funding the council committed to spend on affordable housing in the wake of Amazon’s recent decision to open its second headquarters nearby.