Developers Advance Plan to Transform Alexandria Public Housing Into Mixed-Use Community


Fairstead, Mill Creek Residential and The Communities Group have filed a Concept 1 Plan with the City of Alexandria on a proposal to transform the Samuel Madden Public Housing site into a new mixed-use community. 

Located at 401 Wythe Street in Alexandria, Va., the property was originally built in 1945. The plan, in partnership with owner Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, proposes to bring affordable, workforce and market-rate housing to Old Town, as well as retail, public open space and services provided by local nonprofits.

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The site’s 66 current homes will be redeveloped into 529 apartments, with more than 50 percent set aside for affordable (30 to 60 percent of area median income) and workforce (60 to 80 percent AMI) housing. 

“This project will be a critical gateway to Alexandria, an important link in the community with mixed-income housing, public open space, and needed child care and food resources for the entire neighborhood,” Noah Hale, director of development at Fairstead, told Commercial Observer. “Alexandria’s affordable housing stock has decreased in recent decades and is a major focal point for the upcoming budget.” 

The Concept 1 filing begins the official public process to get the approvals needed for the development, and as it’s being reviewed by the city, the development team plans to continue to meet with community leaders, civic associations, neighborhood groups and other stakeholders to ensure a community-driven final plan. 

In addition to housing, the plan also includes a 10,000-square-foot public park with a playground and public art, while Hopkins House, a nonprofit that has served Alexandria since 1939, would operate a 13,000-square-foot day care and early learning center, with scholarships or sliding scales rates offered based on economic need. The site would also be home to a 500-square-foot food pantry run by Alive.

“The opportunity to help reimagine the north end of Old Town is an opportunity we’re grateful for, and we’re eager to work with civic leaders and our wonderful partners to make it a reality,” Joe Muffler, managing director of development for Mill Creek Residential, said in a prepared statement.

 Requests for comment from the other developers were not immediately returned.

Keith Loria can be reached at