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Mixed-Income Apartment Complex Opens in Clarendon

by Katie Pyzyk | April 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm | 9,811 views | 127 Comments

A new apartment complex celebrated its grand opening in Clarendon yesterday. Formerly known as the Views at Clarendon, the vPoint apartment building is being touted as an eco-friendly residence that’s bringing additional subsidized affordable housing to the Clarendon area.

The eight-story complex, developed with financial assistance from Arlington County and the Virginia Housing Development Authority, sits above the Church at Clarendon, which recently celebrated its re-opening. An adjoining building houses the county’s largest daycare center.

The development contains 46 market rate apartments, and 70 affordable housing units. The units, which the developer calls “boutique apartments,” range from studios to three bedrooms. According to the complex’s website, prices run from $2,125 per month to $3,170 per month, with affordable units going for 60 percent of the cost to those who qualify.

Environmentally conscious features such as a carpool drop off area, Energy Star appliances, dual flush toilets and Green Label Plus carpet are expected to earn the building a LEED Silver certification.

A grand opening celebration yesterday included remarks from state Senator Barbara Favola and Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Walter Tejada.

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  • veeta

    When are they going to fix the street?

  • novasteve

    I wish others had to pay for my choice to live in this area.

    • but really

      bu we do steve, we do

      • Andrew

        While I do not condone making fun of Steve, that was pretty funny.

        • Josh S

          Sometimes I think we really need to have an ARLNow mixer. Cause it’s a lot harder to be uncivil to someone you’ve actually met.

          • Richard Cranium

            I predict “Venn Diagram” guy is going to have a hard time communicating in person.

          • VD guy fan

            I miss Ven Diagram guy!!….where did he go?

          • novasteve

            Will fredderp end every sentence with FREDDERP?

      • drax

        The entire thread should have ended on that comment.

  • Stitch_Jones

    “Mixed-Income”? Seriously, that is a euphamism now?

    We have lost our minds.

    • novasteve

      Yes, I had a little chuckle too. My building isn’t subsidized, and some people make more money than others, it surely is “mixed income too” but taxpayers aren’t paying for any of our rents. This is a great new politically correct word to disguise the handouts being given. And we have the honor to pay for it with our tax dollars! Hurray!

  • LP

    $2,125 for a 1-bedroom. Whoa!

    This is good for owners of condos in Clarendon who want to rent.

    • ArlForester

      And this is in a building where your neighbors could be poor. Rents in buildings where everyone can actually afford to live there should be more.

      • Southeast Jerome

        Yes that makes so much sense!!

        Living near people that make less money than me makes my place worth less than if they made more money than me!!

        I get it now.

        • Reality

          Well, um, actually . . .

        • ArlForester

          Yeah, that’s how it works.

        • KalashniKEV

          “I get it now.”

          Ummm… OK, good.

  • ShirliMan

    Every time a see a picture of that building it reminds me of a snail.

    • HighViewPunk

      Great, now I’ll never see anything else in that building.

      • Rob Geeeee

        Lol…neither will I.

      • ShirliMan

        Sorry, I was just wondering if others saw it too.

        • HighViewPunk

          I think you nailed it with the snail. If it had two steeples it would be undeniable.

  • Traffic Hazard

    Either the residents of the complex and those dropping off at the daycare need to learn to drive, i.e. stay on the right side of the street, stop at the stop sign at Hartford & Highland (and yield to oncoming traffic if you’re turning left), etc, or I hope the county who has blessed us with this development project better do something to fix the street. I’ve driven the same route for the last 3 years and it is only since the opening of this complex that I’ve had to slam on my breaks for cars pulling out of that garage without looking or stopping in the middle of the road as if it’s a parking lot, etc. Sick of it. Thanks for the improvement to Arlington.

  • Successful Troll

    How lovely! That building looks just like a church! One question though, if it is affordable housing, why does it still need to be subsidized?

  • John

    Mixed-income is great. But how about some inspiring architecture. The design is horrifyingly bad. The church facade (built in the 1950s) should’ve been demolished.

    • 1RLI

      Agreed about the design, but I’d rather look at the church facade than another apartment building.

    • Clarendon

      I think they should have built the steeple up to be twice as tall as it is.

    • JimPB

      The Church at Clarendon (formerly the First Baptist Church of Arlington) originally included the steeple in the plan for the demolishment of the “old” church building, but voices from the community called for retention of the steeple, and the church yielded to those requests.

  • novasteve

    Say if I wanted me some of those handouts, but I’m offended by the building being attached to a church? It’s like i’m being forced into christianity. Who do I sue?

    • JimPB

      There are separate entrances for the church and for the apartments.

      You’ll search in vain for any evidence of force on the apartment renters to attend the church.

    • KalashniKEV

      Poor people need faith, it helps them deny reality.

  • Cynic

    I hear there’s a mural of Jesus chasing the money-changers out of the temple.

  • rosslyn

    mixed-income? really?

  • Rebecca

    Holy smokes, i can finally afford to live here on my GS-6 salary while I finish up school. To all those hating on this idea, poors aren’t all mexicans or degenerates.

    • novasteve

      Let us know how that works out. I’d like to hear the reason why you don’t qualify for it.

    • Cold-Hearted, Snarky Commenter

      Cold-Hearted, Snarky Comment!!

    • ComeOnMan

      So you think all Mexican’s are poor and all the Latinos in the area are from Mexico? What’s wrong with you, are you really that stupid?

      • Car-Free Diet

        She’s a federal employee. Of course she is that stupid! Probably part of the GSA meeting planning staff.

    • KalashniKEV

      If you’re a GS-6, you don’t need to be living in Clarendon.

      • novasteve

        If you don’t make enough to afford to live in $2100 a month, you don’t need to live in a $2100 apartment. I’m a lawyer, I make low six figures, and I wouldn’t even spend that much money on an apartment, but someone who makes less than I do DESERVES to get the taxpayers to subsidize it for them? Disgusting.

        • Successful Troll

          But Steve, how do you define deserve? You are a lawyer, many people would say that you are therefore immoral. When you take karma into account a school teacher, nurse or someone for whom life has been very hard deserves a nicer place more than you do.

          • KalashniKEV

            It’s simple. Everyone gets what they deserve. There is a standard of living that these people “deserve” based on their income.

        • wimmer201

          When do you find time to be a lawyer? Seriously??!!! From what I can tell your full time job is posting 100 times a day.

          • novasteve

            Wimmer, despite how flattered I am, I like girls. So you can stop obsessing about me.

          • Southeast Jerome

            is that a copy paste from the post earlier?

          • wimmer201

            Go brag about your salary some more. Nobody cares. If I ever need a lawyer who can’t spell, use proper grammar, or proofread, I’ll call you.

          • Juan Valdez

            You know, there are certain brands of decaf that taste just as good as the real thing.

          • Louise

            +1

        • Car-Free Diet

          Please moderate and tell me if I used an inappropriate word. Was it raccoon? embarrassment? Is DISGUSTING in All Caps acceptable at all times? Can’t figure out moderating rules…I’m Gumby, Dammit!

    • HighViewPunk

      Furthermore, I’m fairly certain that an individual GS-6 step 1 would not qualify.
      http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/HumanServices/services/eid/HumanServicesServicesEidHousingGrants.aspx

      • nauckneighor

        The link that you attached are income limits for Supportive Housing Grants. The 60% threshold is listed under the Department of Housing and Community Development.

        • HighViewPunk

          Oops, I stand corrected! Thought that number seemed awfully low. Thanks.

    • Successful Troll

      Wow, I really feel for you Rebecca! I don’t know how I could live on 30K a year. My apartment’s “social fee” alone is higher than that. Luckily my parents pay my rent, but I believe it’s currently at $3K a month for my cozy two bedroom. Hang in there girl!

    • Good Grief

      Your comment is more offensive than anything the “haters” have said..

    • drax

      Interesting that I make MORE than you, Rebecca, yet I can’t afford to live there because I don’t make enough to afford it at market rates, yet I make too much to qualify for any subsidy.

  • Snort

    Isn’t this really just welfare for a revolving door of new college graduates who in a year or two’s time won’t qualify for the subsidy anymore? Who else would use a 60% percent discount to rent a $1,300 studio apartment a block from the Clarendon metro?

    • Snort

      Ha, just saw Rebecca’s post! I guess it is!

    • CD

      How about a single nurse that works at GW Hospital ?

      • Well

        There’s a bus route that goes right from Lee Highway to GW, so he or she could easily rent a much more affordable unit with their own money on Lee Highway. Not as convenient to bars, but then again, I guess they need to be saving money if they’re so close to needing housing subsidies.

        • CD

          Sure, but I live in Clarendon. So I would like the single nurses to live here so I can meet them…

    • KalashniKEV

      I’ll take a 60% discount for a few years… just take it out of the next guys pocket- all the way up the line!

    • JimPB

      Pure speculation. Where’s your evidence?

  • rosslyn

    random question – does anyone know if vPoint is supposed to stand for viewpoint or..V=5, five point?

    • Richard Cranium

      Definitely five poinit, as in “pentagram.”

      It’s an occult thing, you wouldn’t understand.

  • KalashniKEV

    There goes the neighborhood…

  • Thes

    Ironically, each and every one of these apartments will be provided with its own parking space (excavated from underground at considerable taxpayer expense), so that its resident can drive every day in and out of their apartment building that is located 1/2 block from the Clarendon Metro and 2 blocks from the nearest grocery store. If they’re going to drive, why does it need to be near Metro in the first place?

    • affordable drunkard

      so I can go and get steamed in DC on the weekend

      • Clam

        You say that like it’s a good thing . . .

    • nauckneighor

      It is an extremely expensive and unnecessary part of the county government’s zoning regulations (in addition to the signs). I’m sure that even though they’re right by a Metro that they still had to build a space per apartment unit as the regulations call for.

      • JimPB

        Correct.

        Montgomery County, MD is ahead of Arlington County — MCo is reducing the number of parking spaces required for new housing development near a
        Metro or Purple Line light rail station.

        • Southeast Jerome

          that purple line is a horrible idea.

      • Car-Free Diet

        Why does the County require expensive underground parking in a residential complex so close to the Metro?

        Part of the County’s vaunted and utterly ridiculous car-free diet campaign? Nope.

        To make housing in Clarendon more expensive then it needs to be? BINGO

        Thus the need for government subsidies to make it affordable.

        What’s amazing is that for a town full of government employees, the average Arlingtonian has no clue how the County is slowly pricing them out (unless they qualify for a government handout like our dim witted GS-6 scholar who claims she is not Mexican or a degenerate. A flashing sign that she is likely one, if not both.)

    • esmith69

      Your post just further proves that some people will always find something to complain about. I think if they hadn’t built the parking spaces there’d be a huge uproar about poor planning and lack of a long-term vision.

      In a place as popular and starved for space as Clarendon, there’s no reason NOT to build parking underground, regardless of who’s paying for it.

      • Thes

        Oh, I have no doubt that people would have complained if this complex had been built with no parking. But it also would have been built at a few million dollars less in taxpayer money.

        The reasoning for using this incredibly expensive land (as opposed to cheaper land elsewhere in Arlington) to build housing for low-income people at taxpayer expense was because Arlington needed more housing for low-income people *who were dependent on transit*. But then we built the parking spaces for them anyway. That makes no sense and it cost a lot of extra money. If they’re all going to drive, we should have used use cheaper land. If they’re going to take metro, we should have saved money on the parking.

        • JimPB

          Take your point to the ArlCo board.

          • Bemused bystander

            He did. He lost.

        • Bimmie Zondi

          Maybe they will all drive a relative’s car and then put on magnetic bumper stickers in an effort to dodge the car tax. How did that work for you, thes? Hopefully they will at least pay their federal taxes and not a be deadbeats.

          • South Awwwlington

            Someone got called out!

    • henry bennet xii

      Glad to see class warfare is alive and well in Arlington.
      A. Not everyone in a family has a Metro accessible job. While I might, my spouse MUST drive every day.
      B. Doesn’t Arlington declare that affordable units be similar but equal.
      C. Just because one is poor doesn’t mean they should not be allowed to own a car.
      That is liberal elitist class warfare.

      • drax

        “Just because one is poor doesn’t mean they should not be allowed to own a car. That is liberal elitist class warfare.”

        Nobody is suggesting that poor people not be allowed to own a car, genius.

      • South Awwwlington

        How would you handle affordable housing recipients who drive 30k cars or even 20k cars? Just curious.

  • Louise

    Proud to be an Arlingtonian when things like this happen!

  • LuvDusty

    2125 is the lowest price? WTF? Even at 60% of that, that’s still a lot for a studio, even in Clarendon!

    You can rent a small 1 bedroom for about 1800 in a better building…why bother?

    Personally, I hate the building–it’s an eyesore in my view. They should have demolished that church, it looks ridiculous now. But I think that was part of the deal when they bought the land, that they had to preserve the church. whatever.

    at least the bldg sits a bit off of wilson on highland, so you don’t see it unless you look up the street.

  • tom smart

    And what’s wrong with subsidized rent? I make about $90k under the table and report about $19k so I can get subsidized rental apartments. Doesn’t everyone do that? Isn’t that the American way? Isn’t that the Obama way?

    • Southeast Jerome

      lets talk. I want in on that action.

    • KalashniKEV

      No. The Obama way is not to have “income.” There are fat cat capitalists out there who should have to pay your way.

  • hmmf…

    The ArlNow comment section has proven to me that although this county has an abundance of monetary wealth, it is severely lacking in intelligence, hope, optimism and charitable behavior.

    • Gypsy

      Affordable housing isn’t charity when it’s from subsidized by the government. Charity is the voluntary giving of something to someone in need. Government forces you by law to give money to those in need.

      I think most people on this board would support true charity. You’re mixing it up.

      • Car-Free Diet

        Most of the people on this comment board are fine with federal government entitlement programs, grants, subsidies and tax credits and deductions because they make their living through the existence of these government programs. They just don’t like Arlington County’s programs because they do not benefit from them.

        I have not been overly impressed by the “charity” of the people of Arlington County. In my experience, people who have earned and have been blessed by God with much less are more giving and charitable than the average resident of Arlington County.

    • esmith69

      Try not to get too discouraged. Despite some bad eggs here and there, I’d say most Arlingtonians do try to have a free mind and not let the talking heads tell us what to think.

      I think the problem is just that the ignorant ones tend to be more vocal, particulary online…

      • hmmf…

        I know…I just get frustrated…this county is full of wealthy, educated, healthy energetic ppl. I just wish more would use that to make this world a better place instead of begrudging every little thing on this site.

        • Good Grief

          +1

    • JimPB

      hmmf, you see clearly and speak accurately of what you see.

  • hmmf…

    Excuse me? The government is a representation of the ppl. We give them their power to make these decisions. Therefore, their chari ty is our charity. You need to take a civics class. No wonder this country is in such a state of disarray…everyone has forgotten who’s in charge. But that’s a different discussion entirely. If you ppl took a positive roll in your community more often instead of posting negative comments on ArlNow we’d be better off for it.

  • gnushell

    I live in a market rate unit in a mixed income community. Seeing how little some of these families make and the percentage of it which goes toward rent, I understand the need for these places. But the rent rates in this new building are way too high for most to afford and the units are too small for a larger family unit.

    BTW, there are some extremely good people living in the subsidized units. Many are educated, but work in industries that don’t pay as well like teaching, and home health care, etc. I am happy to help subsidize them so they don’t spend all of their income commuting from exurbs or dangerous neighborhoods.

    • KalashniKEV

      “Good people” live within their means and not out of their neighbors pockets.

  • novasteve

    You still don’t get it. Why would others have their hard earned tax dollars going to subsidize someone’s choice to live in an area they can’t afford? Since when is it the role of government to enable that?

    • JimPB

      Novasteve — Sounds like you favor ending the biggest housing dole in the country, one that especially benefits the wealthy; this is the home mortgage income tax deduction. The annual total of this dole far exceeds that Federal assistance for housing for lower income folks (by the way, most if not all of the lower income folks would love to have an income that would enable them to pay the market housing rent — or to buy).

      • True Dat

        Sounds good. End the mortgage interest deduction. End the first time home buyers credit. End Fannie / Freddie All good. It is time for people to realize that home ownership is neither a fundamental nor a constitutional right. It’s just a great political sound byte.

        • Southeast Jerome

          hah. we will have a 50% income tax rate before they get rid of the mortgage intereste deduction.

          this is because the #1 way the Federal Govt shapes the lives of its citizens is via tax policy.

          They want the interest deduction for mortgages so Americans buy homes, have kids, grow the population, grow the economy.

          Imagine if they got rid of it, housing prices tank, no one buys, no one can sell, people stop having kids, we have tons of old peole getting social security/medicare with much fewer people working and paying into the system and we are in a bad bad spot. Also known as Japan.

          And the mortgage interest deduction is such a regressive tax policy its maddening. As a renter I hate it but as a soon to be owner, I look forward to it.

          Instead of commenting that people “shouldnt deserve” to live in Clarendon- I work my A$$ off to make what I do so I dont need to apply f

          • Southeast Jerome

            “So I dont need to apply for this type of assistance, but I dont curse those that are not as well off as me. I dont want to live surrounded by all income types. Pleasantville sucks”

        • drax

          Steve always throws out his own ideas but never defends them. He’s probably busy gleefully doing his taxes and taking his mortgage deduction instead.

  • novasteve

    I would have loved to live in Manhattan and had a subsidized apartment in Greenwich Village to have a short commute to NYU, but no, I had to commute from long island and live in a place I could afford to live. I wish I was special like these people who deserve other people’s tax money to allow them to live where they couldn’t otherwise afford! Thank you for giving that to me too!

  • gnushell

    NovaSteve and others, you make enough money to pay for that commute. Some of these people could live in EBF West Virginia and not be able to afford the car much less the gas to get here.

    • KalashniKEV

      He was a student, so I’m guessing he just did the responsible thing and budgeted his money. These people are being indoctrinated in irresponsible and immoral living. People who can only afford to live in “EBF WV” should stay there. They don’t need to be here.

  • Brad

    If I weren’t gay, I’d be a hard core conservative republican
    I am tired of paying for everyone – where’s mine?

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      You are the archetype of the sorely needed, but missing, political party in the U.S. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

      Get the hell out of my wallet and my bedroom. And don’t dare try to combine the two.

      • Brad

        Yep

  • MC

    Is someone who makes 60% of the median income in one of the richest counties in the country poor or middle class? If they are middle class, which by every statistical definition they are, then this project is welfare for middle class people rather than affordable housing for the poor. One of the supreme ironies is that building so-called affordable housing on the most expensive property in the county (a half block from a Metro) means that tax payers living in less expensive areas, who may even make less than the people qualifying for this subsidized housing, are having to subsidize the housing costs of people who make more than they do. It simply boggles the mind how divorced from real issues this program is.

    • Richard Cranium

      Please take your rational discourse elsewhere. This forum is reserved for vitriolic and half- informed tirades.

    • Bimmie Zondi

      At the time our County Board adopted its church, umm I mean the affordable housing, one of the Board members stated that low income people have a “right” to live near the metro. I am still baffled about this right and from where it derives.

      • NovaDave

        Actually, I agree with that sentiment.

        What puzzles me though is why then did they move DHS, which helps moderate and low income residents across the street from the church to a place with no train access. I don’t want to hear it saved money either. They spent plenty to fix up the new location with only bus service.

    • novasteve

      It’ll still buy them more votes than they alienate sensible thinkers who figured out the idiocy of this program. It’s about buying votes.

    • Snort

      Amen. Would be great to see some basic statistics on these subsidized units, so as to separate the genteel poverty of recent college grads (housing for hipsters) who will not qualify for the discount after a year or two of working, from actual working-class tenants. I would guess age, education and duration of stay would be good indicators. That would also help readers determine if the whole impetus behind housing for hipsters thing was because the poor people the subsidies are meant to help prefer moving out of the county rather than pay high rents, even with the discount. Mission creep.

      • KalashniKEV

        Is it better if the taxpayer funded apartments are occupied by these “hipster/slacker” types or real hardcore poor people?

        • Snort

          I’m in favor of subsidies for the working poor.

          What I’m concerned about is the possibility that programs created to help the working poor are now being used by upwardly mobile young graduates (“hipsters”). Maybe they qualify for housing subsidies simply because they’re only a year or two into the workforce, and haven’t gotten a W-2 yet that disqualifies them.

          I understand that subsidies are on a sliding scale relative to income, and I agree that some people with college degree deserve assistance – especially those working in fields that are socially valuable but don’t pay a lot.

          But it seems possible to me that the working poor have voted with their feet – that it’s better to use subsidies on a $1,500 dollar two-bedroom farther out rather than on a $2,000 studio in Clarendon. Or are there other reasons why the county would hold an event called “Housing for Hipsters?” to promote these subsidies?

          Seeing some basic summary statistics on the users of these subsidies, specifically in luxury developments like the one the article mentioned, would be illuminating. I’m not in favor of project housing, but wouldn’t these subsidies go farther and help more people if applied to more modest settings?

          • KalashniKEV

            “Housing for Hipsters” event was/is part of a propaganda campaign to implant the idea that “living on the dole” shouldn’t be a source of great shame because “everybody’s doing it- just look around the room, friend!”

            Without resorting to some of the nastier words to describe this philosophy, I would just call it Collectivism- or the idea that you can tax a whole bunch of people under and then feed the money back to them in ways that the government sees fit. Then they will:
            1) Perceive it as a gift
            2) Vote for those who give them these gifts
            3) The skim generated by these scams can build larger bureaucracy and support greater corruption

            All that being said- I do NOT think that those are the kind of people who will be housed in these apartments (“hipsters”). There are competing agendas… ;)

  • KalashniKEV

    Are the residents of these taxpayer funded apartments allowed to have kids? There could be a lot of hidden costs once we start lining up 3 or 4 school buses every morning and paying to educate their children.

  • coco

    How long before the crime rates spike?

  • coco

    If you had that money to spend would you CHOOSE to rent in a place with that much low income housing? As a single, professional woman I certainly wouldn’t.

  • alrimprovements

    I would have preferred a Wegmans, a Sephora or the like. The building is surrounded by million dollar homes and a metro stop. It should be a future tourist destination and modeled after Georgetown or the like. Clarendon’s days as a hipster area were over a long time ago. Time to embrace the change in demographics. I think that much affordable housing in a prime real estate spot is not good.

  • Justin

    More “artificial demand.” Is it obvious now??

  • Visiting

    Rebecca probably wouldn’t qualify because for the apartment because she is a student. If she only goes part-time, then maybe she could get approved. Otherwise, there are some special guidelines related to fulltime students.

    Also, I prefer helping people with housing that have the potential to make something out of themselves (so be it young upward hipsters) rather than those dependent on it that are trying to just live within the perimeters of welfare (don’t work too much bc they might lose their benefits, etc.). After all it is supposed to be a hand up, not a hand out.

    Please also note that the subsidy on these apartments comes in the form of a subsidy on the loans used to build the apartments…not direct rent assistance as is the case in Housing Grants and Section 8.

    I just spent three years unemployed and homeless since I couldn’t find a job after graduation. I never received any government assistance the entire time (food stamps, etc). I found a good job now (due to my own efforts and inspite of county workers yelling at me to work at Giant) and am in need of housing. I make too much for housing grants and extremely borderline for Section 8, if it even ever came though. I applied for this apartment bc I wanted to be able to get to work very easily, reduce stress, prevent health relapse issues, which I partially think were fabricated to qualify me for housing grants…which is now pointless and it is no secret social service agencies push people to claim disability for this reason. However, I utimately wasn’t approved. It’s okay because it is really more than I want to spend anyway. It’s not really affordable to me, more than 30% of income, but probably worth it for other reasons.

    In general, applying for affordable units is invasive. They want to see everything. Bank statements, tax returns, etc. I don’t really that is apprioriate. It’s based on income, why complicate things.

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