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Ribbon Cutting for Affordable Development in Nauck

by ARLnow.com June 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm 4,259 50 Comments

Community leaders marked the grand opening of The Macedonian (2229 Shirlington Road), a new mixed-use affordable housing development in Nauck (Green Valley), with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.

The $12 million development consists of 19 one bedroom and 17 two-bedroom apartments, as well as 2,000 square feet of commercial space for the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC) and a planned business incubator/shared work space. It was developed by AHC Inc. on land owned by the next-door Macedonia Baptist Church with county, state, federal, private and nonprofit financing.

While some of the attention surrounding the Macedonian is due to its environmentally-friendly features — it has a green roof and other energy-efficient accouterments, earning it the first EarthCraft Virginia certification for a multifamily development — the building’s real mission is the preservation and economic development of the diverse Nauck community against the pressures of higher rents and gentrification. The church, the county and BAJCDC have been fighting to keep Nauck affordable, and speakers today described the Macedonian as an important step in that continuing effort.

“There are more sheep to tend, there are more neighbors to help,” said David Bowers, Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners, which helped to fund the development. “Our work is not done.”

Attendees this morning included Rep. Jim Moran, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin of the Macedonia Baptist Church and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker — a former Arlington resident and friend of Rev. Hamlin.

  • Louise

    This is so cool. Nice collaboration among different groups.

  • john

    great, another Shelton… cant wait til its filled with domestics, drugs and other low lifes!

    • TGEoA

      Whats wrong with domestics?

  • Stu Pendus

    “historically diverse” Nauck? Quite the opposite, Nauck has historically been very homogeneous.

    • It should have just read “diverse”

      • doodly

        Well, no, not just diverse. It’s not diverse, it’s homogeneous. Using “diverse” to mean “composed of a racial or other minority” is the problem.

        • nauckneighbor

          Actually over 50% of the population is non-African American in Nauck and the community is actually quite diverse now and probably has been for quite a while. It’s a great community to live in where everyone seems to be willing to help out their neighbor. Did anyone else notice that there were no major lawsuits about church and state slowing down this project for 5 years. I’m glad to see that Nauck stands up for its neighbors more than Lyon Village.

  • Ian Luria

    I don’t care what a church does with its own land. But please DON’T USE MY TAX MONEY TO FIGHT MARKET FORCES!!! Arlington is NOT a place for poor people!!!

    • MC 703

      Were you commenting as “Winthrop” yesterday?

    • doodly

      Tax money is always used to fight market forces. That’s why it exists.

      • Irving R. Shyster

        Hahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh.

  • CW

    Say anything bad about this place and Alexander the Great will come kick you butt.

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    So let me get this straight — $12 million dollars for 36 units — for an AVErAGE price of $333,000.
    WE can BUY a 1 BR in COlonial Village for less than $300,000 .
    This is criminal — who is profiting off of this???

    • JMB

      $12 million dollars for 36 units — for an AVErAGE price of $333,000.

      “…as well as 2,000 square feet of commercial space for the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC) and a planned business incubator/shared work space”

    • CW

      Last time I checked, the units in Colonial Village weren’t brand new. It may be true that they don’t build things like they used to, but doing so today requires paying today’s labor rates, etc…new construction always commands a premium…

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        No, they aren’t new in COlonial Village, so, thanks for checking.
        Do you think that all subsidized units need to be new? Leave the “used” stuff for the market place?
        We could take this $12 million and go buy existing stock and get MORE for our money.
        Then use this land to build NEW market rate. Thus still increasing the supply.

        • CW

          But what if the county inherited a bad used property with lots of problems and it turned into a money pit? Then there would be outrage as well. I’m just looking at both sides.

        • nauckneighbor

          Your making an incorrect assumption. The county did not contribute $12 million to this project. That was the cost of the project to the project partners, which includes land that the Macedonian Church owned and contributed into the deal. County funds might have been loaned to the property, but certainly not $12 million.

    • Arlington Tax payer,2

      Dear Arlington Tax Payer
      Your money was not used to fight market forces. Arlington County charges builders who do NOT include affordable units in their developments a fee – as a portion of their development fees – which then goes into an Affordable Housing Fund. This fund is used to make LOANS to those developers who do want to build affordable housing. The loans are made with interest, so the developers who use them must pay them back to replenish the fund – plus interest – usually over 20 or 30 years. One stipulation of the loan is that the property remains dedicated affordable throughout the life of the property – usually 75 years.
      So, the county made an investment (for only a portion of the funds, not the entire 12mm. They don’t fully finance any single project) and will reap a benefit.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        and since you bring up the county will “reap a benefit” — what exactly do you think that is??

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      Folks, folks,
      I never said “County Funds” —
      It says the total project cost is $12 million — nothing says the source and therefore I cannot respond about that. I don’t know or care, actually. Even it was county money, i’m fine.

      But what do you get for $333,000 in Arlington. 1 BR in a metro accessible location; a house in Nauck; a lot in Highview; several studios in River Place.

      Is this the best way to use $12 million??

  • JamesE

    The 1st floor will contain an affordable upscale burger joint

    • E-Ross

      Don’t forget the cupcake/yogurt shop, too!

    • CW

      Hand me a lease agreement now…

  • Mike

    Oh, good. Since it’s so close to Lucky Seven, the police won’t even have to change their normal routes for the additional calls sure to come in in 3, 2, 1…

    • john

      ^ this guy gets it…

  • SoCo Resident

    Affordable housing, homelessness, Goodwill, striving immigrant students, whateever. You can always count on ARLNOW readers. The is what makes our community so ….

  • BerryBerryCold

    Am I crazy for wanting to live around people of a similar socioeconomic class as myself?

    • Westover

      I like living around people in a higher socioeconomic class, personally. Many of my neighbors will tell you that I do! 😀

    • Banksy

      Not crazy. Just close-minded.

      • Winthrop

        Sure, go ahead, take pride in being open-minded. Then go ahead and be open-minded when the gardener’s son beats out your daughter for Valedictorian honors at Washington-Lee. After the hours you devote to browbeating your son, and the tens of thousands of dollars you throw at tutor after tutor, and the myriad gifts and luncheons you bestow upon teacher after teacher.

        All so Jose and Maria’s kid Jesus can win Valedictorian and a full scholarship to go off and study some sort of joint BA/MA Theology and Social Work degree. While you have to sell your boat to compensate for losing out on the merit scholarship that should have been YOUR kid’s.

        Tell me again, why shouldn’t I be “close-minded” from the start!!???

        • CW

          You are either being sarcastic or the gardener’s son needs to beat you…with a shovel.

        • Banksy

          Sorry, I missed the sarcasm the first time! Sadly, with many ArlNow commenters, it’s hard to tell the difference between the true bigots/flaming anti-tax conservatives and the humorously fake ones.

        • Justfa Laffs

          Don’t be such a poor sport! You’re just mad because the gardeners son is smarter than yours no matter how many tutor’s you hire! We’ve had lots of gardener’s sons (and farmer’s son’s and elevator operator’s daughters) go on to be the great minds of our nation. I think that’s called America – the land of immigrants!

    • CW

      I believe the term is “bigoted”, not “crazy”. But we have our freedoms in this country, one just has to live with the repercussions.

      • Jason S.

        Classist is not the same as bigoted.

        • CW

          Collins’ English Dictionary:

          bigot (ˈbɪɡət)

          — n
          a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race

          • Jason S.

            LOL, that’s pretty stupid to pull out the dictionary definition when it shows you’re not using the right word. He openly says he’s a class snob, he didn’t say anything about them having different ideas or values as long as they’re in the same tax bracket.

          • CW

            “Intolerant of any ideas other than his own”. His idea is that he need to live with people of the same class as him. Also, I’m pretty sure that people who are of a different class than him would have different “ideas” on a lot of things, and thus by being intolerant of them he is also being intolerant of said “ideas”.

            Are your two neurons not firing properly today?

  • Winthrop

    I don’t want these people anywhere in Arlington. But if you’re stuck placating them for political points, at least build a police substation and an ICE outpost right there as well.

    Beyond that, set up checkpoints along Glebe Road, Columbia Pike, 10th Street, Clarendon Blvd. Couple that with a fence starting at Wilson, bordering Red Top Cab, Whole Foods, and Lee Highway. At least that way you have an interlocking network of protections that offer redundancy in protection. Couple that with substantial uniformed and undercover law enforcement presence in Views at Clarendon, and maybe you can forestall the Village from losing its character.

  • Brian

    I wish ARLnow.com would stop publishing press release-type statements – “the building’s real mission is the preservation and economic development of the diverse Nauck community against the pressures of higher rents and gentrification” – at least without attribution.

    And I’ve never seen ‘gentrification’ used as a pejorative term as much as in this area. The most basic definition of the word is to describe renovation and improvement. Can people really be against making Green Valley less welcoming to drug dealers, even if it means creating new buildings that may have to charge market rates?

  • Arlwhenever

    Good luck with this. Remember, these things are called housing projects. Same kind of a deal is going up at Arlington Mill.

  • ArlForester

    Better here than another few hundred units without ample parking next to Arlington Forest. I can’t wait until the new building across from Barrett is open. Parking in front of my own house is so yesterday.

  • You may have the wherewithal to purchase a unit in Arlington, however that is not the case for all Arlington residents. The $12 million is an investment (sourced from public and private funds) that provides for long-term affordability of 36 units for residents who otherwise would not have the financial means to live in the Nauck community.

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