Arlington, VA

Arlington officials are sending another $8.8 million in loan funds to support the redevelopment of Queens Court in Rosslyn, supplying a nonprofit with the cash it needs to move ahead with construction of the new affordable housing complex.

The County Board unanimously approved the loan at its meeting Saturday (Jan. 26), committing a total of $16.7 million to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s effort construct two new buildings on the property at 1801 N. Quinn Street.

In all, the developer plans to build 249 apartments at the site which are guaranteed to remain affordable to renters, replacing 39 garden apartments built back in 1940. One new building will have room for 90 apartments, earning loan funds from the county last February, while the other will have 159. That second phase of the development prompted the loan approved this weekend, which is drawn from the county’s “Affordable Housing Investment Fund.”

Most of the apartments, dubbed “committed affordable” units due to the nonprofit’s guarantee to hold rent prices steady for the next 75 years, will serve people making 80 percent of the Arlington’s “Area Median Income.” The county currently pegs that amount at $49,260 annually, for a household of just one person.

But some other homes will be set aside for people at 50 percent and 40 percent of the AMI, tabbed at $41,050 and $32,840 annually for one-person households, respectively.

“It’s a substantial project, with a lot of units,” said County Board Chair Christian Dorsey. “But, within those units, we’re providing some affordability that we don’t normally get.”

Dorsey also hailed the project as one that will “accomplish a lot of our objectives of our master plan” governing the county’s affordable housing goals, which stipulates that officials work to generate 585 new affordable homes each year. However, the county has consistently fallen short of meeting that goal since signing off on the plan four years ago.

The Queens Court project also includes a 9,000-square-foot public park and playground, which the Board also approved Saturday, designed as a northern extension of the new Rosslyn Highlands park. A developer building a new mixed-use complex around the corner, at 1555 Wilson Blvd, will add new green space to the area as it builds atop the existing park.

The county will shell out just under $1.5 million for the section of the park attached to Queens Court, while APAH will spend another $125,000 on the effort.

The nonprofit is hoping to have all its construction contracts for the Queens Court project drawn up by this spring, and hopes to wrap up work on the redevelopment sometime in 2021.

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