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Construction could start on the redevelopment of Crystal House Apartments in Crystal City late next spring.

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (A, which is spearheading the project along with D.C.-area developer EYA, expects to kick off construction in May or June of 2024, APAH spokeswoman Elise Panko tells ARLnow.

Arlington County selected the two companies build more affordable housing on the Crystal House apartment property after Amazon granted the county development rights to the vacant land, worth approximately $40 million. APAH and EYA have plans to construct 844 units on this empty plot, of which 655 will be designated as affordable.

Meanwhile, existing units will be kept affordable through a separate loan from Amazon. In an effort to mitigate the impact of its move to Arlington on the local housing market, the tech giant loaned the Washington Housing Conservancy money to purchase and stabilize rent at the complex, located at 1900 S. Eads Street, just one block from its second headquarters.

Several months after being selected to lead the project, APAH has requested the county’s permission to amend the previously approved development plans for the site, aiming to incorporate affordable housing, according to recently filed application materials.

APAH began by redesigning the project’s first phase, dubbed “Crystal House VI,” which is set to be located at the corner of 18th Street S. and S. Fern Street.

A rendering of Crystal House VI (via Arlington County)

When the project was approved in 2019, the “Crystal House VI” was envisioned as a five-story building housing 63 units. However, APAH now intends to pivot towards affordable senior rentals, which the developer says is necessary to secure additional financing.

The developer requested permission to increase the number of units to 80 and halve the number of parking spaces.

It also requested different façade materials that “maintain a high quality and appealing design while reducing construction costs,” according to land-use attorney Nicholas Cumings.

According to a letter from Cummings, the increase in units can be achieved without changing the building’s overall footprint. The units will be smaller than the originally planned market-rate condos.

“The proposed minor site plan amendment represents a significant milestone in realizing the county’s goals,” APAH Executive Vice President Carmen Romero wrote in a letter of support to the county. “Creating these homes requires the approval of this minor site plan amendment in order to make the design compatible with an affordable senior rental project.”

Once construction starts next year, Panko says APAH anticipates Crystal House VI to be done in the fall or winter of 2025.

“This phase will reconnect the streetscape to the surrounding community as well as provide carefully crafted amenities for our seniors that foster a sense of belonging and enhance the overall quality of life for residents,” Romero said in her letter.

When asked for a timeline of the other projects in the pipeline, Panko said “there are two buildings on the site that will remain occupied, so the development will be phased to accommodate existing operations.”

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A proposal to redevelop the Red Lion Hotel near Rosslyn is beginning its journey through the Arlington County approval process.

Local development group Orr Partners took over previously approved plans from 2019 to replace the hotel and the Ellis Arms Apartments in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood with a 10-story condo building and 12-story hotel.

After taking over, Orr expanded the scope of its project. Now, it intends to build on a 2.2-acre site composed of the hotel, formerly the Best Western Iwo Jima hotel, which opened in 1958, as well as the Ellis Arms and Williamsburg apartments, which were built in 1954.

Instead of a condo building and hotel, it proposes building a 446-unit, 8-story apartment complex at 1501 Arlington Blvd, bounded by Fairfax Drive to the south and the Parc Rosslyn Apartments and Belvedere Condominiums to the north.

Existing conditions at the Red Lion Hotel site (via Arlington County)

“We think it will revitalize this neighborhood and bring critically needed housing to Arlington County,” Tyler Orr of Orr Partners said in a video. “Our company has been honored to deliver numerous projects in Arlington County over the last 35 years. In all our projects, we seek to enhance the fabric of the surrounding community, be considerate of our neighbors and give something back with any new community we deliver.”

In exchange for razing the two 14-unit apartment buildings, Orr says the company will provide on-site affordable housing.

That has to amount to at least 28 units or the same square footage lost to redevelopment, according to county planner Adam Watson. He said in a video that Orr is held to this standard because it is building on a site that is mostly designated a “special affordable housing protection district.”

Watson said county staffers are working with Orr on an affordable housing plan that replaces the lost housing.

Presentation materials from Orr say the proposal mostly includes a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, though there are 15 two-bedroom “junior” apartments and 12 three-bedroom units, which are at a premium in Arlington County.

Orr Partners intends to reach LEED Gold certification and plans to include three courtyards as well as at- and below-grade, at a rate of 0.57 spaces per unit.

“Architecturally, the base of the building is scaled to respect the heights of the residential developments along the Arlington Blvd corridor,” architect Chris Gordon said in the Orr presentation. “The design incorporates various techniques to break up the massing, through alternating materials, use of color, textures and providing interior courtyards out to Arlington Blvd beginning at third-level amenity terrace.”

He notes the structure is shaped to capture “primary views of the Capital mall” and to bring together amenities so “all residents to engage in this terrific location.”

Orr Partners is also leaving enough space in its development to allow Arlington County to reconstruct the Arlington Blvd Trail that is across street, says county planner Adam Watson. Base engineering for that project is in progress.

The county is asking for feedback on the proposal related to land use, building form, architecture, transportation, landscaping and public space and community benefits.

After the feedback form closes later this month, the first Site Plan Review Committee meeting will be held in September, followed by a second in October. Meetings for commission and Arlington County Board approval have yet to be scheduled.

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A small cohort of dedicated volunteers is stepping up to help support low-income homeowners, performing home improvements at no cost.

Since 1988, the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church has worked to ensure low-income homeowners in Arlington and elsewhere in Northern Virginia have safe and accessible living spaces.

The group, a branch of the national organization Rebuilding Together, is based in the city of Fairfax but lends support to area nonprofit housing organizations, including Choice. Respect. independence, which aids people with disabilities. Last year, the volunteers spent 6,924 hours helping repair 100 homes across the region, according to the nonprofit’s website.

Volunteers are often involved in multiple projects each week, ranging from installing grab bars to new dryers. Typically, these projects involve a team of five volunteers and are completed with a budget of $500 or less.

Daphne Lathouras, communications manager for the local nonprofit, shared an anecdote with ARLnow from one homeowner who said, “I’ve been going up and down these stairs for 57 years and I can’t believe the difference two handrails make.”

Recently, in Arlington, volunteers also helped renovate a new building for the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, which has recycled more than 3 million pairs of eyeglasses for people in need.

Rebuilding Together’s local Northern Virginia affiliate heavily relies on the dedicated work of volunteers, some of whom provide year-round support.

“The key [to our success] is the incredible volunteers,” Lathouras told ARLnow.

The local organization receives funding from several sources including the Arlington County government, faith and corporate partners as well as individual donors.

“I want to thank the wonderful group with hearts of gold that came to my aid when I really needed it,” a homeowner said when giving feedback to the organization.

Additional information, as well as the volunteer sign-up link, are available on the nonprofit’s website.

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Plans to renovate some of the buildings within the Barcroft Apartments complex on Columbia Pike cleared an important hurdle on Tuesday.

The Arlington County Board approved a use permit enabling renovation plans for 93 homes at the corner of S. George Mason Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive on Tuesday. These will occur concurrently with long-term planning for how to redevelop select parcels within the sprawling acreage.

Board Chair Christian Dorsey said property owner and developer Jair Lynch is taking “virtually unheard of” steps to meet with residents and inform them of the project, sending monthly reports of these meetings to the county.

“I don’t want you to necessarily give them applause but understand there is a structure in place by which more information is learned, that they can share, and there is a vehicle to share it,” he said. “We’ll be watching. We’ll be monitoring. It’s really been working pretty well this far.”

Jair Lynch acquired the property in December 2021 using a $150 million loan from Arlington County and a $160 million loan from Amazon.

The terms of the agreement preserved the affordability of the 1,334 units for residents earning up to 60% of the area median income for 99 years. Jair Lynch is exploring making some units affordable to residents meeting lower income thresholds.

Since then, Jair Lynch has been meeting with residents to seek input on the changes and assuage them that legacy residents — those who Jair Lynch identified as living at the complex before the property was purchased — will not be displaced.

It is working with county staff to plot out redevelopment and renovation work and how it will pay for these changes, submitting a development and financing plan last October, which is currently under review. This fall, Jair Lynch and the county will discuss the mix of affordability levels on the site.

After the renovations, the number of homes will remain at 93 but, using bump-outs, 14 homes will become 3-bedroom and 4 will become 4-bedroom units. There will be landscape and site improvements, including to garages for tenants, and the buildings will incorporate environmentally friendly amenities and features.

Bump-outs at Barcroft Apartments to increase the size of 17 units (via Arlington County)

The renovations may require residents to be temporarily relocated elsewhere on the site, for which Jair Lynch will pay. After the units change size, legacy residents may seek to live in another unit on-site, Melissa Danowski, the county project coordinator for Barcroft, confirmed for the Board.

A resident meeting explaining next steps was held this April and information will continue to be shared with residents to give them time to prepare for any disruption. Those who will be relocated will get a 120-day notice.

Ahead of the meeting, there was some discussion among Planning Commission members about whether the sloped site can be made more accessible to people with disabilities, as some areas are only accessible by stairs and at least one building does not have an elevator.

Project representatives said that making accessibility upgrades will be difficult. Modifications could be made to the rest of the site to add accessible units, per a summary of the discussion shared with the Board.

Commissioners also discussed what would become of the tree canopy on the site.

Jair Lynch proposes removing trees where they conflict with construction or stormwater facilities or if they are in poor health or are invasive species, a report said. The developer plans to exceed tree replacement numbers.

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The owner of garden apartments on the edge of the Fairlington neighborhood nabbed $46.6 million in federal loans to help keep the units affordable and fund upgrades.

Over the last two years, Standard Communities, which owns Park Shirlington (4510 31st Street S.), has been amassing funding — including from Arlington County — to keep the nearly 300 units on site affordable to people earning up to 60% of the area median income, while funding renovations and new construction work.

Last week, commercial real estate company Walker & Dunlop announced it had helped the company nab the $46.6 million in federal funds, on top of $31.9 million in loans from the Arlington County Affordable Housing Investment Fund.

With the new federal loans, it is able to keep the units affordable at least through 2053, according to the announcement.

“Transitioning Park Shirlington from market rate to committed affordable housing was an ambitious but critical objective given the affordable housing landscape in Arlington and many other high-opportunity locations,” said Scott Alter, the co-founder, and principal of Standard Communities, in a statement.

“Standard Communities is proud to have successfully worked with so many other committed stakeholders to ensure that Park Shirlington provides nearly 300 high-quality, affordable housing units for decades to come,” he continued.

Chris Rumul, the leader of Walker & Dunlop’s Federal Housing Administration team, says the availability of affordable housing is a national concern but this complex “is an excellent example of how the federal government, local municipalities, and private investors can collaborate to be part of the solution.”

Arlington County has already done its part, loaning some $31.9 million from its Affordable Housing Investment Fund over the course of 2021 and 2022. This included a $6 million loan that helped Standard Communities purchase the property in 2017, preventing market-rate developers from taking it over and building more expensive housing.

With the new funding, renovation and construction work could start this August, an employee at Park Shirlington said this afternoon, adding that tenants would be notified once renovations begin.

The work was initially predicted to start soon after the close of county financing last fall and wrap up in 2024.

The property owner proposes to build new community center with a co-working space and management office. It will renovate 293 existing units and turn the leasing office into a 294th unit.

The renovations include new kitchens and bathrooms, new boilers and chillers, rooftop solar panels, a new community building with a fitness center, hallway upgrades and exterior work, according to a 2022 report from Arlington County.

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A collection of garden apartments near Rosslyn are set to be renovated this year.

On Saturday, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing received the last approvals it needed to repair 62 committed affordable units across six garden apartment buildings in the Radnor-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood.

These renovations are part of a two-phase redevelopment project of The Marbella Apartments along N. Queen Street near Route 50. Two 12-story, 100% affordable buildings will replace a three-story, garden-style complex north of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall while the other 62 units will be renovated.

These units will get updated windows and façades as well as interiors, new handrails and new wells that protect windows that are level with the ground from soil, known as window wells.

The project had nearly cleared the last design and permitting stages when it was discovered that the property does not conform with present-day Zoning Ordinance regulations, per a county report. That meant some of its repairs, including the window wells, could not proceed by-right.

The apartments were built by-right in the 1940s, a decade before the ordinance was enacted. The buildings now do not meet the ordinance’s requirements for how close a property could be to the street nor parking and density regulations.

Arlington County staff and the applicant argued against trying to make the buildings conform with current zoning rules.

“Bringing the existing buildings into conformance with current parking and setback standards would negatively impact existing units, mature trees, and open space, thus compromising the goals of affordable housing preservation and the historic qualities of the garden apartment property,” the report said.

Instead, on Saturday, the Arlington County Board designated the property with the Marbella Apartments as a “Voluntary Coordinated Housing Preservation and Development District.”

The property joins some eight other buildings in Arlington, the report says. They received this designation between 1992 and 2011.

The Board also approved a related use permit. These two moves allow the planned structural changes to the apartments without making them conform to zoning ordinances.

The buildings consist of mostly 1-bedroom apartments, with some studio, 2- and 3-bedroom units. They are available to people earning a mix of incomes up to 60% of the area median income.

Neither the report nor application materials indicated when renovations would begin.

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The Shelton in Green Valley (staff photo)

Residents of The Shelton, an affordable housing development in the Green Valley neighborhood, are raising concerns about property management and poor treatment of residents.

They previously raised these same issues in 2016, along with other quality-of-life that they say plagued the building, owned by local affordable housing developer AHC Inc.

“We are having problems in my apartment complex,” Frank Duncan, who has lived there since it opened, told members of the Tenant-Landlord Commission earlier this month.

He described an exorbitant water bill, errant late fees, a whole week without hot water and disrespectful management staff. He articulated a feeling among residents that their housing situation is not guaranteed because rent has been paid month-to-month since the pandemic started.

The testimony before the commission comes as AHC Inc. says it is making it easier for residents to report complaints. Some current and former commission members say these complaints reinforce their powerlessness to do more than advise residents. ARLnow has previously reported on how limited mediation options in Arlington, compared to Fairfax County, dissuade residents from bringing up issues.

Duncan said residents feel mistreated when they try to raise issues with management, which causes them to let issues go unresolved.

“When you go to the rent office, the manager is so disrespectful,” Duncan said. “She does not have the time to listen to what we have to say. So, they don’t go in there. They come to get me to go in there and talk.”

Disrespectful management was one of the complaints levied against management at the Serrano Apartments on Columbia Pike two years ago. AHC received public and county scrutiny after ARLnow reported on complaints about poor living conditions at the complex.

Since then, AHC made changes to its operations, including getting new leadership and committing to third-party management at The Serrano, though advocates and some residents say issues persist, WAMU/DCist reported in April.

The nonprofit developer says it is working to address concerns at The Shelton.

“AHC’s mission is to put residents first. Thus, we value resident feedback, take resident concerns seriously, and do not tolerate poor customer service from anyone interacting with residents,” AHC President and CEO Paul Bernard said in a statement. “When we learn about issues, including disrespectful behavior, we act swiftly and follow up with our property management companies.”

AHC spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said the nonprofit developed and distributed a Resident Concern Guide for all residents at all Arlington communities to ensure residents know how to report — and, if needed — escalate issues.

She says the management company, Harbor Group is working extra hours and through staffing shortages to certify residents meet income eligibility requirements to live there. After this is done, Smith says, eligible residents can get back on year-long leases.

Harbor Group is also trying to make bills and late fees for rent easier to understand, she said. The company also scheduled a meeting with residents to discuss concerns and issues. This was planned before the Tenant-Landlord Commission meeting, Smith notes, and was attended by AHC staff and Bernard.

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Goodwill of Greater Washington and AHC Inc. are teaming up to build affordable housing above a new second-hand store and donation center on S. Glebe Road.

DC Urban Turf first reported the news.

The national nonprofit has not embarked on something like this before, writes land-use attorney Andrew Painter, in application materials filed with Arlington County.

“The proposed redevelopment would be the first such project for the organization as it seeks to further its nonprofit mission and values,” Painter said. “The proposal will also deliver a modern and efficient retail store and donation processing center for a successful nonprofit organization that provides important services and benefits to Arlington County’s disenfranchised populations.”

The nonprofit proposes to demolish the existing store at 10 S. Glebe Road in the Alcova Heights neighborhood and build a five-story, mixed-use building. There will be a Goodwill retail store and child care center on the ground floor, a donation processing center on the second floor and 128 apartments above that.

All of the units will be offered to households earning between 30-60% of the area median income for a period of 30 years, though the exact unit mix will be finalized during the financing process. About three-quarters of the affordable apartments consist of 2-3 bedroom units.

The units units will be available for a single person earning up to $63,300 and a family of four earning up to $90,420, according to the county.

AHC, which Painter says is Arlington County’s largest non-profit affordable housing developer, is its joint development partner and will oversee the apartment side of the building’s operations once construction is done. AHC will also choose the operator for the child care center.

“AHC hopes to replicate the success we’ve had in other communities,” AHC spokeswoman Jennifer Smith tells ARLnow. “That means bringing a mission-aligned childcare partner to the new Goodwill site, with priority enrollment for onsite residents and Goodwill Greater Washington employees, then availability to the larger community.”

Parking for residents, childcare, employee and overflow customer parking will be located in a 152-space underground garage. Retail, visitor and future resident parking will be in a 16-spot surface parking lot.

In preparation for the temporary closure of the S. Glebe site, Goodwill is currently negotiating a lease for an alternate donation drop-off location close by. That is expected to open in 2024.

Meanwhile, Painter says, Goodwill encourages its customers to shop or donate at its 20 other area locations, including a store on Columbia Pike.

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County Board hopefuls at Arlington County Democratic Committee forum (via Arlington Democrats/YouTube)

The specter of Missing Middle haunts the slate of candidates for Arlington County Board.

Two months ago, the County Board allowed the by-right construction of 2-6 unit buildings on lots previously zoned for single-family homes.

Prior to voting for the changes, Board Chair Christian Dorsey and member Katie Cristol announced that they would not be seeking reelection. Those vying to replace them vary widely in their stances on Missing Middle, though a forum last week hosted by Arlington County Democratic Committee revealed areas of common ground.

Some Democrat hopefuls opined about how the process leading up to the zoning changes divided the community and revealed how renters are underrepresented in civic life. Mostly, the candidates suggested that they are focused on life after Missing Middle and supporting other policies to help people afford to live in Arlington.

“We don’t get a do-over. There is no do-over, there is only a do-next,” said policy analyst Maureen Coffey. “We need to learn from this process, what went wrong — never repeat that ever again — and move forward, bringing everyone to the table to talk about how this is going to play out and what we need to solve our housing and larger issues.”

All of the candidates agreed the county will need to analyze data before deciding on next steps.

“Monitoring closely is going to be really important — especially monitoring on elements of diversity and affordability,” said Susan Cunningham, who has run for County Board before as an independent and criticized the zoning changes.

Cunningham suggested modifying rules for accessory dwelling units and for lot coverage, which could curb the development of large homes oft-derided as “McMansions.”

“My biggest problem with Missing Middle was not just the process but the fact that we did not do a comprehensive look at housing,” Cunningham said. “Housing is complicated and housing this whole community in its diversity and amazingness is also complicated, and we oversimplified that in my opinion.”

To that end, another candidate opposed to the changes, real estate agent Natalie Roy, detailed her views on housing in a three-part plan. It includes implementing a proposal from the Arlington branch of the NAACP to prevent the displacement of low-income residents.

Roy said the county should provide a public dashboard showing where and what kind of permits are issued, as well as the selling price for completed units. Arlington County has already committed to publishing this data once it becomes available.

Missing Middle supporter Jonathan Dromgoole said he too is watching where the units are built. Next, he said, the county should focus on shoring up the dwindling supply of relatively inexpensive, market-rate units. This is something Arlington County is already looking at as these units are continuously lost to redevelopment and rehabilitation.

Former NAACP Arlington Branch president Julius “J.D.” Spain, Sr. said he is thinking farther outside the box.

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Although redevelopment plans for the mid-century Inn of Rosslyn pay homage to the motel, the county says the developer could do more.

Last fall, D.C. real estate company Monument Realty filed plans to replace the 38-unit hotel, built in 1957, with an 8-story, 141-unit apartment building with 88 parking spaces. It took over the property after JBG Smith purchased it in December 2020.

This February, the county kicked off a review process that will culminate with a vote by the Arlington County Board. Planning staff already have some suggestions for the developer to comply with recommendations for the site made in the neighborhood’s Fort Myer Heights North Plan.

They say Monument should study adding floors to shrink the overall footprint of the property — located at 1601 Fairfax Drive, fronting Route 50 — match it to heights of other nearby apartment towers.

The designs, meanwhile, should imitate nearby Art Deco and Colonial Revival garden apartments and the developer could incorporate more historic preservation of the property, county planners say.

“The building footprint should be reduced to provide the recommended landscaped green space which is not currently provided,” said planners in a county report. “The proposed building does not incorporate elements of Colonial Revival or Art Deco, as recommended.”

New renderings from Monument Realty depict a building with alternating stripes of lighter and darker brick, offset by wood-like paneling. Mid-century motifs on the balconies and a “50” sign out front pay homage to the architecture of the existing hotel.

A postcard of the old “Motel 50,” later the Inn of Rosslyn (via Arlington County)

The developer’s land use attorney, Nick Cumings of Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, argued in a January 2023 letter to the county that the project does “compliment and draw from the architecture of the existing building and the characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood.”

That includes the retro “50” sign and some of the materials to be used in construction.

“This selection of building materials is appropriate for the neighborhood, which predominantly features masonry, while also introducing a biophilic design with the wood-like paneling,” writes Cumings.

The county also wants the developer to work on “historic preservation elements” for the existing motel, while an attorney for Monument Realty argues that is not necessary.

Within the Arlington County Historic Resources Inventory, Cumings says, the property is designated as “Important” — but less distinctive and/or in worse condition than “Essential.” He added that the neighborhood plan does not call for its historic preservation.

Meanwhile, residents involved in the pro-housing group YIMBYs of Northern Virginia said on social media that their priority will be getting the developer to include more affordable housing in exchange for greater density.

Like staff, they envision the building reaching 12 stories — the tallest the Fort Myer Heights plan allows — so that more people can live in the Metro-accessible area.

Monument Realty already plans to earn some 59,000 square feet of extra density by participating in the Green Building Density Incentive Program, aiming to earn LEED Gold, and by providing some affordable housing. It’s unclear whether the provided affordable housing will be on-site or elsewhere.

Next up in the development approval process, the Site Plan Review Committee of the county’s Planning Commission will review the project twice before it heads to other citizen commissions and the Arlington County Board. No dates have been set for these meetings.

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Plans to redevelop the Americana Hotel in Crystal City cleared their penultimate hurdle despite criticism that the project does not provide on-site affordable housing.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve plans from JBG Smith to redevelop the former motel at 1460 Richmond Hwy.

To get here, the developer has overcome sloping terrain and maneuvered future development plans for neighboring sites and Route 1, which the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to lower. The company also attended to lingering transportation and sustainability concerns.

JBG Smith proposes a 19-story apartment building with about 3,885 square feet of ground-floor retail. Of the 639 units, 33 will have three bedrooms. It’s across the street from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2, the first phase of which is expected to open this summer.

There will be two levels of underground parking, with 188 residential and visitor parking spaces, and 206 off-site parking at the Bartlett Apartments. JBG Smith proposes a 2,800 square-foot green space area with a small, private outdoor amenity area and a small dog run.

As for affordable housing, JBG Smith is making a baseline contribution to the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) of $2.1 million and making an additional $7.53 million contribution to leverage about 80 committed affordable units (CAFs) at the Crystal House Apartments at 1900 S. Eads Street, about one-third of a mile away.

There, two developers will oversee the construction of 655 CAFs and 189 market-rate units. Amazon helped a nonprofit purchase the 16-acre site and stabilize rent for the 828 existing units and build new units, later donating the land and development rights to Arlington County.

Some Planning Commission members, however, were emphatic that all future projects need some on-site affordable units.

“Every project needs to have on-site affordable housing. Period. Every single project,” Chair Devanshi Patel said.

Currently, developers seeking a large-scale redevelopment can offset that with an AHIF contribution or the provision of on-site or off-site units. In exchange, they can build taller buildings and, in the case of apartments, add more units. Most developers will make a cash contribution and it is rarer to see on-site units, though some recent projects have included setting aside existing units off-site for affordable housing.

“If we hold ourselves out to be a ‘welcoming, thriving, inclusive community,'” — and here she changed voices, suggesting air quotes or skepticism — “then we need to stand by that and that means we need to have affordable housing at every project,” Patel said.

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