A major affordable housing development in the city’s Braddock area is headed to the Planning Commission tonight.
ARHA wants to demolish the existing 66 units of public housing in 13 two-story apartment buildings at 899 and 999 N. Henry Street and replace them with two new six-story apartment buildings (75 feet maximum height) containing 532 residential units. Of those, 326 units would be affordable and workforce housing for a period of 40 years, in order for ARHA to qualify for federal tax credits.
The current public housing units were built for defense workers during World War II in 1945. The 65 families currently living on the properties will be provided temporary housing, their moving expenses will be paid and they will have the option to move back to the property once construction is finished, according to a city staff report.
If approved, the development would also be home to 13,800 square feet of ground floor retail space, as well as a 13,540 square-foot Hopkins House early childhood center and a 500-square-foot Alive! food hub.
ARHA expects construction to take two years and is also applying for special use permit approvals for a potential restaurant with outdoor dining, an athletic club/fitness studio and a medical care facility.
If approved by the Planning Commission, the matter will be voted on by the Alexandria City Council at its public hearing on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The north building
The north building will be located at the highly visible intersection of N. Patrick and N. Henry Streets, and include 207 apartments. Residents will be able to parking in a single-level 127-space underground parking garage. The Alive! food hub would also be located on the ground floor of the building.
“The north building will include a 500-square-foot Alive Food Hub on the ground floor, which will function like a small market, allowing clients to shop for food, personal items, cleaning, and school supplies, and make connections to useful information/services,” according to a city staff report.
The City also wants ARHA to develop an oral history project for the site, and either contribute public art to the space or donate $54,000 to the city’s public arts efforts.
The south building
While the project is part of a single community, ARHA intends on selling the south building to a private developer.
“(D)ifferent entities will own the two buildings,” City staff noted. “ARHA will be the fee simple owner of the northern block, allowing for certain fee exemptions, while the southern block will be sold to a private developer.”
The south building is proposed to have 13,300 square feet of ground floor retail use, in addition to the 13,300-square-foot Hopkins House daycare, will have up to 150 students and 23 employees, according to the city. Also in the south property, ARHA has applied for SUPs for a restaurant with outdoor dining, a medical care facility and an athletic club/fitness center.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
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