ARHA seeks building height approvals for affordable apartment project in Old Town North

Proposed massing for the Ladrey High-Rise (via ARHA)

The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority is asking the city to approve new height limits for its proposed redevelopment of Ladrey High Rise in Old Town North.

ARHA has plans to demolish the existing 11-story, 170-unit affordable apartment building at 300 Wythe Street, which houses seniors and residents with disabilities, as well as its former headquarters at 600 N. Fairfax Street.

In their place, the developer intends to build an L-shaped, 270-unit complex that will range in height from seven stories along Wythe Street to six stories along N. Fairfax Street to five stories at the corner of Fairfax and Pendleton streets.

While the new building will not exceed the current height of the aging 11-story building, it will occupy streets with lower height limits. ARHA is asking the Planning Commission to approve taller height limits on these streets.

The developer intends to construct buildings up to 85 feet tall by take advantage of the city’s bonus density and height allowance for properties under development that offer affordable housing.

“The proposed building height includes several heights achieved through height transitions and setbacks, ranging between 55’ and 80,’” per the developer’s application to the city. “The Applicant proposes to make use of Section 7-700 bonus density and height for the provision of affordable housing on the Property.”

The bonus density and height provision is separate from a recently scrapped plan that would allow developers to increase height on their properties in areas with height limits that are 45 feet.

ARHA previously said this summer that it and its partners, Winn Companies and IBF Development, intend to submit plans and relocate residents in the second quarter of 2024, with construction starting by the second quarter of 2025.

If all goes as planned, the project would wrap by the first quarter of 2028, according to a June presentation.

The matter will go before the Planning Commission on Jan. 4.