April 23, 2015

Downtown Revitalization Series: Alexandria

The City of Alexandria, located along the Potomac River, is just six miles from the nation’s capital. Its unique character and proximity to federal government, defense, technology and contracting jobs continue to make it one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. With Alexandria’s population nearing 150,000 and an Area Median Income of $109,200, this booming real estate market makes new development and/or redevelopment of affordable housing both challenging and expensive.

In the past 10 years, Alexandria has lost more than half of its affordable housing units. To offset this trend, the City has established the goal of providing, preserving or assisting 2,000 units through FY 2025 by implementing the strategies and tools of Alexandria’s Housing Master Plan. An advisory group, comprised of the Alexandria Affordable Housing Advisory Committee plus six additional appointees, is spearheading the Housing Master Plan effort.

To lead the way, the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) partnered with Potomac Yard Development, LLC to build The Station at Potomac Yard. The redevelopment concept was designed to transform the former rail yard into a walkable urban village with access to multiple transportation systems. The mixed use/mixed income development features 64 affordable apartments, 1,500 square feet of commercial space, structured parking and a four-bay fire station. All apartments are located above the fire station, and serve households with incomes between 60 and 80 percent of the Alexandria Area Median Income.

Total development costs were estimated at $23.6 million. VHDA provided financing through a creative combination of REACH Virginia funds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and taxable bonds. As part of the overall funding, the City provided additional financial equity. VHDA is proud to partner with the City of Alexandria and local developers to help advance Alexandria’s Housing Master Plan and its efforts to keep housing affordable.
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