Gateway Update: Building Features, amenities discussed; construction site photos

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It  's ha  rd to miss this giant hole in the ground, as you drive past King and Beauregard.

It's hard to miss this giant hole in the ground, as you drive past King and Beauregard.

Construction crews at the King and Beauregard intersection have continued their work digging out the foundation for the West Alex development – what will be a mixed-use space of retail, office, and residential buildings. AHDC will begin construction on a 74-unit affordable housing property within the development this year, ensuring that the area maintains long-term affordable options as the city grows.

Future residents of this AHDC property, currently called The Gateway, will enjoy amenities including a 1,500 square foot community room, 6,500 square foot outdoor terrace, a children’s play area, and grilling station. Underground parking and bike storage will be available to residents, and a TransitScreen display in the lobby will assist those commuting via public transportation. Gateway residents will also have the option to access additional amenities within the larger West Alex development, such as a fitness room. 

The Gateway will serve households making under 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI, learn more here). The property has a mix of studio, one, two, and three bedroom units, serving a wide variety of individuals and families.

Outside of residential uses, West Alex features significant retail and office components as well, which will bring jobs, convenience, and entertainment to the area. “The master developer is planning over 100,000 square feet of retail for the site: convenience retailers, full service and fast casual restaurants, and a 60,000 square foot Harris Teeter,” says project manager Aaron Remolona. “We think that the everyday convenience of having all this retail within steps of the Gateway will be a great amenity for the residents.”

Executive director Jon Frederick also considers the transit connectivity of West Alex to be a primary benefit. “The project has great access to regional employment opportunities at the Pentagon and the BRAC,” says Frederick. “The bus rapid transit (BRT) line on this site will provide connectivity in the long term as well, extending the reach of employment opportunities in the city and the greater region.”

(The BRT line will be a part of the City’s West End Transitway, connecting West End neighborhoods to the city and beyond - learn more here: TE&S Website)

“This is a unique partnership between for-profit and non-profit housing developers” says Frederick. “It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the construction from the beginning, and to play a role in the development and ultimately build something really great for the city.”

See more about The Gateway, or find us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

AHDC team members check out the future site of the Gateway, part of the larger West Alex development.

AHDC team members check out the future site of the Gateway, part of the larger West Alex development.

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Resident Services Program: Jhalil Dickerson Award Ceremony

On Friday, January 12th, Alexandria Housing Development Corporation, along with city and state representatives, celebrated Jhalil Dickerson as he received his 2017 Virginia Governor's Housing Conference Outstanding Youth of the Year award. Jhalil was nominated for the award by The Station's property management team for his hardworking contributions to the Station community: working in the rooftop garden, assisting with set up and clean up of community events, showing kindness towards seniors by helping with doors and bags, and more. The award included a funded 529 College Savings Account and a small gift for Jhalil, and an award to the Station for further community development and events. 

Present at the event included members of Jhalil's family and friends; City of Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson, who spoke on the value of community service; Ayan Addou, who presented the award on behalf of the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), and Helen McIlvaine, Director of Housing for the City of Alexandria. AHDC's Executive Director Jon Frederick and AHDC staff members were also in attendance. 

To be able to work with Jhalil as he invests in his community is a true joy. Congratulations to him and his family from AHDC!

To read our previous piece on Jhalil, click here. 

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Introducing, The Bloom: AHDC and Carpenter's Shelter Project Update

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Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) and Carpenter’s Shelter are working on a new development that will provide 97 units of affordable housing as well as brand new space for Carpenter’s Shelter operations. We are pleased to announce new apartment community now has its official name: introducing, “The Bloom”.


AHDC Project Manager Jennifer Skow says that she was inspired by the growth of the neighborhood and of the program participants at Carpenter’s Shelter when thinking of names for the apartment building. “This project represents growth, and bloom isn’t just a synonym for growth, it also evokes a sense of flourishing,” says Skow. “There are a number of ways residents here may flourish; from easy access to grocery and other community amenities in the Braddock Road neighborhood, social connections and skills developed from the services that will be provided on-site, and the personal and professional growth that can happen when housing is stable.”


The project brings exciting changes for Carpenter’s Shelter as well. The current facility, a retrofitted DMV, will be torn down to make way for a new, purpose built building that will help Carpenter’s Shelter effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their clients. Additionally, 10 apartment units will be set aside as dedicated “permanent supportive housing” dwellings. According to Deputy Director of Carpenter’s Shelter Mary-Parker Lamm, "The City of Alexandria has over 28 citizens in a given year who need a permanent supportive housing unit to ensure they can remain a contributing citizen here in their very own community.  Carpenter's Shelter is proud to decrease that number by 36% with this one project.  We are eager to use our 29 years of experience with a population with a variety of needs and to support all of them in their next step - having a permanent home to call their own right in their own community.”


One of the unique “growing” features of The Bloom will be the 1,600 square foot production garden, which will provide produce for residents of The Bloom and Carpenter’s Shelter. This garden will be professionally managed by a third organization, Love & Carrots, who will also coordinate activities and events for residents related to the garden. Other building features include Bloom Books, small library spaces spread through the building, expansive green roofing, a playground accessible to The Bloom and Carpenter’s residents, and upper housing units with views of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. Interior design features will also reflect this green, growing theme.


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The Bloom, which will be located above the ground-level Carpenter’s Shelter facility, will serve families and individuals who make less than 60% of area median income (or AMI – you can learn more about how AMI works here). This project comes at a “critical moment” for the Braddock Road Metro neighborhood according to Skow, who calls it an “extraordinary opportunity to create new units of low-income housing and provide a new facility to sustain operations for Carpenter’s Shelter in a high-opportunity neighborhood.” The area has grown rapidly in the past few years, but luxury rate units dwarf the number of affordable rate units. With amenities like the Metrorail line and bus access, Post Office, medical services, schools, recreational centers, and parks nearby, The Bloom will offer a convenient, connected affordable housing option for low-to-moderate income residents.


You can see more details about the Bloom on our webpage here. To be the first to receive updates about the Bloom and our other projects, sign up for our mailing list. To learn more about Carpenter’s Shelter, click here.

This property is not yet taking leasing inquiries.


Energy Masters update Arbelo Apartments

Energy Masters, a program run by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) and partnered with the City of Alexandria, updated Alexandria Housing Development Corporation’s (AHDC) Arbelo Apartments while training their new recruits this past Saturday. Trainees insulated wall outlets and light switches, installed low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, and caulked windows, all of which will provide green cost savings to our residents free of charge. Part of AHDC’s plan for the future includes environmentally sustainable buildings and renovations, making sure that we invest responsibly in Alexandria’s future. The work of Energy Masters helps us further that goal.

The six year old program has trained over 180 volunteers and helped 700 families in affordable housing in the NOVA region with educational outreach and upgrades. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our neighbors and communities!


AHDC at the Nationals!

On October 1, Alexandria Housing Development Corporation residents and staff caught the last Nationals ballgame of the regular season. It was a wonderful chance to get to socialize with each other, enjoy some fall sunshine, and dig into ballpark grub.

Resident services and community events are a part of AHDC’s new Strategic Plan, and we’re eager to get outside and be with our communities. (And while the Nats didn’t win this one, we’re excited to see them tackle the NLDS this weekend!)