Purchase made possible by a $2.3M Amazon grant and establishes path for multi-phased redevelopment plan
Alexandria, VA – January 18, 2022: Today, leading nonprofit affordable housing developer Wesley Housing announced the acquisition of Parc Square Apartments, a six building, 66-unit property in the Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood of the City of Alexandria. Two of the buildings are proximate to Wesley Housing-owned Beverly Park Apartments.
The Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood is a majority Latinx community with median household incomes below 50% of the DC-VA-MD metropolitan statistical area (MSA) area median Income (AMI). The historically underserved and underinvested community is one of the few Opportunity Zone census tracts in the City of Alexandria, pointing to the need for concerted and responsible investment in the neighborhood.
Facing pressures of gentrification and rent increases due to the proximity to the future Potomac Yard Metrorail site and other higher-income neighborhoods, Wesley Housing intends to secure the community as a long-term affordable housing asset.
The property acquisition and stabilization was financed by a $2.3M grant from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund and a $10.26M acquisition loan from Housing Partnership Fund, Inc. and participating lender Woodforest National Bank®. As a condition of Amazon funding, the 66 units will remain affordable for at least 99 years.
The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is a more than $2 billion commitment to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable housing units in Washington state’s Puget Sound region; in and around Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee—three hometown communities where the company has a large and growing presence. The Amazon Housing Equity Fund increases housing options for moderate-to-low-income families by providing affordable housing providers with quick access to low-rate loans to create or preserve buildings where affordability would have otherwise been lost to commercial-rate development. The fund will also provide cash grants to businesses, nonprofits, and minority-led organizations to help them build a more inclusive solution to the affordable housing crisis, which disproportionately affects communities of color.
“We are so pleased to be a part of the solution by addressing the affordable housing shortage,” said Catherine Buell, Director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “By teaming up with organizations such as Wesley Housing, we are able to help grow the housing stock for moderate- to low-income households as well as support our communities of color whose diverse contributions help make Northern Virginia such a wonderful place to live, work, and thrive.”
In the short term, Wesley Housing and its affiliate, Wesley Property Management, will take immediate steps to address life safety issues and improve habitability for existing residents. The long-term plan is the multi-phased redevelopment of Parc Square in conjunction with Beverly Park Apartments as well as properties owned by Community Lodgings.
To kickoff the partnership, Community Lodgings will take the lead in providing enhanced services to the residents of Parc Square and Beverly Park.
“Services will be a priority for all families and residents at Parc Square. Wesley is seeking support and a formal partnership with Community Lodgings, who has a 34 year history of providing a multitude of programs, education and key interventions to adults and children in the Chirilauga neighborhood,” stated Lynn Thomas, executive director for Community Lodgings. “We welcome Wesley’s new ownership in the neighborhood and look forward to collaborations that strengthen all families and residents.”
“Committing these units to long-term affordability and making critical repairs will greatly benefit existing residents and the community at large,” said Wesley Housing Vice President of Real Estate Development Kamilah McAfee. “Our ultimate goals are to reduce the economic burden of housing in this community, improve the quality of living for residents, contribute to income diversification, and attract private and public investment to generate economic opportunities and access to desirable amenities and services,” added McAfee.
Over the next year, Wesley Housing plans to seek entitlements for the redevelopment of the various project phases and anticipates closing and starting construction on the major phase of redevelopment in 2025. For project updates or to learn more about the project, please visit wesleyhousing.org/property/parc-square/.
About Wesley Housing: Wesley Housing, a leading nonprofit developer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, has been working to provide affordable rental housing for individuals families for nearly 50 years. Since its founding, Wesley Housing has emerged as a premier developer of affordable housing. Wesley Housing has acquired or developed over 2,700 rental units, providing quality housing for thousands of at-risk individuals and families each year. Wesley Housing supplements housing with supportive services to build up the lives of its residents, including low- and moderate-income families, older adults, and individuals with disabilities and/or chronic disease. For more information, please visit www.wesleyhousing.org and follow @WesleyHousing on social media.