Wesley Housing, Fairfax County, and other project partners gathered July 20 to break ground on The Arden, a highly-anticipated new affordable family development located one block from the Huntington Metro in the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County.
The ceremony, limited in size to adhere to current guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, officially kicked off the construction of 126 affordable units, including 10 efficiencies, 26 one bedrooms, 76 two bedrooms, 14 three bedrooms, and 11 fully accessible units in the transit-oriented neighborhood. Resident amenities will include a community room, courtyard patio, bike storage, on-site laundry facilities, surface parking, and a dog walking area. In addition, the ground floor will host 7,500 sq. ft. of office space, which will allow Wesley Housing to relocate its main office to the property. Wesley Housing will be meeting Energy Star and EarthCraft Multifamily Gold green building standards for the new development.
"When complete, The Arden will be a shining example of transit-oriented affordable housing in Fairfax County," said Wesley Housing President/CEO, Shelley Murphy.
“A safe, affordable, and stable housing environment is fundamental to building stronger communities and the economic success of all of our residents. In serving families who are otherwise struggling in this housing market, The Arden is an outstanding example of our pursuit of the vision of One Fairfax,” said Jeffrey McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“I am very pleased to be groundbreaking on this exciting project, The Arden,” said Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck. “When we talk about affordable housing, we often lose site of the people who represent this segment of our population – our teachers, police officers, grocery store and construction workers, many working more than one job to make ends meet. This well planned, beautiful and high-quality community asset will provide dignified housing options for those who need and deserve them. As we redevelop and re-envision the Mount Vernon District, we need all our neighbors to remain in our incredibly diverse communities. This is what makes us strong, resilient, understanding and proud.”
The project has received a substantial contribution from Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority in Housing Blueprint funding, awarding Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and a commitment of 12 project-based vouchers to serve extremely-low-income households and individuals with developmental disabilities.
“It has definitely taken a creative mix of resources to bring this project about,” said Tom Fleetwood, Director Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development. “Of the dozen or so resources feeding into this project, many have been locally directed – including $7.4 million in local Housing Blueprint loans; nearly $1 million awarded in federal Community Development Block Grant Funding; and committing project-based rental assistance from the State Rental Assistance and Housing Choice Voucher Programs to serve extremely low-income households and individuals with developmental disabilities. It is a prime example of a cooperative effort using all the tools in our toolbox to make this project possible.”
Located at 2317 Huntington Avenue, The Arden will be a seven-story building at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive. The building is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the property at standards comparable to other properties in the market area and will remain committed to affordability for 30 years. Wesley Housing expects to begin accepting rental applications in Spring 2022 from the public and referrals from individuals coming from the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) waiting list to more effectively meet the needs of Fairfax County’s most vulnerable populations. To learn more about the project or to sign-up to receive future leasing information, please visit www.LiveTheArden.com.