Fairfax County Celebrates New Workforce Housing
Director of Public Affairs
Department of Housing and Community Development
On May 5, 2015, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in celebration for the Residences at the Government Center. Hosted by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in partnership with the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), Jefferson Apartment Group, and Stratford Capital Group, the event marked the beginning of construction for new workforce housing in Fairfax County.
Situated on just over eight wooded acres facing Monument Drive, the Residences at the Government Center will offer 270 rental units of affordable housing for the Fairfax County workforce. The first units are scheduled to be available by October 2016, with the project complete by early 2017.
Designated as workforce housing, the rental units will be affordable to households earning between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) for the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Rents are estimated to range from mid- $900’s for an efficiency to low- $1700’s for a three bedroom. This project is expected to attract many applicants, including employees working in nearby County facilities, teachers, firefighters, employees of local businesses, and other qualified households.
“Northern Virginia produces a large percent of the economic output for the Commonwealth,” said Kurt Creager, Director of Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. “This means our biggest natural resource and economic advantage is the entrepreneurial talent of our people and this requires a full spectrum of affordable housing opportunities. The Residences at the Government Center represents a major step forward in the right direction.”
The project was approved by the Board of Supervisors March 8, 2011. Final financing was put in place in March of this year. The Residences is a unique public-private partnership among the county, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Jefferson Apartment Group, and Stratford Capital Group. The county provided the land though a long-term, nominal fee ground lease. Jefferson Apartment Group will construct, operate and maintain the project at no cost to the county.
“This is a significant achievement forged over many years,” stated Greg Lamb, Executive Vice President and Managing Partner for Jefferson Apartment Group. “We look forward to the next important milestone in the Fall of 2016 when we open the project to the families who will call the Residences at the Government Center home.”
“This development project typifies the value, importance, and necessity of public-private partnerships in the creation of affordable and workforce housing,” noted Stephen Wilson, President and Principal for Stratford Capital Group. “This outcome is the culmination of a considerable amount of effort, persistence and ingenuity from many people that will ultimately result in a development that I think will be considered “best in class” in the industry and will serve as a model for future developments.”
The four-story apartment community will feature garage parking, a fitness center and outdoor pool, a conference room, outdoor courtyards, a play area, and a community room. Green features will include low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints that have fewer toxins, Energy Star appliances and high-efficiency water heaters.
The venture has received joint recognition by the Washington Smart Growth Alliance and the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing for its innovative approach to providing workforce housing. The project was commended for its unique public-private partnership that makes possible the creation of a private development consisting entirely of affordable workforce housing units. The location of the apartments within walking distance to jobs and everyday shopping opportunities satisfies one of the most critically important tenants of smart growth.
For photos of the groundbreaking ceremony, please click here.
Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development is a local governmental agency within Fairfax County that administers affordable housing and community revitalization programs. In addition to its role as a department of county government, HCD serves as the staff for the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA).
The FCRHA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia whose mission is to initiate and provide opportunities for Fairfax County residents to live in safe, affordable housing and to help develop, preserve, and revitalize communities.
Jefferson Apartment Group is a Mclean, Virginia based full?service real estate firm specializing in multifamily and mixed use real estate investments through its acquisition, development, construction and property management services.
Stratford Capital Group is a full service affordable housing investment and development company with offices in Vienna, Virginia and Peabody, Massachusetts.