Borrower : Wesley Huntington A LLC
Where : Alexandria, VA
Loan Amount : $7.1 million total; $3.66 million from VCC
Project Type : Participation loan, Land acquisition bridge loan
One mile west of the Potomac River and Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge rests a partially occupied, 12-unit apartment community for low-income residents. Behind it, on the same parcel, two dilapidated duplexes sit empty. However, Wesley Housing, a respected local non-profit that has built affordable housing for thousands of Northern Virginia residents since 1974, has a vision for this prime, visible property, and its four adjacent parcels: produce a new 126-unit affordable housing complex with commercial spaces and support services for the residents who will one day call this Huntington Avenue block their home.
Wesley calls the project The Arden, and numerous financial institutions have jumped in to support the project. Fairfax County has committed $8.8 million towards construction, while the Virginia Housing Development Authority has also awarded tax credits toward the project. Relocation of current tenants is also part of the budget.
Wesley has developed 29 communities in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., providing 2,100 affordable homes to more than 25,0000 individuals. Wesley typically focuses on green redevelopment of existing affordable housing into mixed-income homes, with rents ranging from 60 percent of the area median income at the high end, and 30 percent AMI rents at the low end. Organizations like Wesley are particularly important to Northern Virginia, which has one of the highest costs of living in the U.S.
Wesley developed the region’s first affordable housing community for people with chronic disease and Northern Virginia’s first barrier-free housing for individuals with special needs, with buildings for seniors and those with disabilities. Wesley also goes beyond constructing homes, offering educational and supportive services to remove barriers to living and help adults and children achieve success in both academics and in life.
The Arden will also support the Fairfax County Housing Blueprint, providing transit-oriented workforce housing (in close proximity to the Huntington Metro Station), and access to parks and active community surroundings.
The Arden’s financing package will not be complete until June 2019, but Wesley purchased the land from the seller this summer. In partnership with the Housing Partnership Network, as the lead lender, and Capital Impact Partners, VCC was able to provide a land acquisition bridge loan totaling $7.1 million that allowed Wesley to buy the land, pay closing costs, and set aside an interest reserve.