Creative property swap increases affordable housing in Ballston
The Jordan is an affordable housing complex in Ballston that’s recognized for its outstanding architectural design and innovative financing structure. Behind the building’s attractive brick exterior is the story of a collaborative effort between developers JBG Companies and AHC, Inc.
The two developers came up with a creative land swap agreement as part of a broader redevelopment proposal for three properties at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Glebe Road — the Peck Chevrolet, Staples, and AHC Jordan Manor properties. The County Board approved the redevelopment proposal in 2008.
As a result of the agreement, AHC was able to more than triple the number of affordable units at the site.
AHC swapped its old Jordan Manor site for a portion of JBG’s Peck Chevrolet site, replacing an aging 24-unit complex with a new 90-unit building. In return, JBG used the site of the old Jordan Manor to build 19 of its 28 market-rate townhomes. The redevelopment project also included a seven-story office building for Virginia Tech and a 10-story office building for commercial and retail uses. It was all possible because the nearby community and the County saw affordable housing as a crucial component for overall project approval.
JBG also made an affordable housing contribution of just under $5.9 million as part of the proposal. The County used this contribution plus local funds to provide a gap financing loan of up to $7.8 million to AHC.
When The Jordan opened in 2011, residents of the old Jordan Manor property were given first preference. The new property features underground parking, a community center, a library, a landscaped courtyard and a water play area for children. It’s located just three blocks from the Ballston Metro station and within walking distance to numerous shops and businesses.
Among the 90 units at The Jordan, 68 units have two bedrooms and five units have three bedrooms to accommodate larger families. Nine units are fully accessible to residents with disabilities. Eighteen units are priced for households earning 50 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), and the remainder are for households earning 60 percent or less of AMI. The maximum allowable income to qualify at 50 percent of AMI is about $43,000 in 2015 for a two-person household and $54,000 for a four-person household. Sixty percent of AMI is approximately $52,000 for a two-person household in 2015 and $65,000 for a four-person household.
The project received a DesignARLINGTON Award of Merit in 2011 for excellence in design.
AHC, Inc. is a non-profit affordable housing developer. Since 1975, they have completed 23 projects in Arlington and they have developed a total of 44 properties in the mid-Atlantic region.
Learn more about affordable housing in Arlington.