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Connolly Applauds Approval of Crescent Redevelopment

by Karen Goff — March 12, 2015 at 9:20 am 23 Comments

Lake Anne Rendering/Credit: LADP

Rep. Gerry Connolly says the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the revitalization project for Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne Plaza area is an important step in preserving affordable housing in Fairfax County.

Connolly (D-Va. 11th) represents Reston, as well as other parts of Fairfax County. He formerly served as the Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, where he was an advocate for affordable housing.

“Not only will this redevelopment replace the current 181 affordable units and add four new ones for families with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, but it also will add 175 new workforce housing units,” Connolly said. “In addition, the county will be able to re-invest the proceeds from this sale in additional affordable housing projects.”

The Board of Supervisors last week approved Lake Anne Development Partners’ (LADP) extensive plan to add more than 1,000 apartments and townhouses, mostly where the county owned Crescent Apartments stands today.

LADP’s plan also calls for 78,000 square feet of office space and 58,000 square feet of retail space, a modest-sized grocery store and realignment of Village Road. The project will also have a 1.1-acre central park, an outdoor amphitheater, a bike share station and 12 public art works, according to the project’s county staff report.

Crescent Apartments were purchased for $49.5 million by the county in 2006. Development conditions included replacement of the 181 affordable Crescent units with 185 units, as well as providing an additional 20 percent of units as workforce housing.

“This culminates a process we set in motion nine years ago when, during my tenure as Chairman, the Board purchased the Crescent apartments to prevent the loss of these affordable units, which were at risk of condominium conversion,” Connolly said in a release.

Connolly pointed out that Crescent was one of the early milestones of the Penny for Housing Fund, which he helped launch as part of Board of Supervisor’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

“Since 2006, the fund has provided more than $170 million to preserve 2,701 affordable units throughout the County as we work to reduce the sizable affordable housing gap that still exists,” said Connolly.

Many Crescent residents, as well as representatives of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), an advocacy group for low-income Fairfax County residents, spoke at the supervisors’ public hearing in February. During the process they have repeatedly reminded the supervisors to remember the Crescent residents and not price them out of their own neighborhoods.

However, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), the lone supervisor voting against the Crescent project last week, said there is too much affordable housing, and that will place a burden on local schools.

Connolly said incorporating housing for all levels of income continues the vision of Reston that founder Bob Simon started more than 50 years ago.

“Providing housing for people of all incomes was one of Bob Simon’s founding principles for Reston, and it is because of that inclusiveness that Reston, and the rest of our community, has thrived,” he said. “This also represents the next evolution of Lake Anne Plaza, which was built more than 50 years ago and was an early model for walkable, mixed-use development.

This new plan will add more than 1,000 residential units, restaurants, a grocery store, more retail, offices, and open space in a fashion that integrates multimodal transportation choices and fosters an even greater a sense of community in harmony with Bob Simon’s original vision.”

Next up in the process is site approval, and LADP officials said they hope to break ground in 2016. The project is expected to take 10 to 12 years to complete.

  • Bah

    “Providing housing for people of all incomes was one of Bob Simon’s founding principles for Reston, and it is because of that inclusiveness that Reston, and the rest of our community, has thrived,”
    For some values of thrived… the number of loiterers and criminals near low-income housing complexes is certainly thriving…

    • Greg

      Take a drive along Glade Drive between Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. Thriving?

      • Scott H

        Yup…ask what ‘affordable housing’ has done for the people of Stratton Woods and the students of Dogwood elementary.
        “Liberalism always produces the exact opposite of its stated intent.”

        • Hcott S

          It’s conservative economic policies that create poverty.

          • Scott H

            Name 1
            You can’t.
            ‘Conservative’ economic policies (ie Freedon) are THE singular reason why a nation of poor (legal) immigrants became the wealthiest nation on earth so that even our ‘poor’ were richer than 95% of the world’s people. Wealth creation that makes a bigger pot and encourages work is a Conservative vision. Wealth redistribution that focuses on sharing a static pot and discouraging work is a ‘liberal’ economic policy.

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    Gerry,

    If you love affordable housing so much, why don’t you put some over near where you live in Mantua? Reston has more than its share already, and the rising crime to show for it. Lets use all of the workforce housing for cops. That may help. More for those trying to protect the community and not for those who only want a handout.

    • Ming the Merciless

      “You must sacrifice so that I can feel virtuous” is ever the liberal way.

      • JCSuperstar

        “…though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression…”
        Thomas Jefferson

        • Ming the Merciless

          Is it reasonable to require people to live in whatever dwelling they can afford solely with their own resources? Yes.

          Does it violate anyone’s equal rights under the law to require them to live in whatever dwelling they can afford solely with their own resources? No.

          Therefore your quote scarcely seems relevant.

  • JCSuperstar

    WOW. How Jeffersonian FTB and Bah…!! The Lake Anne Redevelopment is a win-win for the community — from the wealthiest to the most disadvantaged. The people win, the “state” will benefit.. For example, do you know what workforce implies?

  • Tired of it

    People should live where they can afford to live – if they cannot afford Reston, so be it…nothing destroys neighborhoods more than subsidized housing…does Malibu CA have to make accommodations to be ‘inclusive’? Imagine the surplus tax revenue if we didn’t have to subsidize that strata of population that actually pays for the services they consume – and the lower strata consumes FAR more than what they contribute, in social services, subsidies in education, food, housing, medical care, etc…and they bring in increased crime and lower property values.

  • JoeInReston

    How does the affordable housing program work in Reston? What is the income limit? Are there annual income checks so that a wealth person that was once poor is not continually subsidized? Does work location play a factor (ie favor low income workers that work in Reston)? Does profession play a factor (ie teacher, cop, etc)? Is there any sense of the opportunity cost? Are we, for example, giving away an apartment that would typically be held by somebody making $50K to somebody making $20K. Or is it $100K to $20K?

    My questions should not be seen as condemning or condoning the affordable housing program. Just curious…

  • Anne Randy

    Dickensian, Adam Smithish-Libertarian head exploding and ranting? check! Must be the Reston Now comments section for an article on: RA, Hudgins, Connolly, or Plum. Check!

  • JCSuperstar

    Greg, get real check the facts. The Jefferson Institute shamelessly uses the president’s name in name only. It is not a think tank — it is a Republican lobbying entity. It is hardly “non-partisan” as it pretends to be.

    • Greg

      The images and properties speak for themselves. That housing for the “poor” costs us all dearly. By whom they were presented is irrelevant.

      And speaking of shamelessly using another’s name? Look in the mirror, pops.

      • JCSuperstar

        You make some interesting assumptions; you know what they say…

  • Guest

    “commitment to affordable housing”.
    Politicians love the notion and how it sounds on the stump, but I notice they NEVER live anywhere near it. Do as I say, not as I do, Right Gerry? ‘Affordable Housing’ has been an abject failure everywhere it’s been tried, clustering people into areas of have and have nots, but I guess that is the purpose, right Gerry? Keep the unwashed masses away from your neighborhood?

    How do you know if something is likely to be bad for the region? Gerry Connolly is in favor of it!!! He has the voting record of Jimmy Carter

    Found this pic of Gerry from an old campaign stop
    http://cdn.guineapigcare.com.au/images/guinea-pig-cute-photo.jpg

  • Scott H

    “commitment to affordable housing”.
    Politicians love the notion
    and how it sounds on the stump, but I notice they NEVER live anywhere
    near it. Do as I say, not as I do, Right Gerry? ‘Affordable Housing’ has
    been an abject failure everywhere it’s been tried, clustering people
    into areas of have and have nots, but I guess that is the purpose, right
    Gerry? Keep the unwashed masses away from your neighborhood?

    How do you know if something is likely to be bad for the region? Gerry
    Connolly is in favor of it!!!

    http://cdn.guineapigcare.com.au/images/guinea-pig-cute-photo.jpg

  • Scott H

    While Section 8 may be a noble goal, it has been clearly demonstrated that clustering it in a barrio does nothing to help lift the residents it is intended to help. It is much more effective when a Section 8 housing unit exists among normal, self-sustaining citizens.

    • JCSuperstar

      It appears folks like Greg, et al, on this thread would disagree with you. “…Heaven forbid THOSE people live among us…”

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