The county has formally accepted redevelopment plans for Lake Anne Fellowship House, an affordable housing senior community on North Shore Drive.
Fellowship Square Foundation and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation envision the proposal will enhance senior housing residential opportunities, diversity housing types and revitalize Lake Anne Village Center.
“All existing affordable housing units will be replaced in a new, more efficient modern building with better amenities to serve its senior population. This proposal remains true to Robert E. Simon’s vision to provide communities comprised of a diverse residential population in a sustainable environment,” according to a proposal filed with the county last month.
The new plans call for replacing all 240 apartment units in the existing 1970s-era facility. Amenities include a social hall, crafts room, fitness room, wellness center, a game room, two plazas and community gardens.
The remainder of the property will include up to 74 townhouses, diversifying the types of housing and serving as a transition to the established townhouse community to the west, the proposal said. Townhouses will have garages and surface parking for visitors.
New residents will access the buildings through North Shore Drive. Surface parking and an underground parking garage will offer 92 parking spaces.
Residents would remain in their current living space until the new facility is complete, and after they are transferred the old buildings would be destroyed. The portion of the property left unused would be sold for residential development, and the proceeds from the sale would help support the cost of the project.
The collaboration between Fellowship Square and CPDC comes after several years of on-again, off-again plans for redevelopment of the property. Most recently, in 2013, the foundation had an agreement with Cafritz Interests and Novus Development for new housing on the site. That effort fell through by September 2014, which the foundation said was “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”
Renderings via Handout/Grimm and Parker
For 55 years, the nonprofit Fellowship Square has been helping the elderly and disabled in Reston by providing affordable housing and other services.
All this week, Fellowship Square will be marking its anniversary with celebrations for residents and guests at its four locations. There will be a ceremony Monday at 5 p.m. at Hunters Woods Fellowship House and Tuesday 5 p.m. at the Lake Anne Fellowship House. Additional receptions will be held later in the week at Fellowship Square facilities in Largo and Lake Ridge.
“We’re celebrating the work we have done in the community and rejoicing that our work has done so well and lasted for so long,” said Faye Codding, community outreach coordinator.
Lake Anne Fellowship House was the first Fellowship Square building to be constructed. It’s first phase opened in 1970, and the second Lake Anne building opened in 1976. Hunters Woods Fellowship House was completed in 1979.
A plan to tear down and rebuild the Lake Anne facility with modern amenities fell apart in 2014, but Fellowship Square officials hope to eventually get that plan in motion again.
Codding also said another goal is to help seniors in the community who are not necessarily residents of Fellowship House.
“We see ourselves expanding to reaching out more into the community to help all those in need, not just residential,” she said. “We are always exploring what possible ways we can serve and we are looking for partner with others in the community.”
The foundation, which owns and operates the affordable senior housing across North Shore Road from Lake Anne Plaza, had worked for about a year on a plan to tear down the existing building and rebuild it on the same site, as well as build an additional building with 285 market-rate units.
But early last month, Fellowship Square notified the Fairfax County zoning officials that it was deferring the application indefinitely “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”
Faye Codding, Fellowship Square’s Director of Community Outreach, says the group “remains committed to our mission” of providing affordable senior housing.
“We don’t have anything [to report] at this time,” she said Thursday. “The board meets in November and in January, and the board is exploring all possibilities.”
Lake Anne Fellowship House currently has 240 units for seniors, 114 of which are subsidized. The building, which was built in the early 1970s and does not meet all Americans With Disability Act standards, also has a 20 percent vacancy rate.
Former board member John Thillman pointed out some of the building’s issues in a presentation to Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee last November. He said the two Lake Anne buildings lose about $10,000 a month.
“We’re bleeding red ink,” he said. “The main reason the rent is low is the buildings were built in 1971 and ’74. The standards used are not the same as today.” (more…)