65°Rain

Wednesday Morning Notes

Growing pains — Proposals to increase population density have been met by fierce community opposition. A Burke resident fires back, arguing that Reston’s development isn’t finished yet. [Greater Greater Washington]

Forging a new fellowship — Lake Anne Fellowship House could soon be transformed into a new 240-unit apartment building for seniors in need of affordable housing. Plans, which also include 74 townhouses, will go before the Design Review Board on March 19[Reston Association]

Second phase of Loudoun Station begins — Reston-based Comstock is set to begin the $75 million development project as Metro service inches closer. [Washington Business Journal]

Wins in the first regional champion for girls indoor track —  With dominating performances in the sprints and relays, the South Lakes High School girls’ team won the 6A North Region D indoor track and field championship in mid-February. [SLHS]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

10 Comments

Lake Anne Fellowship House Redevelopment Project Moves Forward

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.”

For more information, visit www.fellowshipsquare.org or www.cpdc.org.

Renderings via Handout/Grimm and Parker

3 Comments

Redevelopment Plans for 240-Unit Lake Anne Fellowship House Moving Forward

Efforts to construct a new Lake Anne Fellowship House facility are continuing to progress.

Fellowship Square Foundation and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation are moving forward with zoning approval and entitlements needed for the redevelopment of the affordable senior apartment community located at 11448-11450 North Shore Drive, they recently said.

“As Reston rents skyrocket, affordable rental opportunities for those seniors and people with disabilities and low incomes are scarce,” said Eddie Byrne, FSF board member. “Fellowship Square is dedicated to ensuring that there will be not just affordable, but state-of-the art housing in our community.”

The new building, which is planned for the eastern portion of the property, would replace all 240 apartment units in the existing 1970s-era facility. 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 LAFH building project.

Local brokerage firm MAC Realty Advisors has been selected as a broker for this portion of the site.

The filing of the entitlements application is targeted for early autumn. Its approval would be followed by final design, building permits and construction. Project completion is targeted for the third quarter of 2021.

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.”

CPDC is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing.

“We are excited about moving this project forward through the necessary County and local approvals,” said Christopher LoPiano, CPDC senior vice president.

For more information, visit www.fellowshipsquare.org or www.cpdc.org.

Illustration via Fellowship Square Foundation and CPDC

8 Comments

Thursday Morning Notes

1900 Reston Metro Plaza/James Schaeffer Jr.

Reminder: Community Meeting on Street Designs Tonight — Bike lanes, crosswalks and center turning lanes will be among the topics of conversation at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting tonight at Dogwood Elementary School. Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road are being considered for the changes. [Reston Now]

Local Students Named to Honors Choir — A total of 77 Fairfax County middle-school students have been named to the 2017 All-Virginia Middle School Honors Choir, which will perform April 27-29 in Blacksburg. Among the honorees are Chelsea Camacho, Hannah Carter, Violet Sather and Thalia Tran from Langston Hughes Middle School; and Johnny Park, Hannah Townsend and Mackenzie Trimble from Herndon Middle School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Christy Zeitz/Fellowship Square FoundationFellowship Square Foundation Names New Director — Christy Zeitz (pictured), formerly the executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia, is the new executive director of the Fellowship Square Foundation. Zeitz was also the former director of development for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance of Reston. The Reston-based Fellowship Square Foundation provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. It operates four properties, including Lake Anne Fellowship House and Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston. [Fellowship Square Foundation]

Home Listings Down in County, Sales Up — The number of active home listings in Fairfax County in January was 1,977. That number is down 17.4 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, 794 homes were sold in the month, up 6.9 percent from January 2016. The average sale price was $545,772, up 8.1 percent. [Fairfax County]

Photo of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza courtesy James Schaeffer Jr. on Facebook; photo of Christy Zeitz courtesy Fellowship Square Foundation

0 Comments

Lake Anne Fellowship House Has New Deal For Redevelopment

Lake Anne Fellowship House After several years of on-again, off-again plans for redevelopment, Lake Anne Fellowship House has a signed agreement to build a new affordable senior housing complex.

The Fellowship Square Foundation (FSF), which operates the Lake Anne buildings, the facility at Hunters Woods Village Center, and several others in the Washington, DC area, says it has a signed deal with the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) for a new building to replace the aging structures at 11480-11450 North Shore Drive in Reston.

The new construction project will replace all 240 apartment units, built in the early 1970s,with “a new, state of the art facility,” according to a release.

CPDC is a non-profit developer of affordable housing.

“We look forward to pursuing this project with CPDC to make this vision a reality for the Lake Anne community,” said Renee Jakobs, president of Fellowship Square Foundation.

Similar plans for Lake Anne Fellowship House have been made — and fallen apart — in the last few years.

In 2013, the foundation had an agreement with Cafritz Interests and Novus Development for new housing on the site. John Thillman, a developer and former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner who was at the time on the Fellowship Square Board of Directors, said then that 114 of the units are subsidized. The rest are market rate, but the buildings have a 20-percent vacancy rate and lose about $10,000 month, he said.

A study also showed that it would cost less to build a whole new building than it would to renovate the aging structure, which has narrow hallways and faulty air conditioning system, among other issues.

“We’re bleeding red ink,” he told the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee in November of 2013. “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.”

But Thillman knew that the building faced long odds for redevelopment. The six-acre property had two different mortgage holders: The Department of Housing and Urban Development for the west side and the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the eastern half.

By September 2014, the foundation deferred its 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.”

FSF officials said then a portion of the mortgage was slated to be paid off in September of 2016, which means the timing and situation may be better now.

FSF plans to build a new building on available land on the site. Once the new building is completed, existing residents will move, FSF says on its website.

In the coming months, FSF and CPDC will work to obtain the required zoning and building permits, finalize architectural plans and obtain financing for the project.

9 Comments

Lake Anne-Area Senior Housing Redvelopment Plan Back in Play

Lake Anne Fellowship House More than a year after a plan to redevelop Lake Anne Fellowship House fell apart, the foundation that runs the senior housing says new plans are on the table.

Fellowship Square Foundation announced on Wednesday it will move forward with the redevelopment of the aging, 240-unit affordable senior housing buildings at 11480-11450 North Shore Dr.

In a release, the foundation said its decision comes after a five month evaluation of conditions at the property, which was built in the early 1970s. About 114 of the 240 units are subsidized for low-income seniors.

Fellowship Square commissioned Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), a regional not-for-profit developer, to evaluate the feasibility of preserving the existing units at Lake Anne Fellowship House.

Based on the results of the study, Fellowship Square concluded that renovation could not address the structural obsolescence problems facing the building and was not a viable option. They said there is excess land available on the site to allow the construction of a new building.

“Fellowship Square is committed to revitalizing the Lake Anne community, and to helping residents grow and thrive in the place many have called home for decades. This is an important step toward the long-term preservation of affordable senior housing in the Reston community,” said Charles Wortman, Chair of Fellowship Square Foundation. “We look forward to working with residents, Fairfax County and community stakeholders on a new and improved Lake Anne.”

In 2014, Fellowship Square also came to the same realization that its aging facilities could not be repaired at it was more feasible to tear down the buildings and start over.

Many of the units do not meet Americans With Disability Standards and there is a vacancy rate of more than 20 percent, officials said in 2014.

Under the old proposal, the buildings for seniors were to be replaced, and a market-rate building for all ages was to be constructed to blend in and enhance with planned redevelopment at Lake Anne Plaza. The Lake Anne redevelopment proposal — which encompassed nearby Crescent Apartments as well as the are a around North Shore near Lake Anne Plaza — also recently fell apart and is off the table for now.

The 2014 plan for Fellowship House faced challenges, including land that at that time was owned by two different mortgage holders. In September of 2014, 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.”

Going forward, Fellowship Square says it intends to partner with CPDC, an experienced developer of affordable housing, to develop the project.

“We are excited about the prospect of working with Fellowship Square to deliver a property that will be an asset to the community for years to come,” Christopher LoPiano, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at CPDC, said in a release.

Fellowship and CPDC will meet with tenants in the coming months to discuss new construction. The site plans and design will have to go through Fairfax County and Reston approvals.

Lake Anne Fellowship House/file photo

4 Comments

Op-Ed: Thanksgiving and Empathy in Reston

Lake Anne Fellowship House This is an Op-Ed by Connie Hartke of Reston Citizens Association. Have something to say? Send us a letter at [email protected].

This is the week Americans are expected to especially count our blessings.

It is a time for family. For some, their community is their family. Several of us at RCA have gotten to know residents at Lake Anne Fellowship House (LAFH), the senior, low-income apartments that went through turmoil recently due to proposed redevelopment.

This has taken a recent good turn of events — more news to come on that soon, we expect. The cultural subgroups that live there have united into a vibrant community with the goal of ensuring that no one will lose their home. Those who were “safe” united with those who were threatened, creating community. Empathy was the catalyst.

Empathy. Merriam-Webster defines this as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.”

While counting your blessings this Thanksgiving, please take a few moments to imagine you are a senior who has lived at LAFH for 10+ years after living as a contributing Restonian for 30+ years. You are told that your home may not be the permanent place that you had expected. Putting aside other thoughts, can you fathom how you would feel if you were faced with this situation? Empathize.

Now imagine for a moment that you purchased a home on Reston National Golf Course. Picture your view changing from rolling greens surrounded by edge habitat to anything else. I say “anything” because many like to speculate how the land could change to this or that … I ask you to EMPATHIZE.  Take five minutes to imagine this is YOU. Personally.

RCA, along with Reston Association and Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, supports our Fairfax County Zoning Administrator’s determination that the privately owned 166 acres of Reston National Golf Course is zoned as permanent open recreational space. Developers coming in to Reston need to hear one message loud and clear — respect our Reston Master Plan.

On Thanksgiving, I will take a few moments to think about the folks at LAFH and hope for continued blessings for them. I will be thankful for our County Planning staff who added wording to the Master Plan to strengthen the place of both of our Reston golf courses. I will be grateful for the army of volunteers who live in this special place called Reston.

Please read Rescue Reston volunteer Ray Wedell’s stirring call to action regarding Reston’s latest recreational open space crisis.

Lake Anne Fellowship House/File Photo

27 Comments

Lake Anne Fellowship House Plan Falls Apart

Lake Anne Fellowship HousePlans to redevelop Lake Anne Fellowship House have been put on hold indefinitely — and it looks as though some current residents of the affordable housing for seniors may have to pay higher rents in order to stay in the building.

Fellowship Square and Novus Residences had been working for more than a year on plans to tear down the senior housing in need of remodeling and rebuild on the site 140 affordable housing units as well as 285 market-rate housing units.

The plan was organized separately from Republic Land Development’s large revitalization project at Crescent Apartments and the area near Lake Anne Plaza. An initial Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing had been scheduled for later this month.

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.

The Fellowship House Foundation notified Fairfax County zoning officials last week that the application was deferred “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”

From the start, the proposed project had an obstacle in that there are two different mortgage holders for the six-acre property: The Department of Housing and Urban Development for the west side and the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the eastern half.  Both would have to agree to consolidate and retitle, and Fellowship House board member John Thillman predicted last year that that could prove a long — and possibly fruitless — process.

Edward Byrnes, a member of the Fellowship House Foundation board and chair of its Lake Anne Redevelopment Committee, wrote in a letter to county officials that he still believed that foundation’s plan was a good one in spite of criticism that many low-income seniors would be displaced.

“We still believe that our proposal for 140 permanently affordable senior housing units and 285 market-rate units is the best available means for replacing our aging residential complex and retaining affordable housing for seniors in Reston for the next 40 years,” Byrnes wrote. “We arrived at this proposal after several years of reviewing alternate solutions … In the end, we concluded that a self-help strategy of using the increased value of our land at Lake Anne Fellowship House to finance the rebuilding of our complex provided the most dependable and achievable solution. “

Byrne said there were several meetings with Fairfax County officials over the summer, but the county was not receptive to the idea of offering Section 8 housing vouchers to existing residents, which the Fellowship Foundation needed in order to progress with the zoning application.

Byrnes says that a portion of the mortgage at Lake Anne Fellowship House will be paid off in September 2016. Wrote Byrnes:

The subsidy program associated with Lake Anne II no longer exists and we have no ability to extend the subsidy beyond the maturity of the mortgage. Without the ability to advance our project as proposed, we have lost the ability to prepay the mortgage and access the expanded housing safety net for our current residents. Therefore, we must now turn our time and attention to preparing a significant portion of our residents for the loss of their existing housing subsidy and, likely, their ability to pay rent.

For Fellowship Square Foundation, we will be forced to raise rents to market rates for those units that have lost their subsidy to cover the expense of operating this building.”

This is not the outcome we want, but the consequence of our inability to proceed with our redevelopment proposal. We have been criticized by the county for proposing the build only 140 affordable senior units rather than replacing the current 240 units. But, as we have stated, the value of our property is limited and that limited value can only produce  140 new, affordable senior housing units.

Ironically, by failing to support our redevelopment proposal, the community will still lose 100 affordable senior housing units. The difference is that the remaining 140 units will be aging, 40-year-old units rather than new units.

 

6 Comments

Lake Anne Fellowship House Has Timeline for Redevelopment

Lake Anne Fellowship House

Lake Anne Fellowship House residents have been informed of Fellowship Square’s plans to build new housing on the site of the aging senior housing buildings.

“If all goes well as part of the county’s revitalization effort, we plan to build a new Lake Anne Fellowship building and have it up in around four to five years,” Fellowship Square Foundation president Charles Wortman wrote to residents on Dec. 4.

The nonprofit Fellowship Square, which operates senior housing at Lake Anne, Hunters Woods and several other Fairfax County locations, has been working with Cafritz Interests and discussing future plans with Reston planning and zoning and the Reston Association Design Review Board since last fall.

At Lake Anne, there are 240 units for the elderly and low-income located just across the street from Lake Anne Plaza, where significant redevelopment is also planned.

The Fellowship House redevelopment is planned in coordination with the overall Lake Anne revitalization, which will reconfigure and repurpose the area around the historic area as well as at the county-owned Crescent Apartments.  Republic Development’s redevelopment plan for Crescent and the rest of Lake Anne includes plans for about 1,000 new housing units (181 of them affordable to replace Crescent), parking and a revitalized retail district.

Currently, 114 of the 240 units are subsidized and the rest are at market rate, says Fellowship Square board member John Thillman. Fellowship House’s buildings were constructed in 1970 and ’74, and suffer from a variety of aging infrastructure issues. Among them: faulty heating and cooling systems, narrow hallways difficult for wheelchair users to navigate and difficulty getting up to Americans With Disability Act Standards. The two buildings have a 20-percent vacancy rate and are losing about $10,000 a month, Thillman said.

Thillman said he plans on filing a rezoning application with the county by early February. The plans will have to go through rezoning because Fellowship Square wants to increase the number of units on the parcel to 425. One hundred forty of the units would be affordable senior housing, which would actually provide more units than currently offered at Fellowship House. The rest would be offered at market rate, said Thillman.

Fellowship Square plans to build the new senior housing on the flat part of its land at North Shore Road and Village Road. After that building is constructed and seniors moved, then all-ages, market-rate luxury mid-rises will be built on the hill where the current Fellowship House buildings stand.

“A building on this lower part of our site would provide for easy access by our residents to the proposed redeveloped Lake Anne Plaza and shops, as well as to a new grocery store proposed on the opposite side of Village Drive,” says the letter to residents. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to keep affordable elderly apartments at Lake Anne and to finally have new and accessible apartments for our residents.”

“The remainder of the site will be developed into market rate residential units which will generate the financial ability for FSF to build the new affordable elderly building,” the letter continues. “And, in addition to our own residents’ community spaces designed into our building, our elderly residents will also have access to the recreation facilities and parking within the market rate part of the development. The market rate buildings will finally give us the financial stability to continue our mission of providing affordable elderly/disabled housing both here at Lake Anne and elsewhere in the Fairfax County/Metropolitan area.”

Thillman says he has only heard from three residents expressing concern about the plans.

However, several things have to happen for the project to move forward, says Thillman. There are two different mortgage holders for the six-acre property: The Department of Housing and Urban Development for the west side and the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the eastern half.  Both will have to agree to consolidate and retitle, which could be a long — and possibly fruitless — process, says Thillman.

Redevelopment plans will also have to go through Fairfax County Planning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

0 Comments

Plans for Lake Anne Fellowship House: Tear Down and Rebuild Nearby

Lake Anne Fellowship House

Three months after Republic Land Development’s interim plan for the revitalization of Crescent Apartments was given the go-ahead by Fairfax County, Lake Anne Fellowship House is seeking to undergo a similar redevelopment with its own developer.

Principals involved in the vision for Fellowship House are working with Caftriz Interests. They said on Monday they will file plans and an application with the county by the end of the year.

“We are moving part and parcel with what is going on at Crescent,” says David McGill of land use firm McGuire Woods.  This really is implementation of the vision. As part of discussion with county, they would like us to move forward along with Crescent, but we are not in lockstep.”

Lake Anne Fellowship House, operated by the Fellowship Square Foundation,  has 240 units for elderly residents just across North Shore Road from Lake Anne Plaza. Fellowship Square board member John Thillman says 114 of the units are subsidized. The rest are market rate, but the buildings have a 20 percent vacancy rate and lose about $10,000 month, he said.

“We’re bleeding red ink,” he told the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday. “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.”

The narrow hallways, outdated air conditioning and heating systems and difficulty getting up to today’s Americans With Disabilities Act standards are among ongoing challenges, said Thillman.

Another challenge – there are two different mortgage holders for the six-acre property. The Department of Housing and Urban Development for the west side and the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the eastern half, Thillman said.

Thillman said the group’s other options are keep the buildings the way they are (and sell to a developer who is not required to keep seniors in mind in a few years when the mortgages are paid off) or renovate (which would cost more than a new building).

“The bottom line is the two buildings need to come down,” he said. Fellowship Square had teamed with Caftriz on the county’s request for proposals about the Crescent site, but was not selected.

“We have to move forward,” he said. “We have maybe two years, maybe less,  before we go bankrupt.”

The county’s comprehensive plan for Lake Anne and the RFP both state that it is preferable that the land units around Lake Anne be redeveloped in a comprehensive manner. By doing this, Fellowship Square and Cafrtiz would qualify for bonus density of up to 425 units.

Thillman said 140 of those units would be affordable senior housing. Because Fellowship House’s location on a hill complicates Lake Anne access for residents, the new senior housing would be built on a flat section of the land closer to the Village Road.

The new senior housing would be built first, the seniors relocated, and then the current buildings would be torn down. After that, 285 market-rate units would be built on the old building site on the hill, said Robert Selden of Cafritz’s Novus Residential division.

Meanwhile, Republic’s redevelopment plan for Crescent and the rest of Lake Anne includes plans for about 1,000 new housing units (181 of them affordable to replace county-owned Crescent), parking and a revitalized retail district.

All redevelopment plans will have to go through Fairfax County Planning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Reston Association’s Design Review Board in what is expected to be a multi-year process.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list