To meet its long-term goal of helping to revitalize the Nauck neighborhood in Arlington, Va., and contribute to the city's revitalization plan, the Macedonian Baptist Church turned to AHC, Inc., a regional nonprofit for its development expertise.
The partnership paid off, with the completion of The Macedonian across the street from the church in spring 2011. The 19 one-bedroom and 17 twobedroom units serve residents at 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.
“The church saw the neighborhood growing, and they wanted more attractive yet affordable housing opportunities,” says John Welsh, vice president of AHC's multifamily group.
The project contributed to the goals of the Nauck Village Center Plan, which was adopted in 2004 to help revitalize the core of the neighborhood. The community focus didn't stop there. The church-sponsored Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corp. (CDC) moved into a new 2,000-square-foot office and provided business incubator space to help community residents develop business concepts.
“The incubator space is a place for people to come and to have access to office space and conference space,” Welsh says. “It's been an important part of how the CDC has been encouraging the economic development in the Nauck neighborhood.”
The other component of The Macedonian that stands out is its green features. The development was the first new construction project to receive EarthCraft Virginia certification for multifamily housing in Arlington.
According to the developer, Earth- Craft estimates that The Macedonian will use 40 percent less energy compared with a similar project built to code. AHC installed an energy-efficient variable fluid flow system that can provide heating and cooling simultaneously. The Mitsubishi CITY MULTI R2-Series allows up to nine units to operate off of one condenser in a twopipe system. Energy is shared between individually metered units so that one resident can use heat and another resident can use air conditioning at the same time.
Other energy-efficient features include foam insulation to decrease air leakage; high-efficiency central water heaters; Energy Star appliances; low-E double-pane windows; waterconserving plumbing fixtures; and highefficiency lighting and thermostats in the common areas.
The building has a partial green roof with self-sufficient plants, which helps to moderate temperature changes and divert excess rainwater.
“We have been very focused on green. Part of it is driven by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) process, but part of it is looking at improving how we build buildings for longevity and long-term reductions in energy consumption,” says Welsh.
The church also required the building to be smoke-free to provide additional health benefits for the residents.
The $12.3 million development was financed with $3.9 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by VHDA; $2.7 million in equity from the sale of 4 percent low-income housing tax credits syndicated through Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; $2.3 million in Tax Credit Assistance Program funds; a $3.4 million subordinate loan from Arlington County, which includes $1.9 million from the Arlington Housing Investment Fund and $1.5 million in HOME funds, to be repaid from cash flow; and a $40,000 supportive-housing grant from the county.