After 30 years, an underutilized site has been redeveloped into Residences at North Hill.
Courtesy Pennrose After 30 years, an underutilized site has been redeveloped into Residences at North Hill.

A 279-unit affordable housing community for families and seniors celebrated its grand opening in Alexandria, Virginia.

Residences at North Hill is a key component of a large-scale revitalization effort transforming 34 underutilized acres off Richmond Highway.

Partners in the $174 million project include Pennrose, Community Housing Partners, and the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA).

All units at Residences at North Hill are affordable to residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), roughly $29,900 to $59,820 for a one-person household. The community features a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments across five four-story garden-style buildings.

The apartments have open floor plans with spacious closets, modern kitchens with dishwashers and electric ranges, in-unit washer and dryer hookups, individually controlled heating and cooling, ceramic-tiled baths, carpeted bedrooms, and more.

In addition, residents have access to a host of on-site community amenities, including a community room, a fitness center, a recreational plaza, a playground, landscaped grounds, and on-site management services.

“After many years of hard work and collaboration with the county and FCRHA, we are proud to be here today alongside project partners celebrating the grand opening of an important contribution to the long-term vision for the Richmond Highway corridor,” said Patrick Stewart, regional vice president at Pennrose. “The Residences at North Hill will serve as a catalyst for continued revitalization, while also providing families and seniors with much-needed affordable housing and access to a host of services and amenities.”

FCRHA purchased the site, formerly a mobile home park, in the 1980s. The development is part of Fairfax County’s EMBARK Richmond Highway, an initiative to provide multimodal transportation solutions and create opportunities for economic development in the Richmond Highway corridor. The initiative identifies nine areas of concentration surrounding a Bus Rapid Transit station, and the public plaza at North Hill will serve as an important anchor for a future station.

“For more than 30 years, we have been working to develop an extraordinary plan for this property that would help us meet a critical community need and serve as a keystone project in the continuing redevelopment of the Richmond Highway corridor, and today we have achieved just that,” said Mount Vernon district supervisor Dan Storck.

In addition to contributing 12 acres for use as a park and another 8 acres for the site of the buildings, FCRHA’s contributions include awarding 68 federal project-based vouchers and $4.4 million for the affordable housing development—or about $16,000 per apartment.

Financing for the development includes low-income housing tax credits allocated by Virginia Housing, which also provided tax-exempt and taxable construction and permanent financing.

The development also utilizes Community Development Block Grant funding from FCRHA; HOME and state and local housing trust funds from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development; and construction financing and equity investments from Bank of America and Truist Bank. The project also includes approximately $4.4 million in local financing through FCRHA.