Stephen Cherry

Faced with an aging facility and declining membership, leaders of the American Legion Post 139 saw redevelopment as a way to transform their site and programs.

They teamed with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to redevelop the Legion’s Arlington, Virginia, site with 160 new affordable homes and a 6,000-square-foot ground-floor space for the Legion.

The new Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place has a 50% veteran preference, and 26 units are deeply affordable to households earning 30% of the area median income. Officials say the development is the first veteran-preference housing in the same community as the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Stephen Cherry

“What makes this special is the leveraging of two nonprofit partners and their missions,” says Carmen Romero, APAH president and CEO. “The Legion is now positioned to serve future generations of veterans in an accessible, larger, modern facility, and we are able to serve 160 households with quality, affordable housing. When we open a building, we often get thousands and thousands of people on our interest lists. This project helps meet the high need for affordable housing in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., region.”

The complex redevelopment began with rezoning the site for greater density and building height. The property features one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.

To finance the $79.9 million community, APAH turned to a hybrid structure to utilize both 4% and 9% low-income housing tax credits. The organization also launched its first capital campaign to fund a development to maximize the project’s opportunities. Philanthropist Ron Terwilliger, retired CEO of Trammell Crow Residential and a Navy veteran, provided the lead gift.

Named after Terwilliger’s parents, the development is seen as a new model for how veteran and affordable housing organizations can work together.