Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place brings affordable housing to Arlington, Virginia.
Jon Fleming Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place brings affordable housing to Arlington, Virginia.

A new 160-unit affordable housing community places a strong focus on veterans in Arlington, Virginia.

Developed by nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), the Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place has a 50% veteran preference, and 26 units are deeply affordable to households earning no more than 30% of the area median income (AMI).

In addition, there is ground-floor space for American Legion Post 139. Faced with an aging facility and declining membership, post leaders recognized an opportunity to better utilize their property and selected APAH to redevelop their site with both a new Legion Post and affordable housing.

“Terwilliger Place represents innovative housing at its finest, scaling seven-stories high, totaling 160 mixed-use affordable apartments with a veteran preference, right here in Arlington,” says APAH president and CEO Carmen Romero. “A first of its kind in this region.”

Denis McDonough, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, took part in the grand opening ceremony this month.

“This strategy is replicable in other locations,” he said. “It can be a successful blueprint to help increase the stock of housing dedicated to veterans and provide more opportunities for those who have served because no veteran should be homeless in the country they fought to defend.”

American Legion Post 139 used land sale proceeds to build a brand new 6,000 square foot condo space, which will include gathering and private counseling spaces, a commercial kitchen, and additional resources for local veterans. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

“Our new location will allow the post to attract and support a younger generation of members. It’s a place where veterans can mingle, have a beer, and socialize in a comfortable atmosphere,” said Bob Romano, post commander.

Philanthropic Vision

Terwilliger Place is also the first APAH property where philanthropy has played a pivotal role. The Terwilliger Family Foundation provided the lead gift of $1.5 million. In conjunction with the building’s grand opening, the foundation committed additional funding to support the first three years of on-site resident services.

A renowned developer, Ron Terwilliger is the former CEO of Trammell Crow Residential. He grew up modestly in the area before going to the Naval Academy and Harvard Business School. The development is named after his parents.

More than 50 donors joined Terwilliger in giving to APAH’s Uniting to Serve capital campaign, including Amazon, which provided $1 million through the Arlington Community Foundation. In total, more than $4 million in philanthropic funding was raised to make the project a reality, allowing additional units to be deeply affordable to those earning 30% of the AMI.

The $77 million project includes $33.8 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) awarded by Virginia Housing. Capital One, in partnership with the National Equity Fund as syndicator, purchased the tax credits and provided $70,000 in predevelopment grants from Capital One’s Community Impact & Investment team.

“Addressing the affordable housing crisis requires both new construction and housing preservation, and innovative financing is essential to help bring these developments to life,” said Ed Delany, senior capital officer for the Mid-Atlantic at Capital One. “Capital One has worked alongside organizations like APAH, leveraging the LIHTC program for over a decade, and we have seen firsthand how it can effectively bring affordable housing to market. That success includes Terwilliger Place, which not only provides significant affordable housing to Arlington, but also serves our critically important veteran population through its leasing preference and resident services.”

In addition to tax credits, Virginia Housing provided a direct permanent loan, a loan through its Resources Enabling Affordable Community Housing in Virginia (REACH Virginia) programs, and a grant for predevelopment work. The commonwealth of Virginia provided a permanent loan from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund. Arlington County provided a $13.9 million loan.

Designed by DCS Design and constructed by CBG Building Co., Terwilliger Place boasts a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units to accommodate families. Kia Weatherspoon of Determined by Design, an Air Force veteran, provided the interior design.

Common spaces at the certified EarthCraft Gold property include private counseling spaces, a computer lab, dedicated offices for leasing and resident services programming, multipurpose and flexible spaces, and an outdoor courtyard plus playground.