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Affordable Housing Complex Planned for Buckingham, Near Ballston Common Mall

New five-story building in Arlington will include 104 units, all but six of which are committed to be affordable for families making 60 percent of the area median income or less.

The Springs Apartments, a five-story, 104-unit complex, will include 98 units that are committed to be affordable for families making 60 percent of the area median income (or less) for the next 60 years. Rendering courtesy Arlington County
The Springs Apartments, a five-story, 104-unit complex, will include 98 units that are committed to be affordable for families making 60 percent of the area median income (or less) for the next 60 years. Rendering courtesy Arlington County

Plans are underway to bring new five-story, 104-unit apartment complex to Arlington's Buckingham community, just a few blocks from Ballston Common Mall and within walking distance of the Ballston Metro Station.

The Springs Apartments will feature 98 units that will be affordable to renters making 60 percent of the area median income or less. The remaining six units will rent at market rate.

And the developer, the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, plans to move its offices to the ground floor of the building, at 4318 N. Carlin Springs Road — the northeast corner of North Carlin Springs Road and North Thomas Street.

The new development will replace the Carlyn Springs Apartments, a 27-unit garden apartment building that includes 21 affordable housing units. So the neighborhood will see a net increase of 71 new affordable units.

The Arlington County Board approved plans for the $38 million project through a series of votes Saturday.

"This Board, and this County, are both committed to preserving and increasing our supply of affordable housing," Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a statement. "With this project, we get a net increase of 71 affordable homes, most of them family-sized, and all of them within walking distance of Metro. These are homes that will stay affordable for generations to come."

Most of the new units will be affordable to renters making 60 percent of the area median income — that's currently $51,600 for a two-person household or $64,500 for a family of four. Rent for such families for a two-bedroom apartment would be $1,452 per month under the county's income and rent limits for 2014. 

Twenty-two of the new apartments will be affordable for renters making less than that — half of them, for families making 50 percent of the area median income (currently $53,750 for a family of four) and the rest for families making 40 percent of the area median income.

The county agreed to lend the developer $7.82 million from its Affordable Housing Investment Fund for the venture.

The affordable units are obligated to remain that way for 60 years through an agreement with the county.

The Springs Apartments will have 110 spaces of underground parking.

Relocation assistance will be provided to the residents of the existing building, according to a county news release. Last month, the county established a tenant assistance fund that can be used.

Through an agreement with the county, the developer will contribute $75,000 to public art and about $47,000 to an underground utility fund.

The developer, too, will make streetscape improvements, including a 12-foot sidewalk with an 8-foot "clear zone" on North Carlin Springs Road and an 11-foot sidewalk with a 6-foot "clear zone" on North Thomas Street, the news release states.

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