ARHA to Begin Construction on Ramsey Homes
(Alexandria, VA – December 20, 2018) – In an effort to bring much needed affordable housing to the city, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) has begun construction on Ramsey Homes, a 52-apartment, four-story building on North Patrick Street between Pendleton and Wythe streets.
The original Ramsey Homes, built in 1942 with just 15 apartments, was demolished in June to make way for the new building, which will more than triple the number of units at the site.
“Ramsey represents the model we want to establish for our entire portfolio,” said ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew. “We are creating more new units than we are replacing. It’s a vibrant and sustainable mixed-income community”.
Redevelopment of the entire .71-acre site will cost approximately $24 million and will be financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity from Enterprise Community Investment, a construction loan from Capital One, NA, and gap funding from the City of Alexandria and ARHA. All of the families that were relocated to allow for construction will have the right to move back once the new building is completed no later than 2020. The new development will serve families with annual incomes from 30 percent up to 60 percent of the Area Medium Income.
The property will feature approximately 6,000 square-feet of green space on the North Patrick Street side, for use as a public park and recreation area. The park will be primarily open space but will incorporate and interpret elements of the historical character and archaeological findings into the final design. The park will be owned and maintained by ARHA.
“We are actively pursuing opportunities that improve housing quality and add to the number of affordable homes whenever economically and financially appealing prospects occur,” said ARHA Board Chair Daniel Bauman. “We also want to upgrade the quality of our affordable housing sites so that they blend in smoothly with other housing in the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Recreation for Ramsey families is also available nearby with the Charles Houston Recreation Center across the street. The Watson Reading Room and the Black History Museum are also neighbors. Ramsey was originally built as temporary housing for African American defense workers.
The four buildings at Ramsey Homes, originally constructed in a modernist design and built for African-American defense workers, are early examples of the use of precast “Fabcrete” concrete panels. “The buildings were never intended to be up as long as they were,” Pettigrew noted. “They were put up very quickly and not meant to be long-term housing. They only lasted as long as they did because of the way the authority maintained them.”
Ramsey will become the first ARHA site to be rebuilt since the James Bland development was completed at the end of 2014. The groundbreaking ceremony was held December 19, 2018.
About Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority
For over 70 years, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority has provided affordable housing, economic opportunities and a suitable living environment free from discrimination for the citizens of Alexandria. Our mission is to be an industry leader in the development and management of model mixed income communities that provide the opportunity for residents to achieve self-sufficiency and to participate in economic opportunities that are made possible through this model.To learn more, visit http://www.arha.us/.