PRESS RELEASE: ARHA Selects Development Partners to Transform Samuel Madden Public Housing Site into a Mixed-Income Community

samuel madden render






ARHA Selects Development Partners to Transform Samuel Madden Public Housing

Site into a Mixed-Income Community  

The plan dramatically increases affordable housing for all Alexandria Residents.


(Alexandria, VA – November 9, 2021) – The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) announced the selection of a development team to transform the Samuel Madden Homes public housing community from its current 66 public housing units into a magnificent mixed-income and mixed-use rental community.


The selected development partner is comprised of three experienced national development companies: Fairstead; Mill Creek Residential; and The Communities Group (TCG) – all owners, operators, and developers of high-quality housing.


“The selection of a development partner for the Madden community is a happy day for Alexandria as it will allow us to increase affordable rental housing for all residents of the city” said ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew. “Our partners have an outstanding track record of producing quality affordable housing and have embraced our goal of increasing housing opportunities for low-income and working families. The plan that they have submitted accomplishes that goal.”


The property, measuring about three and a half acres, maximizes the space available, representing the ideal urban landscape in a thriving city. The proposed plan features one third of all apartments designated for low-income households (0-30% of Area Medium Income), another third for working households (30-80% of Area Medium income) and the final third for market rate renters.  The team will propose to the City that the apartments be constructed in two buildings, with amenities including courtyards, on-site management offices, pool, exercise rooms and indoor and outdoor community rooms. 


The site concept plan will also include a 10,000-square-foot public park with a playground  and public art; a food pantry and other potential ground level retail.


“Fairstead is proud to work with ARHA and our development partners to reimagine this critical site in Alexandria,” said Brett Meringoff, Managing Partner, Development, at Fairstead. “Fostering a strong, thriving community starts with having a safe, beautiful place to live. This redevelopment will not only provide high quality new homes for Alexandria residents, but it will allow them to access the services they need to support their families. By creating space for retail and a new public park, we are welcoming our neighbors in and establishing a new gateway to the City of Alexandria.”


“This is a tremendous opportunity in one of the most charming downtown areas in the region, and we’re excited to pursue this redevelopment initiative alongside some magnificent partners,” said Joe Muffler, Managing Director of Development for Mill Creek Residential. “This location is truly a gateway site linking the National Landing neighborhoods, Old Town Alexandria and the emerging Amazon activity as part of the HQ2 arrival in nearby Crystal City.”


The redevelopment will mark Mill Creek’s 10th development community in the northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area.


“TCG has worked with housing authorities and HUD for 37 years to preserve or redevelop their aging housing communities,” said Jaime Bordenave, President of The Communities Group.  “We look forward to working with Madden residents and teaming up with ARHA.  ARHA is implementing a solid repositioning strategy by taking control of its housing sites and leveraging public and private funds for their redevelopment.”   


Serving lower-income residents is ARHA’s mission, therefore providing services and housing is at its core.  The proposed plan calls for two service providers to serve residents at the site and in the surrounding community. Hopkins House, a non-profit institution in Alexandria since 1939, will operate a daycare center and has agreed to provide scholarships or sliding scales rates based on economic need. The second provider will be Alive, a food pantry, specializing in fresh food and vegetables. The Plan also calls for more than doubling the current low-income units and providing an equal number of units for working families.


Since his arrival in 2017, CEO Pettigrew has enthusiastically embraced the repositioning of the public housing units in Alexandria.  “We need to have greater fiscal and management control over our public housing communities and the capital necessary to maintain and improve these units into the future. When completed, this redeveloped property will be a symbol of what government housing in a mixed-income setting should be,” Pettigrew remarked. 


To meet this change in the operation of the repositioned housing units, ARHA will also invest in organizational change, technology, and staff training, all with an eye toward delivering superior service to residents.  As reflected in the proposed plan for Madden, an investment in the self-development of ARHA residents is a key goal for all our future development projects. The Madden plan establishes a template for how ARHA wants to develop future properties. 


“I believe that this property will become the crown jewel of our portfolio,” Pettigrew said. “When you come down the hill on Route 1 into Old Town, this majestic site will be the first thing you see. I can’t think of a better way to welcome people to our city.”


ARHA and its development partners expect to submit a concept plan to the city in 2022 and commence meeting with civic associations, neighborhood groups, zoning and planning boards, and finally obtain City Council approval for the final plan. “We look forward to partnering with the City to increase the number of affordable housing units for Alexandria’s residents”, concluded Pettigrew. 


About ARHA

For over 80 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

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