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Large affordable housing complex, The Arden, set to open this fall in Huntington

The Arden in Huntington, set to be one of the county’s largest affordable housing complexes, is expected to be ready for residents this fall.

Construction work on the seven-story, 126-unit apartment building is expected to finish in late September with a move-in date shortly thereafter, perhaps as soon as October, Wesley Housing President and CEO Shelley Murphy tells FFXnow.

That’s only slightly behind the developer’s initial goal of completing the project by the summer. Murphy attributes the delay to “normal construction stuff,” like supply chain issues, material acquisitions, and permitting.

Wesley Housing is a nonprofit that constructs and manages affordable housing across the D.C. region, including a number in Fairfax County.

The nearly $60 million Arden is Wesley Housing’s largest housing complex and will be one of the most significant in the county when completed, though Dominion Square West in Tysons will top it for the number of units when finished in several years.

Back in March, Fairfax County revised its goal to have 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034.

Of the 126 apartments in The Arden, more than half will be two bedrooms, and the rest will be a mix of studio, single, and triple bedroom units. Housing will be available for those earning between 40% and 80% of the area median income.

There will only be one market-rate apartment available in the entire building.

The Arden will also house a new headquarters for Wesley Housing, with staff expected to move in by the end of the year, Murphy says.

Located at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive, the building is just a block from the Huntington Metro station.

“This is truly a transit-oriented development,” Murphy said. “We are less than 200 yards from the Huntington Metro station. Those are the highest priced [sites] and it’s often hard to do significant affordable housing that close to transit.”

The site previously hosted a 12-unit brick apartment from the 1950s that got demolished after redevelopment was approved in 2014. Initially, the site was zoned as a combination of market-rate apartments and commercial space.

However, when Wesley Housing acquired the property and began its project, the nonprofit committed it to affordable housing and got the site rezoned from commercial to office. It broke ground on The Arden in July 2020.

The eastern end of the county, including Huntington and the Richmond Highway corridor, continues to be targeted for redevelopment. Murphy says The Arden will provide convenient and accessible housing for those most in need in Fairfax County.

“There’s a lot of redevelopment in that area of Huntington. There’s a lot of market-rate apartments going up and it will continue to increase in density going forward,” Murphy said. “This is the one committed, affordable that’s in that part of the Huntington area.”

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