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New Lake Anne House now open in Reston, providing housing for low-income seniors

Lake Anne House ribbon cutting (photo courtesy of Harry Connolly/Fellowship Square)

After a nearly decade-long effort to redevelop a 1970s-era housing community, the Lake Anne House is finally open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week to open the $86 million redevelopment project at 11444 North Shore Drive in Reston. The Lake Anne House is a 240-apartment complex for low-income seniors that is replacing the five-decade-old Lake Anne Fellowship House.

Conceived by the nonprofits Fellowship Square Foundation and Enterprise Community Development, the new building will house those 65 years or older who are living on incomes 60% and below the area median income.

“This new state-of-the-art building in terms of energy efficiency and accessibility sets a new standard for what affordable housing can be,” Fellowship Square CEO Christy Zeitz said in a press release. “Most importantly, it will enable financially fragile older adults to be able to age in place here in Northern Virginia for many years to come.”

While the official opening was just last Thursday (Sept. 29), residents already relocated from the Lake Anne Fellowship House to the new building over the summer.

Built in 1970, the Lake Anne Fellowship House was the first high-rise and first dedicated affordable apartment complex for seniors in Reston. It was also part of Robert Simon’s original vision for the community.

But after more than 50 years of use, the building is now considered aging, and since its construction predated the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility for many residents became an issue.

With the opening of the Lake Anne House, the hope is that those challenges are now solved.

In attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week were local officials, including Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn, as well as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Adrianne Todman.

“Lake Anne House is an example of the high-quality affordable housing we can build with ingenuity, tenacity, and partnership,” Todman said. “It is what fixing our housing supply looks like — a demonstration of how we can work collaboratively at all levels to build and rehabilitate housing — project by project, block by block, community by community — across the country.”

The idea of building a whole new complex on an underused portion of the site next to the Lake Anne Fellowship House was proposed in 2013. It took five years of design and development before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2018.

Two years after breaking ground in October 2020, the Lake Anne House is now officially open to residents. It has 56 studios, 178 one-bedroom, and six two-bedroom apartments, including 54 fully handicap-accessible units, per a press release.

The building also has a fitness center, arts and crafts room, a social hall, a sunroom, a game room, an outdoor terrace, a wellness clinic, and on-site residents’ services offices.

Lake Anne House was mostly financed by a combination of state and local funds, including $47 million from a tax-exempt bond financing from state-created Virginia Housing.

The old building next door is now vacant and currently being used as a training location for fire departments. It’s set to be demolished early next year and the land sold to a private developer for new townhomes.

Fellowship Square also completed a renovation of its affordable housing at Hunters Woods this summer.