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Affordable housing development breaks ground near Spring Hill Metro station

The Exchange at Spring Hill Station, an affordable housing project, broke ground in Tysons (courtesy Fairfax County Government)

Construction has begun on a development that promises to bring hundreds of affordable housing units to Tysons.

Officials with Fairfax County, nonprofit developer Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and other partners broke ground yesterday (Tuesday) on the Dominion Square project, which has been newly renamed The Exchange at Spring Hill Station.

Accelerated by a $55 million grant from Amazon, the development will consist of two 20-story apartment buildings with a total of 516 residential units and a new community center for Tysons. Located next to a Land Rover and Jaguar auto dealership, the housing complex will be reserved for residents earning 70% of the area median income (AMI) or less.

That focus on lower-income residents makes the project especially valuable in Tysons, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said during the groundbreaking ceremony, whose attendees included Rep. Gerry Connolly.

“Despite its economic muscle, Tysons has remained out of reach for many who work here to also live here,” McKay said. “That is why the groundbreaking of The Exchange at Spring Hill Metro is so important. We are providing homes for those who fuel the local economy. In order to remain the economic hub of Fairfax County, Tysons’ workers need to have the opportunity to live near where they work.”

According to APAH, which is leasing the land from the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, there will be 112 one-bedroom units, 306 two-bedroom units and 98 three-bedroom units. Units will be priced for households at varying incomes is as follows:

  • 100 units for 30% AMI
  • 125 units for 50% AMI
  • 175 units for 60% AMI
  • 116 units for 70% AMI

There will also be 100 units available through the FCRHA’s project-based voucher program.

This is the first fully affordable housing project to be built in Tysons, according to APAH President and CEO Carmen Romero.

“The residents who will call The Exchange home will have access to a vibrant and rapidly growing community full of opportunity and resources,” Romero said. “Yes, where you build matters, but who you build for matters just as much.”

Operated by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, the 30,000-square-foot community center will be free and open to the public. Planned amenities include a basketball court and fitness center.

Expected to be finished in approximately four years, construction on The Exchange comes amid a general uptick in activity in western Tysons, which has been slower to develop.

This summer, the Board of Supervisors approved an office-to-residential swap at the Highline at Greensboro District, and a conversion of the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Tysons West is poised for a vote in January. In addition, the recent closure of three auto dealerships near the Spring Hill Metro station may have set the stage for redevelopment of Dominion Square East, which will be part of the same neighborhood as The Exchange.

In a press release, APAH shared more reactions to the project from yesterday’s groundbreaking:

“As the first 100% affordable multifamily development in Tysons, The Exchange at Spring Hill Station will provide residents with easy access to transit, access to some of the best schools, jobs and amenities in the region, all in the highly desirable Tysons community,” said Senthil Sankaran, Managing Principal, Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with APAH, with Fairfax County, Virginia Housing and the Governor’s office to support the creation of 516 new, family-friendly affordable homes.

“The Exchange is the latest example of how our partnership with APAH is creating more affordable housing for working families in a fast-growing community like Tyson’s Corner,” said Virginia Housing Chief of Programs Tammy Neale. “This project will benefit everyone who calls the Fairfax area home by leading the transformation of Spring Hill Road into a thriving mix of commercial and residential opportunities with access to public green spaces and other amenities.”

“The Exchange at Spring Hill Station will be the latest project to come out of our ten-year partnership with APAH,” said Larry Di Rita, President, Bank of America Greater Washington, D.C., which provided more than $227 million in financing for The Exchange. “The direct link between secure, affordable housing and financial success means that this development will make a positive difference on so many lives in Northern Virginia.”

“The Exchange development project is a shining example of expanding affordable housing throughout our region,” said Clark Construction’s Capital Group CEO, Lee DeLong. “We’re honored to build this project and contribute to a community that will provide safe and attainable housing for our Fairfax residents.”

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