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Full update of Arlington Blvd apartments planned to preserve affordable status

Coralain Gardens Apartments in West Falls Church (courtesy Enterprise Community Development)

The affordable housing developer behind the new Lake Anne House in Reston is targeting an apartment complex near Falls Church High School for a similar rebuild.

Enterprise Community Development, a Maryland-based national nonprofit, announced last week that it has acquired the Coralain Gardens Apartments in West Falls Church for $21.7 million, setting the stage for a rehabilitation that will enable the property to remain fully affordable.

Located at 7435 Arlington Blvd, the 10 three-story apartment buildings were built in 1964 and consist of 106 studio and one or two-bedroom units — all of them reserved for residents who earn 60% of the area median income (AMI) or below.

Now 60 years old, Coralain Gardens was at risk of losing its income restrictions, but Enterprise Community Development has committed to preserving them through 2087, according to a press release.

“The acquisition of Coralain Gardens was a wonderful chance for Enterprise Community Development to make a positive impact on the Fairfax community,” Enterprise interim president Christine Madigan said. “We are grateful for the County’s partnership and leadership in affordable housing preservation. We are looking forward to renovating the property and ensuring it remains a great place to live for both current and future residents.”

Enterprise says it will seek federal tax credits to fund “a full-scale rehabilitation” of the apartments, a project expected to start by the first quarter of 2025.

The acquisition was financed with a senior mortgage from a Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and Capital Impact Partners (CIP) partnership. Enterprise also assumed an existing loan that the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) had on the property.

The nonprofit was chosen for the deal from the county’s Preservation Partner Pool, a list of housing providers created last year to streamline the process of identifying developers and funding for projects to preserve affordable housing.

In parallel with its efforts to add 10,000 new affordable housing units by 2034, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted an affordable housing preservation policy last year that incentivizes developers to replace both income-restricted and market-rate affordable units.

The Preservation Partner Pool was formed to help implement that policy, which also gave developers the option to provide the replacement units off-site if building them on the redeveloping site isn’t feasible.

“The Preservation Partner Pool enables Fairfax County to quickly act on preservation opportunities that arise, such as this opportunity to purchase Coralain Gardens,” FCRHA Deputy Director of Real Estate Development and Finance Anna Shapiro said. “Enterprise was selected…because of their commitment to extend the existing affordability and invest in physical improvements to the property. The benefits of this acquisition will be realized for years to come for current and future residents.”

Enterprise completed its $86 million Lake Anne House at 11444 North Shore Drive last summer. The 240-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors replaced Lake Anne Fellowship House, which had provided affordable housing for older Reston residents since 1970.

Enterprise owns 114 communities across the U.S. that collectively house 23,000 people.

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