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Construction to begin on workforce housing development in Tysons

Somos at McLean Metro’s first phase will add 231 units of workforce housing at 1750 Old Meadow Road in Tysons (courtesy SCG Development)

An office building in Tysons is being demolished to make way for workforce housing near the McLean Metro station.

SCG Development announced today (Wednesday) that it has closed on the financing needed to build the first phase of the project, which is being called Somos at McLean Metro. Construction can begin immediately on the mid-rise, 231-unit rental apartment building at 1750 Old Meadow Road.

“Somos at McLean Metro Phase A will bring high quality affordable housing options to families and individuals in a very high barrier to entry market that is walkable to the McLean Metro and all the surrounding amenities that Tysons has to offer,” SCG Development President Steve Wilson said in a press release. “We are thrilled to move this project to the construction phase after many years of effort. I am very thankful that our team and partners who have shared this vision for our community and worked hard to make it happen.”

Built in 1984, the existing, six-story office building was vacant, and its demolition is now underway, a process expected to take about six weeks, according to SCG. A three-story parking garage on the site will remain as the base of one of the new residential buildings.

Approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in October 2022, the Somos project will deliver a total of 456 workforce dwelling units (WDUs) across two buildings. All of the WDUs will be aimed at households earning 30-60% of the area median income (AMI), which was $145,164 for the county, as of 2022.

The developer received funding help from Virginia, Fairfax County and Amazon for the project’s first phase, per the press release:

Virginia Housing, Virginia’s state housing finance agency, has committed over $54.5 million in financing, as well as 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). These tax credits make it possible for the residential units to be available at rents affordable to residents earning 60% or less the area median income (AMI).

“Our investment towards Somos at McLean provides much needed increased affordable inventory in the Northern Virginia area,” said Tammy Neale, CEO of Virginia Housing. “We look forward to seeing the impact this property will have on residents and the community of McLean.”

Amazon is also supporting this new affordable housing community with a $28.97 million low-rate loan to Phase A from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion commitment to create or preserve more than 20,000 affordable homes for low- to moderate-income families in the Arlington, Virginia-Washington D.C. region, Washington state’s Puget Sound region, and the Nashville, Tennessee region. SCG Development is also receiving substantial support from Fairfax County, reflecting the significance of this large-scale, transit-oriented development opportunity, and a contribution of tax credit equity from Stratford Capital Group.

Amazon also contributed a $55 million grant to accelerate construction of an all-affordable housing project near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons. The nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) broke ground on the 516-unit Exchange at Spring Hill Station in December.

Through affiliates, SCG is leasing the Somos site from the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), which has a ground lease that will ensure the housing is designated as affordable for at least 99 years.

“We are committed to creating groundbreaking solutions for Fairfax County’s affordable housing needs. Innovative partnership has enabled us to leverage private equity to convert an unused office building site into hundreds of affordable homes,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said, adding that she’s looking forward to a formal groundbreaking.

While it doesn’t have any commercial space, the Somos development plan included a “play and pedestrian court area,” a 6-foot-wide recreational trail and a 21,008-square-foot publicly accessible park along Old Meadow Road. The project will have a total of 1.21 acres of park space.

Construction on the first phase is expected to be 25 months, according to SCG.

“Phase B is looking towards a fall closing and will provide another 225 units,” the developer said.

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