The Bloom and The Carpenter’s Shelter
AHDC’s The Bloom and the Carpenter’s Shelter homeless shelter renovation is a textbook example of the power of partnerships. These two Alexandria, VA non-profits came together to design and build an innovative new building; 97 units of affordable housing located over a purpose-built homeless shelter, all in the high- opportunity location of North Old Town, Alexandria. AHDC and Carpenter’s Shelter both believe that the root of homelessness is in housing affordability, and this solution makes positive change on both sides of the issue.
All units at The Bloom serve households making up to 60% AMI. 10 of the units are reserved for former Carpenter’s Shelter clients, who will be full AHDC leaseholders but continue to receive wrap- around services from the Carpenter’s Shelter team. In addition to the units, The Bloom features several community spaces; private terraces with views of Washington, a playground area, and a 1,600 SF production garden that will provide free produce to AHDC and Carpenter’s residents. The shelter space will be equipped to maintain the same level of overnight services and expand their day-shelter options, and provide them with new office spaces and community resource areas.
This development not only allows Carpenter’s Shelter to remain in their original, resource rich location, but it expands housing opportunities in a neighborhood that is facing intense redevelopment pressures. With the nearby location of National Landing, and proximity to a major Metro station, The Bloom will allow Alexandrians of all incomes to continue to use all of what Old Town, Alexandria has come to be known for – a healthy, vibrant community that cares about its neighbors.
Gilliam Place was developed by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and completed in October 2019 after a seven-year journey with Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC). The $71 million, 165,000 sf project, located in the heart of Columbia Pike’s Town Center, grew out of the Church’s vision to put their faith into action, their property into mission. The six-story, mixed-use development includes 173 affordable apartments, including 15 accessible to persons with disabilities. All 1-, 2-, 3-bedroom and studio apartments are affordable to households earning 60% or below area median income (AMI).
Residents living at Gilliam Place reflect the diversity of the Pike—once described as “the world in a zip code”. Families, singles, and seniors all call the property home. APAH is particularly honored to have three young adults with autism living independently of their parents for the first time. Friends for years, they attend a nearby education program, and live in adjacent two-bedroom units, with a sibling or aide. Their story was shared in the acclaimed documentary, The Reason I Jump.
Creativity and determination were essential: APC provided a 20% discount to market rate for the sale; APAH created mission-focused retail; APC built an adjacent, resident- serving community garden. And, APAH staff, volunteers, and the congregation came together to provide caring support to Gilliam Place residents confronting a pandemic within months or even week of moving in.
Designed to be an anchor in the Columbia Pike community, Gilliam Place includes ~9,000 square feet of commercial/civic space which now provides a beautiful new home for the APC faith community. As master leaseholder for the retail space, APAH underwrote below market rates to make it accessible to nonprofit partners. Today, the training facilities and community café of La Cocina VA, a bilingual culinary workforce development center for low-income workers is open.
The finance, design, construction and legal teams that collaborated to create Gilliam Place include: S.L.Nusbaum, Enterprise Community Partners, Capital One, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Arlington County, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Commonwealth of Virginia (DHCD), Housing Trust Fund, Kishimoto Gordon Dalaya, Donohoe Construction, KCM, VIKA Virginia, LSG, Cates, Summit Engineering, Viridiant, Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC, CohnReznick, and Gallagher, Evelius & Jones LLP.