Nonprofit affordable housing developer AHC Inc. has been recognized by Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington with the 2020 Excellence in Housing Affordability award, which was announced at ULI Washington’s 2020 Trends Conference. AHC Inc. was honored for its accomplishments in the design and development of its St. James Plaza apartment complex in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Trends Conference Awards highlight innovative and exceptional developments that enrich neighborhoods in the Metropolitan Washington Region. AHC Inc. was selected from among 40 different nominees. All nominated projects embody excellence and creativity across a number of categories, including developmental approach, land use economics, access and mobility, sustainability, and community and culture.
AHC Inc.’s St. James Plaza was distinguished for its innovative design, zone planning, and local partnerships. The apartment community includes a mix of efficiencies, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes for households earning up to 60% of the area median income.
The $32 million development transformed a three-acre parcel of land owned by a long-time church, St. James Methodist Church, into a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use community.
The site also includes a 2,300-square-foot preschool for 50 children. Operated by nonprofit The Campagna Center, the school is located in the first floor of St. James Plaza. Thirty-one market-rate townhomes, developed by Craftmark, further integrate the development into the existing single-family neighborhood.
St. James Plaza’s exterior includes a variety of earth-toned colors and textures that balance the building’s clean contemporary silhouettes and sharp angles. Inside the apartments, oversized windows add an airy, open feeling to the apartments, which also include wood-toned vinyl-plank floors and contemporary finishes. Other amenities include a play area, community room, fitness center, and underground parking.
The building was also designed to earn the EarthCraft Platinum certification, the highest multifamily green building award.
Development partners include the City of Alexandria, Capital One Bank, Hudson Housing Capital, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), NeighborWorks and NeighborWorks Capital. Designed by Cunningham-Quill Architects, the five-story building was constructed by Harkins Builders.