750 23rd St. S (Melwood) Update 06/25/24

Melwood And Wesley Housing Submit Site Plan Application For New Inclusive Affordable Housing In Arlington

Melwood, a leading national employer, advocate, and preferred provider for people with disabilities, and Wesley Housing, a leading nonprofit affordable housing provider located in Northern Virginia, are pleased to announce the submission of a Site Plan Application for a mixed-use development including 105 new affordable housing units and 18,000 square feet of ground level space for Melwood’s community service use in Arlington, Virginia. This unique joint venture, which leverages property Melwood owns in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood near National Landing and the Crystal City Metro, will provide much needed affordable housing with a broad range of household sizes and affordable income levels, with a portion of the units intended to address the need for accessible housing for people with disabilities. The development project will also replace the existing, outdated Melwood Horticultural Training Center, with new space better suited for Melwood to operate its on-site programs and services, including job skills training for people with disabilities.

Melwood entered into an agreement with Wesley Housing as its development partner in January 2024. Since then, the partners advanced pre-development activities through Arlington County’s Special General Land Use Plan (GLUP) process, culminating with the May 2024 County Board adoption of the GLUP Study and associated principles guiding future development. To kick off the site plan review process, Wesley Housing and Melwood submitted a preliminary Site Plan Application, in accordance with Administrative Regulation 4.1.

“Our application begins the County’s iterative Site Plan Review Process, which provides multiple opportunities for input from stakeholders and the community as we advance our design to meet the principles set forth in the GLUP Study ,” said Wesley Housing President & CEO, Kamilah McAfee. “Approval of the proposed development by the County Board will be a critical first step allowing us to pursue the affordable housing financing and building permits necessary to bring this innovative community asset to fruition,” McAfee added. 

U.S. Representative Don Beyer (VA-8) and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine championed the development which led to an award of $500,000 in congressionally directed funding.“Redeveloping our Arlington campus into an affordable, inclusive housing community enables Melwood to further our mission and support the people and community we serve, most of whom face hurdles to live independently in affordable housing with meaningful inclusion,” said Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood. The partnership between Melwood and Wesley Housing presents a unique opportunity to develop a truly inclusive community in Arlington County, leveraging both organizations’ overlapping missions, complementary services, and long-standing histories of service in Arlington.

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