- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2004

Three area development projects have earned kudos for their commitment to serve commuters and help low-income residents find affordable homes.

The Smart Growth Alliance (SGA) recognized a new commuter rail project in Woodbridge, Va., a proposed residential complex near the Clarendon Metro station and a housing and retail development along Richmond Highway in Fairfax County.

The Woodbridge development, known as Rippon Commuter Village, is the first project in Prince William County to be recognized by the SGA. The development will be adjacent to the Rippon Virginia Railway Express station and feature 900 units of housing and 20,000 square feet of retail.

Executives from Hazel Land Cos., the project’s developer, said Rippon Commuter Village could serve as a model for future transit-oriented complexes in Prince William County.

“The six VRE stations in Prince William are potentially valuable county assets, but assets that have been underutilized to date,” said Hazel Vice President Robert Wulff.

The SGA also recognized the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing for a proposal to redevelop the First Baptist Church of Clarendon into apartments geared toward lower-income residents.

The proposal calls for the construction of 118 apartments, with the church and its administrative offices on the lower floors. The steeple of the 54-year-old church would be preserved, and about half of the apartment units would be set aside for families earning less than 60 percent of the area median family income of about $85,000.

The third project recognized by the SGA was the Heights at Groveton development, a complex that could feature 300 homes and 40,000 square feet of office and retail near the Huntington Metro Station in Alexandria. The SGA said it liked the development’s proximity to Metro, and the plans to integrate better parking and sidewalks in the surrounding neighborhood.

“Smart growth is not about a single solution, but rather a variety of projects that are uniquely tailored to meet the community’s and market’s needs,” said Sam Black, chairman of the SGA jury and senior counsel at the Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP law firm in the District. “While located in three different jurisdictions, [these projects] will add value to the region as a whole.”

The SGA comprises the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Metropolitan Builders’ Council and the Washington division of the Urban Land Institute.

In other news …

• Cassidy & Pinkard and ICap Realty Advisors LLC arranged for $26.1 million in financing on behalf of the Mark Winkler Co. for Liberty Center II, a 158,920-square-foot office building in the Westfields complex in Chantilly.

• Sterling American Property Inc. has sold the Alexandria, one of the Washington area’s largest apartment complexes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The complex features 40 acres, 4,200 square feet of retail and 1,524 apartments, 98 percent of which are occupied. It also has two swimming pools, a clubhouse and a library.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at tlemke@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-4836.

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