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Saving Affordable Housing in Reston

County Buys Crescent Apartments

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors dipped into its $17.9 million fund for affordable housing this week.

In its continuing effort to preserve affordable housing, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Monday to purchase Crescent Apartments in Reston for $49.5 million. Half of the money in the affordable housing fund, $9 million, will go towards purchasing the property. The county will pay for the remaining $40.5 million by raising a one-year bond anticipation note issued by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

The county purchased the property from The Mark Winkler Company, which put its $2.3 billion commercial and residential real estate portfolio on the market last fall. JBG Investment Fund, an affiliate of developer JBG Companies, bought the rest of the Winkler residential portfolio, which included more than 5,000 apartments in 12 Northern Virginia complexes.

The affordable housing offered at the Crescent complex includes 180 rental units, from one- to three-bedroom dwellings, on 16.5 acres. During the three-day Lake Anne revitalization charrette last summer, several participants worried that the affordable housing on the property would be lost to redevelopment.

CB Richard Ellis, the real estate company representing Winkler, marketed Crescent as an investment redevelopment opportunity, trying to leverage the ongoing revitalization effort at Lake Anne. “Crescent has recently been incorporated into a new Fairfax County plan for redevelopment of the Lake Anne section of Reston, presenting a significant apartment or condominium re-development opportunity for the new owner,” said the CBRE brochure.

By preserving the 180-unit property, the county took another step toward its goal to preserve at least 1,000 units of affordable housing before the end of 2007. Including Crescent, the county has now preserved 846 units of affordable housing.

Crescent Apartments will be initially owned by Fairfax County and managed by the Quantum Real Estate Management Company, according to a county press release. The leases for all current tenants will be honored. The press release also said the county intends to develop plans to do some renovations on the 46-year-old property.