New Tower to Replace Garden Apartments

Rendering of the future Pierce Queen Apartments 

Three aging, affordable garden apartment buildings will be replaced with a new, 12-story residential tower as part of a planned mixed-income development in the Rador-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood.

Wesley Housing Development Corporation is partnering with Bozzuto to redevelop the five-building, 50-unit Pierce Queen Apartments, built in 1942 and located on the 1600 block of 16th Street N. The developers have proposed to tear down three of the buildings in order to build a new 186-unit apartment tower, while renovating the remaining two garden apartment buildings.

Each of the five existing buildings have been deemed historically “important” in Arlington County’s Historic Resources Inventory.

All told, the finished project would have 198 apartment units, 40 percent of which will be reserved as committed affordable housing, plus 207 off-street parking spaces.

As reported by the Arlington Mercury, however, the county’s Site Plan Review Committee expressed reservations about the project at a meeting on Monday.

SPRC members questioned various aspects of the project’s design and one member said flatly that he was “not comfortable” with the overall design. Members also questioned whether parking fees for market-rate apartments (parking will be free for affordable apartment residents) would send cars onto neighborhood streets seeking free parking.

The project’s McLean-based architect countered that his firm followed the county’s sector plan for the area “almost to the exact T,” the Mercury reported.

The county’s Planning Commission is currently expected to take up the Pierce Queen development in January, with a County Board vote expected in “early 2013.”


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