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Arlington County adds 160 affordable housing units atop American Legion Post

The Arlington County Board approves the redevelopment of the American Legion Post 139 building on Washington Boulevard. (Courtesy American Legion Post 139/APAH)

WASHINGTON — The Arlington American Legion Post 139 is going to get a face-lift, and Arlington County will get 160 housing units in the redevelopment of the property.

The county board approved a plan to replace the building on Washington Boulevard with a seven-story building, and allocated a $5.79 million from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment plan to build the project.

The American Legion Post will be on the ground floor with its front on Washington Boulevard.

The board voted unanimously to approve it.

Board Chair Christian Dorsey said in a statement that this will add “much-needed affordable units” in the county and will enable the American Legion Post to stay on the site, which is within walking distance to the Virginia Square Metro station.

The Arlington American Legion’s redevelopment started in 2016 when it partnered with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.

When the Legion decided it was time to sell the building, the location’s proximity to the Metro and George Mason University’s law school drew developers that pitched high-end, high-rise units. But the Legion’s members decided to sell to the affordable housing agency, The Washington Post reported. Half of the 160 units will be set aside for military veterans, which may be the first collaboration between a veterans organization and an affordable housing agency, the newspaper reported.

The county said that the units will be contractually committed to remaining affordable for 75 years and that APAH said that it will give preference to veterans in renting half of the units.

The American Legion supports local veterans and sponsors community programs and services.

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