A $38-million proposal by First Baptist Church of Clarendon in Arlington to develop an affordable housing complex was approved Oct. 23 by the Arlington County board.
The Views of Clarendon, a unique mixed-use church and residential development project, will create 70 new affordable housing units near the Clarendon Metro Station, just outside Washington, D.C.
The Views would create 116 new residential units—60 percent of them categorized as “affordable” by county standards. The church would be rebuilt in a 10-story building — a two-story church, with eight floors of rental units above it. The 450-seat sanctuary will provide worship facilities for Anglo, Vietnamese and Hispanic congregations.
The plan retains the church’s existing three-story educational building, which houses Arlington County’s largest childcare center. The building provides a transition to the single-family neighborhood behind the church.
Also retained is the church’s landmark 107-foot steeple.
“My hope is that this project can serve as one possible model for urban congregations to creatively preserve their strategic locations in the heart of the city and increase their ministries at the same time,” said Alan Stanford, pastor of First Church of Clarendon.
Barbara Favola, chair of the county board, said, “This is a very creative project that offers tremendous community benefits and enables us to achieve smart growth in a holistic way. It brings affordable housing less than a block from the Clarendon Metro, retains a childcare center and allows the church to preserve its longtime location.”
The 95-year-old congregation will rebuild at its current site, where it has been located for more than 50 years.
The board also approved a $4.5-million loan from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund that will be repaid at 3.5 percent interest.