Contribution by John Snyder, Columbia Pike Partnership Board Member

The Barcroft Apartments are under renovation and redevelopment, pursuant to the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods plans. Developer Jair Lynch recently acquired the property with loans from Arlington County and Amazon. The loan terms require Jair Lynch to preserve or commit new units for all 1,335 market-rate affordable apartments in the complex for tenants at 60% of the area median income for a term of 99 years. A portion of the units will be committed for even lower-income residents.

About 60% of the units, generally along George Mason Drive and in the middle of the complex, will be renovated and preserved. About 40%, generally along the Pike, at the corner of the Pike and George Mason, and along Four Mile Run Drive north of George Mason, will be replaced with larger buildings. The larger buildings will contain both new affordable apartments and new market-rate (more expensive) apartments. The higher rents from the market-rate units make the overall plan and preservation of affordable apartments financially feasible.

The development is being guided by the Neighborhoods Form Based Code (NFBC), adopted in 2013 after years of planning and community meetings. Now, some adjustments to the code are being considered to try to optimize the plan. A series of meetings with an Advisory Working Group (with representatives of all the Pike neighborhoods, the Columbia Pike Partnership, and others) is underway to consider the plans. You can follow this process by visiting the Barcroft Apartments Land-Use Analysis webpage.

In the first meeting, alternatives were presented to modify the NFBC to preserve an area around the entrance to the complex at Thomas Street (more architecturally significant) (the area had been planned for redevelopment) and, instead, re-develop an area along George Mason near the Pike (had been planned for preservation). The second meeting (March 11, 2024) focused on transportation, street grid, and parking. The next meeting will be on April 1, 202, at 7:00 PM via Teams (Meeting details are available on the County website).

Additionally, the county has created a survey that will close on April 7, 2024, to gather feedback on the plans. Please take advantage of this Feedback Opportunity: Land Use at Barcroft Apartments to share your thoughts.