Amazon commits $55 million to create over 500 new affordable homes in Tysons, a major urban center near HQ2 in Northern Virginia.
As we continue to grow our operations and teams at Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, we’re committed to ensuring that affordable housing remains a viable and accessible option for communities in and around Arlington.
The latest investment from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund is a $55 million commitment to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to develop more than 500 new affordable homes in Tysons, located in Fairfax County, northwest of Arlington. The homes are for families making 60%, 50%, and 30% of the area median income, and the development will contain a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
The new apartment homes are part of the Dominion Square West development project in Tysons located near the Spring Hill Metro station, which is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). To significantly accelerate development of the second residential tower, Amazon will provide a low-rate loan to support Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, APAH, and Virginia Housing. Construction will begin in 2023, and once complete, the Dominion Square apartment community will be the largest affordable residential development in Tysons.
“We’re incredibly excited about the economic vibrancy that Amazon’s HQ2 will bring to Virginia, and we also recognize that affordable housing is key to unlock opportunity for everyone,” said Alice Shobe, global director of Amazon in the Community. “This is a unique project to create long-term affordable housing near high-quality transit and jobs, and offer new resources for the community that will enrich the lives of residents and help families thrive.”
Amazon’s funding will also enable the construction of a 30,000-square-foot community center with multigenerational programming. The facility will include a gymnasium, fitness room, sensory room, and multipurpose rooms to support education, art, technology, and recreation programs that will serve the needs and interests of the surrounding community.
“This announcement represents a significant commitment to our Fairfax community and our on-going creation of more affordable units,” said Jeffrey C. McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “We know this is a significant challenge for too many, and we must always do more. Building affordable housing—especially that which has supportive programs and services—is an investment in our local economy and in the future success of our community.”
In March 2022, Fairfax County increased its affordable housing production goal to create a minimum of 10,000 new units by 2034 that are affordable for households earning 60% or less of the area median income. With Amazon’s support, the accelerated development of Dominion Square will increase the number of units delivered or in development to more than 3,000.
Amazon’s backing will help provide the funding needed for APAH to proceed with securing a tax-credit investor, structuring the transaction, and selecting lenders. The financial commitment will also allow several county agencies to begin the coordination process internally and with the public for developing the programming options and needs for the community center.
This deal is also a continuation of Amazon’s support of minority developers, one of the priority commitments with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. Both APAH’s President and CEO, Carmen Romero, and Vice President of real estate, Mike Chiappa, are Latinx real estate developers, and 50% of APAH’s senior leadership identify as Black and Latinx.
“The significant infusion of development capital from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund enables us to accelerate construction of a second building to the south of our initially designed structure, bringing Dominion Square to more residents in the heart of Tysons,” said Romero.
“Between the resident services we will provide, WMATA’s presence at Spring Hill Metro, and the best-in-class amenities and jobs Tysons is known for, we believe this development will be a welcomed asset to this community.”
Since January 2021, Amazon has committed $795 million in loans and grants to create or preserve 4,400 affordable homes in and around Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Based on data provided by Arlington County, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s efforts in just the past year have increased the long-term committed multifamily affordable housing stock in Arlington by 22%.