Huntington Club Redevelopment - Artist rendering (Courtesy Image)

More than 87% of the unit owners comprising the Huntington Club Condominium Unit Owners’ Association have voted to terminate their condominium in favor of a new transit-oriented development on their 19-acre site next to Huntington Metrorail Station in Alexandria, Va.  Currently a community of 364 garden-style and piggyback condominiums, the Fairfax County community has selected The IDI Group Companies of Arlington, Va. to lead its redevelopment into a mixed-use community with approximately 1,000 condominiums, 500 apartments, 65 townhomes and more than 500,000 square feet of office and retail space. This is the first instance in the country in which a condominium association has voted to terminate itself for the purpose of redevelopment, a motion that passed with 87.7% of the vote.

Condominium Overcomes Multiple Challenges to Spur Grass Roots Redevelopment Effort
Originally the Telegraph Hill Apartments, the first residents moved into the community in 1967; conversion to a condominium occurred in 1979.  In 2005, the community’s leadership considered the combination of deferred maintenance on 40-year-old units and their now prime location at Huntington Metro, and they chartered a committee to explore possibilities for redevelopment.  “As we pursued each step of this process, the key was involving every one of our neighbors, making sure the plans and steps were clearly understood and making sure every resident’s needs and timing could be met,” said Lloyd Tucker, a retired Air Force officer who serves as president of the Huntington Club Board of Directors.  Huntington Club is located off I-495 at Telegraph Road South, just south of Old Town Alexandria and adjacent to the Huntington Metro Station, which is the last stop on the Yellow Line. The community currently has two points of direct access to the Metro station, and redevelopment will bring a third.

In the years that transpired, Huntington Club progressed through a daunting series of steps, with the number of unit owners supporting each step increasing each time a vote was held.  The community funded the necessary traffic, engineering, economic and architectural studies, and they presented their redevelopment plan to their neighboring community associations.  In 2013, they successfully obtained an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan that would allow increased density.

Huntington Ave. Entrance and Café - Artistic Rendering (Courtesy Image)

 “We were very fortunate that the Fairfax County government supported this project, despite never having seen a condominium try to redevelop itself,” said Ross Irwin, chair of the Huntington Club Redevelopment Committee since 2008.  “We took it as far as we could on our own, and we got to a point where we needed to partner with the right developer.”  In 2014, the Huntington Club Condominium Association issued an RFP to find a well-qualified developer.  They selected The IDI Group Companies for their outstanding 42-year reputation, multi-family development expertise and requisite flexibility to make the phasing work for residents.  

“We were thrilled to be selected for this unique opportunity,” said IDI Managing Director Carlos Cecchi.  “What the residents have achieved here is really significant, and the fact that they chose us to be their partner for this work is extremely gratifying,” he added.

Huntington Club to Bring a Mix of Uses to Its Prime Location Over 10 Years
The project comprises seven developments or land bays of approximately: 65 townhomes; 533 apartments; 1,013 condominiums; 446,045 square feet of office space; 119,369 square feet for possible hotel use; and 17,800 square feet of retail space. 

The intricacies of Huntington Club’s redevelopment plan are designed to help the 364 unit owners achieve a variety of individual goals, as the property is redeveloped in phases over the course of a decade. It gives special weight to the diverse needs and timing of residents.  “Some of our residents want to be bought out right away, while others want to spend their lives here in a new community that they helped to create,” said Irwin.  “Even as construction goes on around them through the years, our residents know that we are committed to maintaining the original buildings as long as they stand,” Tucker explained.  The condominium leadership hopes to build the kind of thriving community that has sprung up around many other Metrorail stations.

It will take approximately two years to rezone, market and permit Phase 1 of the redevelopment, so all unit owners will have ample time to prepare.  IDI’s preliminary time schedule anticipates that construction will begin in the fall of 2019 and end in 2030.

To minimize the construction timeline and fund the early buyouts of residents who opt for it, a large Phase 1 will include three distinct housing types that can be built and sold concurrently.

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