Affordable housing investments in two new residential buildings are among Amazon’s first from its $300 million transit-oriented development commitment
In 14 months alone, Amazon has committed over $795 million in the Arlington, Virginia-Washington, D.C. region to create and preserve more than 4,400 affordable homes for local residents
Amazon’s investments have increased affordable housing units in Arlington by 22% over the past year
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 15, 2022--
Today Amazon announced it will invest $81.7 million to build 742 new affordable homes near public transit sites and work in collaboration with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to complete the housing developments. The deals stem from Amazon’s $300 million transit commitment from 2021 to create 3,000 new affordable homes in collaboration with the transit agencies in Amazon’s hometown communities.
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Rendering of The Margaux at the New Carrollton Metro station (credit Urban Atlantic)
“The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is tackling the affordable housing crisis on multiple fronts and through innovative solutions, such as teaming up with public transit authorities, which brings people closer to more opportunities, services, and a better quality of life,” said Catherine Buell, director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion commitment to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in Washington state’s Puget Sound region; the Arlington, Virginia region; and Nashville, Tennessee. “We know that our investment in these areas brings many economic opportunities for residents in the region, but we also acknowledge that this growth needs to benefit everyone in the community. The progress we have made in our first year is promising, but we have more to do.”
Last year, Amazon committed $125 million in below-market capital to expedite the development of 1,000 affordable homes so that moderate- to low-income families in the National Capital Region can afford to live in communities with easy access to employment, schools, health care, education, as well as other services and amenities. Since launching the Amazon Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon has committed more than $795 million in loans and grants for the Arlington, Virginia-Washington, D.C. region to create and preserve more than 4,400 affordable homes. Based on data provided by Arlington County, through its efforts in the past year, the Amazon Housing Equity Fund has increased the long-term committed multifamily affordable housing stock in Arlington by 22%.
“Amazon is acting at the scale this region needs to create and preserve affordable housing. Their bold steps are effecting real change,” said Katie Cristol, chair of the Arlington County Board. “Amazon’s particular focus on transit-oriented affordable housing is essential to meeting our region’s climate and emissions-reduction goals, as well as our affordable housing goals, and this focus will also increase economic opportunity for our lower- and moderate- income neighbors.”
New housing commitments announced in partnership with Metro today include:
The Margaux at the New Carrollton Metro Station: In partnership with Metro and developer Urban Atlantic, Amazon is creating 291 new construction apartments, with guaranteed affordability for 98 years, adjacent to the Metro station in New Carrollton, Maryland, a major mixed-use, multimodal transportation hub for commuter rail and bus lines, Metrobus, Metrorail, Amtrak, and the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) under-construction Purple Line. Amazon is funding $25.4 million in low-rate loans to Urban Atlantic to begin construction. The Margaux will offer 1-, 2-, and 3- bedroom units and is an essential part of the transformation of New Carrollton, a vital gateway to the Washington, D.C. region.
Atworth at the College Park Metro Station: In partnership with Metro, Amazon is creating 451 new construction apartments, with guaranteed affordability for 98 years, immediately adjacent to the Metro Station, bus lines, MARC Train, University of Maryland Shuttle Service, and under-construction Purple Line. The Atworth development includes a public park that will be used for health and wellness-focused community events, such as hosting a farmers market to promote greater access to fresh food while supporting local businesses. The Atworth is within walking distance to the University of Maryland and the Discovery District, which contains over 2 million square feet of office, laboratory, and research space for both private companies and public agencies. Amazon is funding a $56.3 million low-rate loan to the Gilbane Development Company to begin construction.
“The projects underway at New Carrollton and College Park are transforming vacant land and parking lots into vibrant mixed-use commercial and residential destinations generating more riders and revenue for Metro, as well as new residents, businesses, and tax revenue for our local and state partners,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, general manager and CEO of Metro. “Thanks to Metro’s nation-leading joint development initiatives and Amazon’s commitment to affordable housing, the future is bright for smart growth near Metro and other transit options in Prince George’s County and throughout the entire region we serve.”
Since the launch of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon has invested more than $1.2 billion to create or preserve more than 8,000 affordable homes for families earning between 30%-80% area median income (AMI), including first responders, teachers, and service industry employees whose wages haven’t kept pace with escalating rents. For each Amazon-funded affordable home, rents will be maintained at levels affordable for low- and moderate-income families (generally 98 to 99 years) and rents will only rise with wage growth as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As real estate prices have continued to rise, this commitment will save affected families thousands of dollars annually. Based on the average rental household size in the zip codes of funded Amazon initiatives, the affordable homes will support an estimated 18,000 people across all three regions, nearly a quarter of whom are children. All 8,000 units are or will be within a 10-minute walk to public transit centers, ensuring affordability for moderate- to low-income families to live near—and benefit from—quality public transit.
To read more about the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s impact and our recent announcements visit: https://www.aboutamazon.com/impact/economy/housing-equity/fund
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Source: Amazon.com, Inc.