AHDC, Carpenter’s Shelter Open Affordable Housing Project, Homeless Shelter in Alexandria, Virginia

Carpenter's Shelter

Carpenter's Shelter was redeveloped from a two-story building originally designed for the Department of Motor Vehicles, into a new, 163,000-square-foot building.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Alexandria Housing Development Corp. (AHDC) has partnered with local homeless shelter Carpenter’s Shelter for The Bloom at Braddock and Carpenter’s Shelter, a hybrid affordable housing community and homeless shelter in Alexandria. The project is a redevelopment of the former 17,000-square-foot Carpenter’s Shelter, which provides support and accommodations to people who are experiencing homelessness. The Bloom at Braddock has 97 low-income tax credit housing (LIHTC) units. Carpenter’s Shelter partnered with architectural firm Cooper Carry’s Alexandria office to complete the project.

The redevelopment of Carpenter’s Shelter transformed the shelter, previously housed in a two-story building originally designed for the Department of Motor Vehicles, into a new, 163,000-square-foot building that supports both organizations’ missions under the same roof. The hybrid design features the build-to-suit homeless shelter and an apartment community that features a community room, multiple outdoor spaces and a 1,600-square-foot community produce garden. The two housing facilities share several amenities, including a level of underground parking and a playground.

Carpenter’s Shelter has a new entrance to welcome residents seeking temporary housing for an average shelter stay of two to four months. A separate entrance to David’s Place at Carpenter’s Shelter provides access to shower facilities, laundry and lockers for those who are chronically homeless. All uninsured clients also have access to the health clinic in the shelter.

The Bloom at Braddock fills the remainder of the ground floor with a lobby, leasing office and conference room. Ten furnished micro units are located throughout levels three to seven of the building and will serve as permanent supportive housing for former Carpenter’s Shelter residents who are transitioning out of homelessness. Throughout levels one through seven, the residential mix includes four one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units targeted at individuals earning 40 percent to 60 percent of area median income (AMI).

When preleasing for Bloom at Braddock opened in August 2020, AHDC received more than 1,600 applicants for the 87 units available to the public and began welcoming tenants in phases prior to the building’s completion due to the urgent demand.

The project received partial funding through tax credits from the Virginia Housing Authority. The building is expected to achieve EarthCraft Gold certification for its sustainable characteristics.

Floor plans at Bloom at Braddock include contemporary kitchens with extra cabinet storage and windows for natural light. The property features an outdoor terrace with a green roof on the second floor, and a spacious community room with lounge seating, TVs, Wi-Fi and another large outdoor terrace on the third floor.

During the construction process, Cooper Carry also supported Carpenter’s Shelter in the relocation of its residents to the vacated Landmark Mall site by creating a temporary 17,000-square-foot facility in a former Macy’s department store. This relocation effort was made possible by The Howard Hughes Corp., which leased a portion of the department store to Carpenter’s Shelter to house residents.

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