A nonprofit has submitted a plan to build new homes at the American Legion Post # 114 site on Prince William Street in Manassas, just east of Wellington Road.
Last month, People Inc. of Virginia filed a three-parcel zoning change application to build 12 duplex units on 1.5 acres. The nonprofit is asking that the property be changed from a single-family designation to a downtown mixed-use designation.
According to the application, which is currently under staff review and is not yet scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing, the plan is to give veterans a “rental preference”, although that the application itself does not specify how it would work or what the affordability requirements are. would be. The project would also ârevitalizeâ the post building, founded in 1946 by 16 African-American soldiers from Manassas.
The app says the development would provide affordable homes near the Virginia Railway Express station and be compatible with surrounding homes. âThe proposed use will provide affordable, newly built and much-needed residences in the city. “
Representatives for People Inc. did not respond to a request for comment, but the organization’s 2020 annual report says the nonprofit has helped 12 families buy homes and helped 21 families get it. âAffordable and Safe Housingâ by 2020. Based on dezoning demand, People Inc. owns and operates 31 affordable housing properties in Virginia and Tennessee. The American Legion site would consist of six one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units.
Matt Arcieri, the city’s director of community development, and board member Mark Wolfe said a larger project was underway, with officials hoping it would help meet a small part of the need for affordable housing in Manassas and to revitalize a dilapidated property. But density concerns have led to a significant reduction in the units offered.
âI think it’s a great possibility, both in terms of adapting to the neighborhood and to the people we’re trying to serve,â Wolfe told InsideNoVa.
The rezoning will have to go through the town planning commission and then through the municipal council for final approval.
Arcieri said the city and the American Legion have been working on various iterations of the project for several years. âAt one point, they were talking about something much denser; they have not had good feedback on this subject from the community and the neighborhood in particular.
According to demand, the post was built in 1946 for veterans of World Wars I and II. The 16 soldiers who organized it were not allowed to enter the segregated white American Legion, so they were given a temporary charter from the American Legion headquarters for a “colored post”, which was named in the honor of Paul W. Mitchell Jr., one of the founders.
Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org