Glebe Park Solution Begins to Jell

Glebe Park Solution Begins to Jell

After nearly a half-year's worth of study, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) Board of Commissioners was presented with a recommendation to "only consider redevelopment, not demolition" of their units on West Glebe Road and Old Dominion, known as Glebe Park.

Steve Tice, president, Tice Diamond Associates, consultants hired by ARHA to study the site, made the recommendation at the April 28 board meeting. "The structures are in reasonable enough condition to be rehabilitated," Tice said.

"Alexandria zoning would also not allow the replacement of the same number of units if they were demolished," he explained. "There are now approximately 150 units at the site." The new zoning regulations would allow only 100 if they were to be rebuilt, Tice explained.

The board received a report from the consultants, which presented a series of options for Glebe Park. "We are not asking the board to choose tonight," Tice emphasized. "Just study the various options for a future decision."

ARHA VICE CHAIRMAN Carlyle C. Ring Jr. pointed out, "There is a long-standing city resolution that ARHA has to maintain 1,100 public-housing units." Tice noted that their next step would be to engage additional consultants to develop plans for reuse and marketing.

Tice Associates' presentation made the following recommendations and comments on the project:

* West Glebe Road: Renovate and maintain the existing 56 units in their present configuration of 1 single-bedroom unit, 51 two-bedroom units, and 4 three-bedroom units.

* Old Dominion: Three potential options: (1) Renovate and maintain the existing occupancy of 95 one-bedroom units, (2) Reconfigure for family two-bedroom apartments. This would reduce the number of units from 95 to 48, (3) Reconfigure for 60 senior one-bedroom units with elevator and 11 family two-bedroom units. Remove one building to build a 2,500-square-foot senior center.

For the first three months of 2003, Glebe Park operated at a net loss of $22,684.82, according to the financial report for the period submitted by ARHA executive director William M. Dearman. "The rental income is less than the operating expenses and debt service," he said.

For the same time frame, the Public Housing and Bond Programs Fund show a net income of $262,063.10, according to the report. Hopkins-Tancil Courts and Park Place & Saxony Square showed net incomes of $54,779.89 and $10,768.34, respectively. Jefferson Village also showed a net loss of $28,803.35 for the period.

IN OTHER actions, the Board did the following:

* Named Derrick McDaniels to the newly created position of controller and approved the job description for the position. In seeking the board's approval for the new position, Dearman explained, "Currently ARHA has a position designated as chief accountant, and staff has determined this position needed to be changed to reflect the responsibility of the person holding the position. The controller will provide the reinforcement we need in finance."

* Chairman A. Melvin Miller, in noting the recent death of board member Thomas "Pete" Jones, stated, "Pete was an avid advocate for the people of public housing. Whether you agreed or disagreed with him, he was always an advocate of, and for, the residents. We, the city, and the residents of public housing are really going to miss him. And, I want to note that staff went out of their way to help him and his family while he was ill." Jones also served as the longtime president of the Alexandria Residents Council.