When the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) learned that the Purple Line light-rail train would have a stop adjacent to its 68-unit low-density and income-restricted property in Chevy Chase, Md., the wheels started turning.
The affordable housing provider started to think about how to leverage the location to increase affordability in a transit-oriented and opportunity-rich neighborhood. What resulted was a public-private partnership between HOC, Bethesda-based urban infill developer EYA, and The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation that transformed the site into a vibrant mixed-income community.
The Lindley, with 200 mixed-income units, is a centerpiece for the new transit-oriented community. A major design goal for the team was to attract a mix of ages and incomes at The Lindley, including young professionals, empty nesters, and families. Eighty of the 200 units are income-restricted, with 40 targeted to households at or less than 50% of the area median income (AMI) and 40 workforce units for households between 61% and 100%.
The development is comprised of a mix of 96 one-, 89 two-, and 15 three-bedroom units. Recognizing the need to serve families seeking access to strong schools in the Bethesda and Chevy Chase area, the three-bedroom units are income restricted.
Market-rate and affordable units are indistinguishable, with high-quality features and finishes, and included on every floor of the building. The Lindley features best-in-class as well as family-friendly amenities, such as an arcade, foosball and pool tables, and a children’s playroom. Other features include communal gathering spaces on the rooftop, with an indoor entertainment area and kitchen, a dog park, and a landscaped terrace; a high-end fitness center and yoga studio; a pet-grooming station; and a bike repair shop.
Clad in warm grey metal panels and two shades of red brick, the modern design of the building meshes well with the community’s traditional architecture. In addition, The Lindley has been built around the new Jean Banks Park with a granite slide and water features, open to the residents and surrounding community, atop a below-grade garage.
To make The Lindley a reality, HOC sold a portion of the property on which new townhomes are being developed to leverage the land value and support the development of the high-rise. The Cafritz Foundation provided financing support, as did EYA, which served as the building’s developer and oversaw all aspects of construction, financing, and lease-up.