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CRA Gives Thumbs Up on Alexandria Rehab

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2005, at 02:30PM

I don't know if I've just been out of the loop, but this report from the CRA (PDF) is the first I'd heard of a rehab deal being in place for the Alexandria Hotel. The document is dated October 31st, but didn't make it into the Council referral document until today.

Basic gist is that currently there are no requirements on the Alexandria keeping it as affordable housing, but the incoming developers/operators see that as the best continued use for the property. Therefore they're going to the CRA for a tax exempt housing revenue bond to finance renovation work. The property would end up with covenant restrictions that would require it to remain affordable housing for 55 years. Renovation would add kitchenettes to each unit.

Here's the part of the document that makes me smile the widest:

The Developer plans to restore much of the original lobby design and ground floor exterior to original condition. The original 60-foot high lobby would be restored. The restoration would open the lobby back up and a restoration of the exterior surfaces would uncover original mezzanine level windows. The Palm Court, originally called the Franco-Italian Dining Room, will be restored, a process that will include opening up the original Tiffany glass skylights that are presently covered from above.

Amazing. For so long I've looked at that building wistfully. I haven't wanted it to cease being affordable housing. All I've asked is that "keeping affordable housing" quit being an excuse to neglect a property. Renovating your ground floor does nothing but help the people upstairs.

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