Stone Church to be Torn Down and Replaced by Affordable Apartments

Dec 20, 2015
Town Center: Alcova Heights
Arlington Presbyterian Church

Gilliam Place

On December 12, the Arlington County Board approved a plan to redevelop the Arlington Presbyterian Church ( Church information below) into an affordable housing complex. The Board also approved a loan of $18 million to help the Arlington Partnership for Afforable Housing (APAH), non-profit developer, to buy the site and develop the complex. The affordablity of the apartments is locked-in for the next 60 years.

The new complex will be named Gilliam Place. Gilliam Place with be comprised of two buildings Gilliam Place East, with 83 apartments and Gilliam Place West with 90 apartments. Both buildings will achieve EarthCraft Platinum certification.

On the ground floor there will be space for retail or civic uses. The parking garage will be three-level below-grade with 205 parking spaces.

The County will allocate a total of $18.1 million in loan funds from the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to APAH for the acquisition of land and the construction of the 173 new committed affordable housing units (CAFs) and $745,298 in funds from the Transit Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH).
A breakdown of the AHIF loans:
$8.5 million for the acquisition of the church site for redevelopment
(APAH will acquire the APC site by August 1, 2016)
$2.8 million for the construction of 90 units in Gilliam Place East
$6.8 million for the construction of 83 units in Gilliam Place West
arlington county

Future of the Church

It is possible that The Arlington Presbyterian Church will relocate to one of the ground floor spaces of the new development . But nothing is definate yet. ( more information on the church below)

Funshine Preschool which currently operates a daycare center at the church site will not be part of the redevelopment .  They have found a new home at the Macedonia Baptist Church, 3412 22nd Street South, they will move in spring 2016.

Ronda A. Gilliam

Gilliam Place, is named in honor of Ronda A. Gilliam, the congregation’s first African-America member:
Ronda A. Gilliam (1906-1970) resided in Arlington View, served at Ft. Myer and worked at the National Archives. In 1960, one year after the desegregation of Arlington County schools, he became the first African American member of Arlington Presbyterian Church. He served as a church Elder as well as an Elder Commissioner to the Washington City Presbytery. In 1970 Mr. Gilliam founded a clothing assistance program to serve school children and those in distress. After his passing in 1970, the Clothing Bank at APC was named in his honor. Arlington Presbyterian

Arlington Presbyterian Church

March 10, 2015
Arlington Presbyterian Church
The historical stone church on the Pike near to Glebe Road is set to be torn down. It is the home to the Arlington Presbyterian Congregation. The Arlington Presbyterian Church was chartered on April 21, 1908. The first church building on this site at 3507 Columbia Pike was destroyed due to a fire on December 20, 1924. The present building was built in 1931.
The site goes all the way through to 9th street. There is also a large attached building in the back along with a children's playground.
10/03/2013 AHT presentation to the Congregation

11/02/2013 APC development FAQ
01/02/2015 APC Press Release


Affordable Housing

The congregation voted in November 2013 to approve the site's redevelopment into affordable housing along with space for the church in the new building. The sale of the building has recently been approved by the National Capital Presbytery.

The site will be sold to the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, APAH.

When the plans for the redevelopment were initially approved by the Arlington Presbyterianit Congregation it was thought that the new building would have space for the church as a tenant but since APAH will own the proporty outright there is no guarantee that there will be space for the church. Final approval needs to be given by the Arlington County Board.
[church project manager Jill] Norcross said, APAH will own the land and the building outright, and the church and developer would have to agree on a new lease when the building is built, no sure thing. “The church has given up any ownership stake in the building,” she said. “That’s what the Presbytery wanted. The church might come back as a tenant, but that’s still to be negotiated between now and 2016. ARLnow

APAH's plans include a five-story, 142-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor. They expect to close on the sale in July 2016 but first they need to gain approval for both their financing and land-use .


As of May 28, 2014 Preservation Arlington lists APC and states:
Historic Significance: Designed by prominent local architect, cornerstone has ties to George Washington and the U.S. Capitol

The county Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board agreed in early 2014 that it meets the criteria for local landmark designation and protection but chose to not designate the property... While Preservation Arlington supports the congregation's and APAH's laudable goals of providing affordable workforce housing, we believe the current proposal is shortsighted and antithetical to the church's community building role. This stone church s a landmark and a symbol of the continuity of that institution and its place in the community Its loss will alter the landscape of the Pike and destroy a tangible linkto the past.
Preservation Arlington

Two county residents requested an historic district designation for APC in 2013:

2013 Arlington County staff report.

2014 Historic District Designation Form

Ajacent Businesses

The Church is facing Columbia Pike between S. Monroe and S. Lincoln streets. To the west is Bazar Anita II , a women's clothing store and next to that is C W Fields and Son a plumbing company.

CW Plumbers and Bazar
CW Fields Plumbers and bazar Anita

Bank of American and Wendy's

To the east of the church across S. Lincoin is a Wendy's and next to that is a branch of the Bank of America.  Bank of America is on the corner of Glebe and Columbia Pike.