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What Makes Towns at Chatham Square Special?

The Towns at Chatham Square mixed-income community is the result of more than a decade of public discussions regarding the redevelopment of Samuel Madden Downtown, a two-story 100-unit public housing complex that was originally built in 1940. In 2001, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority selected developers Eakin Youngentob & Associates (EYA) to redevelop the site with a mix of 52 replacement public housing units and 100 market-rate townhomes. The remaining 48 public housing units were replaced elsewhere within the City.

Chatham Square’s most notable quality is its design. There is a seamless integration of the 52 public housing units with the 100 market-rate units. Due to the building configurations, which typically include four market-rate townhomes mirrored by six public-housing units on the other side, the different unit types appear remarkably similar in nature. Rear alleys provide vehicular access to the shared, underground parking garage. Financing for the project came from the sale of the Samuel Madden Downtown public housing site itself, low-income tax credits from the State of Virginia, $3.5 million from a Federal Hope VI grant, and a combination of City funds.