Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan says local officials are hopeful they can have the homeless-services center in Courthouse up and running before 2014 is over.
“End of the year would be great,” Donnellan told County Board members on March 15, although she acknowledged it is possible the facility won’t be ready until mid-winter.
County Board members last month approved a construction contract to renovate the first two floors of a government-owned office building on 14th Street North into a year-round facility for the homeless. It would replace the existing Emergency Winter Shelter, located nearby, and like that facility would be operated by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.
In her remarks, Donnellan held open the possibility that the JBG Cos., which owns several parcels in Courthouse, could be asked to help subsidize construction and operating costs for the new shelter as part of a redevelopment plan.
Donnellan said her staff has not had recent conversations with JBG officials about plans for their Courthouse holdings, but said the question of what amenities the county government might like to get as part of a deal “would be something we would discuss” when the time was right.
Audrey Clement, a civic activist with the Arlington Green Party and former County Board candidate, said at the March 15 County Board meeting that the cost of the new homeless facility was excessive, and pressed to have JBG pay some of the share.