Roughly 100 local families attended the event, which was hosted in partnership with City of Alexandria Archaeology and Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority
Alexandria, Va. – On July 26th Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, hosted Kids Archaeological Dig Day at the Samuel Madden Public Housing site in partnership with City of Alexandria Archaeology and Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
More than 100 children and families attended the event, where they had the opportunity to experience firsthand a dig at the site while learning from a team of professional archaeologists about the area’s history. The dig represented a unique and engaging approach to the project’s continued commitment to historical integrity as part of the Alexandria Archaeological Protection Code. Attendees gained firsthand experience in modern day archaeology practices and enjoyed food, beverages, a DJ and additional family-friendly, free activities.
“This event was not only a unique educational and engaging experience for local families, but also served as an important reminder of the area’s rich history,” said Noah Hale, Senior Director, Development at Fairstead. “At Fairstead, we remain committed to our mission of respecting and positively impacting the vibrant communities we work in. We are grateful to all those who participated in this meaningful occasion.”
In February, the Alexandria City Council voted to provide final public approval on the transformation of the existing Samuel Madden Public Housing site into a new mixed-use community. Led by the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Fairstead, Mill Creek Residential, and The Communities Group, the redevelopment will consist of 532 units of affordable and mixed-income housing, 5,000 square feet of public open space, community resources run by long standing local non-profit institutions, and 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
“ARHA was thrilled to partner with Fairstead and the City to offer this educational opportunity for our youth. The kids had a great time learning about archaeology and seeing how the future Samuel Madden community will look. We are also grateful to the Department of Community and Human Services and the Alexandria Sherriff’s Department for providing supportive counseling services and information. It was a wonderful experience that left a lasting impression,” said Gaynelle Bowden-Diaz, Director of Resident and Community Services for Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority (ARHA).
The redevelopment will replace all of the existing units at the site on a one-for-one basis, with all current residents returning to new homes. Residents will have access to amenities, including a pool, exercise and community rooms, on-site management offices and more. In line with Alexandria’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis, the team will be partnering with the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech to incorporate green design elements, strategies to reduce energy and water consumption, and pursue sustainability certifications.
As part of the approved redevelopment plan, ALIVE!, the largest private safety net in Alexandria dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger, will establish a food and services hub at the site. The hub will offer the entire Alexandria community access to fresh and nutritious food, as well as connections to supportive services including financial and legal services and healthy cooking demonstrations.
Fairstead and the development team will break ground on the new community in 2024.