Thursday, September 29, 2011

A New Mixed-Use Project for Arlandria!

Rendering of the Arlandria Center redevelopment
as seen from 4MR Park, above the Birchmere.
For the first time in a very long time, there is a plan to develop an under-utilized property in our very own neighborhood. The Arlandria Shopping Center (where MOM's and CVS are located) would go from an auto-centric, single-use property to a mixed-use, street-fronting property with first floor retail and apartments above. While The Arlandrian staff has been too busy to report on many urban planning and redevelopment related topics, this one's a doozy. This development would be a huge boon to the sustainability of the neighborhood.

From what we've seen so far, Arlandria Center, LLC, has done everything right in their proposed development. The project promises a large affordable housing contribution and complies with the unanimously approved 2003 Arlandria Small Area Plan (PDF) with a phased approach to keep Mom's Organic Market and CVS in the neighborhood. The developer is making believers out of us. Learn more about the proposal at 7pm on Wednesday, October 5th at the Four Mile Run Park Community Building (4109 Mt. Vernon Avenue).

Here is the City's Official Notice of the public meeting:
A Development Special Use Permit application has been filed to redevelop the Mt Vernon Village Shopping Center, where Mom’s Market and CVS are located. At this time, the application is scheduled to be heard by the Alexandria Planning Commission on November 1, 2011 and City Council on November 12, 2011.
The Mt Vernon Shopping Center site was one of several sites that were discussed for redevelopment in the 2003 Arlandria Plan. The current application addresses many of the design goals of the plan. The proposed project consists of two multi-family residential buildings that maintain the 50,000 sq. ft. of retail along Mt Vernon Avenue (approximately the same amount of retail that currently exists). Parking would be underground and within the building at grade. Streetscape improvements, including street trees, new bus shelters and sidewalk widening, would be made along Mt Vernon Avenue and Bruce Street. 
The developers will be holding a public meeting to discuss the project on Wednesday, October 5th and you will be notified as to the exact time and location for this meeting. If you have any questions in the meantime or if your civic association would like to be given an individual presentation about the project, please contact Maya Contreras, Urban Planner, in the City’s Department of Planning and Zoning, at 703.746.3816 or
The Arlandria Center proposal
as seen from Mt Vernon Avenue.

1 comment:

Girl X said...

The following is quoted from the Arlandria Vision & Action Plan created in 2003 through a community-wide effort to plan for the development of our neighborhood. I do not think this new 6 story monstrosity with enclosed green spaces for its residents follows the community's plan for "village" development.

"Buildings along the street frontage should be no higher than three stories with the total building height limited to five stories where the fourth and fifth stories are appropriately set back" pp 46

"The intent is to incorporate sufficient offsets and other devices that will create a façade that is in scale with the additional pattern of small buildings found along Mt. Vernon Avenue.

New and remodeled facades should
conform to the general Art Deco architectural style of the historic buildings in Arlandria and the greater neighborhood. Flat roofs are encouraged." pp 91

"New construction should be at a scale that is compatible with the existing urban commercial corridor, with buildings of two to three stories along the street." pp 95