|The Frame Factory in January 2010|
The building at 7130 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, that housed the Frame Factory before it was destroyed in a fire on New Year’s Day, 2010, could soon be declared blighted. It’s been an eyesore for nearly two years, and there have been lots of complaints about it.
The building will be advertised for blight abatement in December, says Aaron Frank, the land use and development specialist in Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’s office. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing in January to determine whether it should be considered a blighted property.
If it does, the board could place a lien on it and move to have it torn down, although the owner would still have several months to fix it up. Real estate records list the owner as Patricia Riesett, age 84, of Cary N.C. She didn’t respond to phone calls.
The Frame Factory had been in that location since 1975. Steve Cowan, who owned the business, says his lease to the property “is no longer valid because the fire marshal condemned the building” after the fire. The fire, caused by faulty electrical wiring, started early in the morning, and the building was unoccupied at the time.
Cowan said he initially thought the property would be rebuilt after the fire, and the Frame Factory “would be up and running in six or seven months.” He has two other Frame Factory shops, in Alexandria and Vienna.
“I don’t know what the problem is. I don’t know why they didn’t rebuild. I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he says. If the building is repaired, “I would like to get back in there.” He said it was fortunate that the fire started right after the holidays because almost everything people had framed had already been picked up.