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Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Seven Corners complex aimed at 'yuppies'

An illustration of the proposed complex next to the existing office buildings
New details emerged on the proposed 195-unit residential/retail complex for Arlington Boulevard in Seven Corners at a recent meeting of the Bailey’s Crossroads Revitalization Corporation.

The project would be located on the sliver of land between Route 50 and South Street, next to the two 13-story office towers. On the other side of the new development, an eight-story hotel, a Hampton Inn and Suites, has already been approved.

The five-story project will have 180 apartments above 18,000 square feet of retail facing Route 50. There would be 15 three-story townhouses along South Street facing the single-family homes across the street, says Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner with Walsh, Coluci, Lubeley Emrich,and Walsh.

The proposal is expected to go before the Planning Commission this fall, then to the Board of Supervisors. If the approval process goes smoothly, construction could start in late 2013, Baker says.

The property is zoned PDC (planned development commercial). The original plans approved by Fairfax County in the 1970s called for three office buildings on that site but only two were built.

The project would include townhouses facing South Street
That property, owned by JBG Cos., is in the Providence District but is also in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization District, which is mostly in Mason.

Baker says the retail will probably include restaurants and services like dry cleaners targeted to both the residents of the complex and employees of the adjacent offices.

 JGB prefers fast food restaurants because the county requires fewer parking space for them than for sit-down restaurants. JGB has requested a special exception to have a fast food restaurant in a residential setting. Baker says the county defines fast food as any restaurant with disposable utensils, and the company’s plans call for places like Panera, Corner Bakery, or Starbucks, rather than McDonalds. 

The company also requested approval to have just 1.45 parking spaces per seat, rather than the required 1.6, because the existing parking lot serving the office buildings are usually only two-thirds full.

There would be minimal surface parking on the service road along Route 50. Residents would park in a two-level underground lot. There would be a public courtyard with a water feature inside the complex that could be used for outdoor dining and a private courtyard restricted to residents.

Sixty-five percent of the apartments would be one-bedroom units, says Tom Sebastian of JGB Rosenfeld, part of the JGB Group. “We think there is an untapped market of young professionals [also known as yuppies] looking for rental housing,” he says. The project would be marketed to 25 to 35-year-olds.

Five percent of the units would be affordable and 7 percent would be workforce housing, he says, which would be in keeping with Fairfax County’s requirement that 12 percent of the units fall into those categories. The townhouses could either be for sale or rent, depending on market conditions when the project is completed.

The developers plan to run a shuttle bus to the East Falls Church Metro station. “Conceivably someone could live here and work downtown without a car,” Sebastian says.


  1. Kudos to Annandale Blog for giving us information about what the plans are for the sliver of land between Route 50 and South street.

    This will bring in somewhere between 500 to 1000 more cars to the Seven Corners area, who knows really. According to the Law firm that is representing the developer. They plan to alleviate the problem of traffic by having a shuttle to and from the metro--big whoop-that takes care of that--NOT. This is where proffers should come in and be negotiated. The developer must put in proffers for infrastructure and to redesign the Seven Corners traffic intersection.

    I wonder what Falls Church City thinks about this. We do not live in two different countries. Are we not working together or is the developer telling everyone what they can and cannot do? We know the Fairfax Board of Supervisors' main focus is to generate as much tax revenue as possible by allowing as much development as possible.

  2. Quote: We know the Fairfax Board of Supervisors' main focus is to generate as much tax revenue as possible by allowing as much development as possible.

    certainly, this has always been Penny Gross's aim.

  3. I am just hoping to add some nice folks around here. COME ON YUPPIES. COME ON !!!!! (As opposed to illegals)

  4. BUT across from the houses on South St.???? Oh my. That's terrible.

  5. Rental apartments in the shaddow of 13 story office towers on Rt 50, with nothing cool there will not be any Yuppies moving in...they want amenities and entertainment and a cool neighborhood.

  6. I'm not sure a single development can pay for the complete redesign of Seven Corners. Thats why its imperative to quickly get a comprehensive plan in place.

    And of course generating more tax revenue is important.