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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Developer describes plans for Markham Place project in Annandale



An illustration of Markham Place facing Markham Street.

Representatives of the Webb Cos. outlined their plans for Markham Place, a 12-story apartment building, at the Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) meeting March 25. The project would be built on Markham Street in Annandale on the property now occupied by the AMF Lanes bowling alley.

The project is a joint venture with Southern Management Corp., which manages The Parliaments. Both the Webb Cos. and Southern Management have longtime roots in Annandale and “want to continue to invest in the prosperity of this community,” said Bonnie Mattingly, senior vice president of the Webb Cos.

A letter from Mattingly to local community associations says AMF plans to close the bowling alley sometime in 2015.

The plans haven’t changed since the project was described at a meeting of the Annandale Commercial Business District Planning Committee (ACBDPC)  in January. A rezoning proposal will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission July 24 and the Board of Supervisors July 29.

The property had been rezoned for Planned Residential Mixed Use (PDC) about six years ago to accommodate a residential/office/retail mixed-use project, but that deal fell through. Now Webb is seeking a rezoning under the Planned Residential Mixed Use District (PRM) category, which allows for mostly residential uses with some retail.

The proposal calls for a 6,000-square foot family-style restaurant with outdoor seating on the ground floor facing Markham Street. The rest of the L-shaped building would consist of 310 one and two-bedroom apartment units and various amenities for the residents, such as fitness and meeting rooms.
 
The lobby would be on the corner.
The building would be close to Markham Street on what is now the bowling alley parking lot, creating a more walkable streetscape, said the architect, Faik Tugberk, of Architects Collaborative Inc. A semi-underground parking garage and a public park would be at the rear of the property, where the bowling alley is now.  There would be a “plaza level” above the parking deck with a swimming pool and green space for residents.

At the MDLUC meeting, Greg McGillicuddy, chair of the ACBDPC, said he supports the proposed project “100 percent.” It will bring in more young professionals and spur more redevelopment in Annandale, he said.

The apartments will have market-rate rents, said attorney David Houston of the Falls Church office of Reed Smith LLP. Fairfax County requires 20 percent of the units to be affordable to working-class people. Webb is proposing to provide 30 percent workforce units, but have them located within The Parliaments instead of in the new building.  

After the Board of Supervisors approves the project, it will take about six to nine months to complete the site plan, Houston said. He hopes construction could start at the end of 2015.

15 comments:

  1. 1. Anything on bike parking or other bike accommodation
    2. Interesting idea of putting the guaranteed affordable housing in the other building. Don't know if the County will accept that. That approach has been a matter of controversy in DC.
    3. Any discussion of transportation improvements? If this is as of right (but maybe they will need a waiver to put the work force units in the other building?) they don't need to proffer for that, IIUC. But if not, the County needs to start addressing transportation problems - new development makes implementing the Annandale transportation plan more urgent. Adding the 26 bus and minor improvements on the 29K are not enough. We need more bus service, bike accommodations, and improved intersection treatments to improve auto capacity as well.

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  2. The developers want a road connecting Markham Street and Annandale Road between the new building and the Seoul Plaza shopping center.

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    1. Thanks Ellie for the info

      That would be a good thing - now all we need are more buses and more bike lanes!

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  3. What we need is for FFX County to act like an adult and propose light rail/metro down it major transit corridors in the numerous County wide Revitilization Corridors. This will encourage the right kind of development and help support its suffocating single fmily home communities.

    As for bikes, FFX miserably fails. I have to take my bike to Arlington or Alexandria to get a good and safe bike ride. Even the trails in FFX are pathetic, one has to pick up ones bike and cross stepping stones at streams making ones commute onerous.

    FFX Grow up!

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  4. dear Anon

    if you are interested in more bike lanes, and other policies to improve biking in FFX, please get in touch with http://www.fabb-bikes.org/ There is a lot going on, a new bike plan to be adopted by the county, more infrastructure, bikeshare in Reston, and right now lots of things to improve biking in Tysons, and FABB very much needs help in lobbying, education, etc.

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    1. I will and thank you Anon 11:10 AM. This is very helpful. We have been very disappointed in FFX County's slow response to this more recent and vogue mode of transportation.

      As a biker, I strongly suggest that the BOS look at two things: making the trails more bike friendly. It is very dangerous in the eves and in the cold weather to cross creeks and streams via stepping stones. These need to be replaced by fords or bridges such as the ones in Arlington and Alexandria; and in creating dedicated bike lanes such as in DC, Arlington and Alexandria.

      FFX per capita is a wealthy County and it should not be so behind the times in keeping its tax paying constituents with the infrastructure to keep FFX County a vibrant and viable County to live and work.

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    2. IIIUC there is a plan to pave the dirt trail in Wakefield park - I have not heard about bridges there, but it would be logical. On other unpaved trails, like Holmes Run, I doubt any bridges will be built, as those are not road bike friendly and not really seen as transportation routes.

      There are a few new bike lanes (check out Wakefield Chapel) but so far few in or near Annandale. The Bike Master Plan includes I think at least a climbing lane (IE a bike lane on the uphill side) on Hummer, and then on Annandale road - but first the BMP must be approved, then the actual lane must be approved (as we have seen in Alexandria, lanes in a master plan can still be resisted in the name of on street parking) and then it would get painted when the street surface is next redone.

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    3. Another resource on biking in this area is http://bikearlingtonforum.com/forum.php

      Discussions of routes, trail conditions, rides, social gatherings, gear, etc as well as occasional discussions of policy issues.

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  5. My question as always is where are the kids going to go to school? Our schools are beyond capacity and we want to add more housing. A office building would be a better idea since we would have the traffic anyway but would not add more kids to our already over capacity schools. Our BOS are not thinking about our kids.

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    1. The market for office space is weak now - other than downtown DC, and Tysons, its virtually dead. Hopefully this building will not draw too many kids, though its inclusion of 2BR units may be a concern. I am not familiar with proffers for schools in FFX county.

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  6. That building falls within the Mason Crest E.S., Poe M.S, and Falls Church H.S. boundary.

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    1. Falls Church HS??? You could kick a ball to Annandale HS from there. Such boundaries.

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    2. Due to the overcrowding at Annandale H.S.; everyone north of 236 was redistricted to Falls Church H.S. Everyone outside of the beltway(Wakefield Chapel area) was moved out of Annandale H.S. also due to overcrowding.

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    3. Falls Church High ain't no bargain either. The staff and teachers are really good, but the school is falling down -- hasn't been rehabbed EVER.

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  7. I do hope they make a major improvement to Markham St. at Little River Twp. The light is slow enough as it is crossing over LRT, and the poor bank on the corner needs an entrance on the Safeway parking lot side. It's a nightmare sometimes trying to get out of the shopping center onto Markham now....with so much more traffic, it would be worse.

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