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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Shopping center planned for Route 7, Bailey's Crossroads

An illustration of the proposed shopping center viewed from Washington Drive and Leesburg Pike. [Spectrum Development]

More details have emerged on the shopping center proposed for Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads, as representatives from Spectrum Development outlined their plans before the Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) May 27.

The retail center will take up the entire block between Washington Drive and Charles Street. A Geico claims center, two houses, and a garage will be demolished.

A CVS drugstore and Smashburger have already signed leases. A Potbelly Sandwich Shop is expected to finalize a lease agreement soon, said Peter Batten, a principal with Spectrum Development.

This house at 3425 Charles Street will be demolished. It was built in 1946, says Paul Byers, who bought it in 1991.
The 2.7-acre site will have three buildings: One will be a stand-alone CVS with a drive-through pharmacy. Another building will have several tenants, and third smaller building in the interior of the property will have one or two tenants.

The two larger buildings have brick and glass facades and will be close to Leesburg Pike (Route 7). A wide sidewalk will extend across the front of the property with areas for outdoor dining. The main entrance to the shops and restaurants will be in the interior of the project, with the goal of encouraging people to walk from one to another.

There will be a seven-foot tall brick wall at the rear property line plus trees and shrubs to buffer the center from the Courtland Park neighborhood.

Only two local residents came to the MDLUC meeting, Brian Lowit and Gwen Doddy Lowit, who had concerns about traffic, noise, and trash. A couple dozen residents of Courtland Park had attended a meeting hosted by Spectrum earlier this month at Culmore United Methodist Church on Charles Street.  

The Lowits said there is too much speeding on Washington Drive, people use it as a cut-through between Route 7 and Columbia Pike, and it’s already difficult to turn left from Washington Drive onto Route 7.

Batten suggested when the new shopping center is built, people would be able to cut through the parking lot from Washington Drive to Charles Street where’s there’s a traffic light making it easier to access Route 7. The only access points to the center will on Washington and Charles; there won’t be an entrance on Route 7.

The site of the proposed shopping center viewed from Charles Street.
Members of the MDLUC raised some concerns about deliveries, access, drainage, and trash. Batten assured the committee that there would be plenty of room for an 18-wheel truck to make deliveries to the CVS and said deliveries would be restricted to off-hours. The drive-through pharmacy window would be parallel to Charles Street.

He also said an underground drainage system would be installed under the parking lot, and dumpsters would be located out of site near the rear wall. A management company would oversee trash collection, landscaping, and maintenance.

The MDLUC will discuss the shopping center proposal again June 24. The Fairfax County Planning Commission will have a public hearing on it July 17, and it will go to the Board of Supervisors July 29.

The Planning Commission will consider a request to rezone the entire site under the C-6 commercial zoning designation Sept. 10, and the BoS will vote on rezoning Oct. 7. Part of the property is currently zoned commercial C-2 and part is zoned residential R-3.

A plan to develop an office building on part of that site was proposed some 10 years ago, and that piece of the property was rezoned for commercial development then, but that plan wasn’t economically feasible. There is no market for new offices, and the site was too small for a retail center. Now that Spectrum was able to purchase the adjoining property, it’s going ahead with plans for a shopping center in line with the plan approved by the BoS in 2010 for revitalizing Bailey’s Crossroads.

Spectrum Development is also proposing a 500,000-square foot mixed-use development on Broad and West streets in Falls Church with an extended-stay Hilton Hotel, condos, and apartments.


  1. Oh praise the Lord, finally another drug store. We sure don't have enough of those. When can we get another bank?

    1. If having another CVS takes the pressure off the CVS at Backlick and 236 - this is all for the better.

      More sandwich shops would be great - too bad they didn't mention Jason's Deli - they make great Reuben sandwiches.

    2. The bank would come second to a TitleMax. After all Mason is now headquarters for 3rd rate retail for a 3rd world population. The drug store and the banks would be a step up. I am glad to see new retail development in Baileys but it has a long way to go in becoming a magnet for a more urbane and professional demographic.

    3. Anything would be a step up from they way it looks on this stretch of leesburg pike. I would like to see area built up like Clarendon, but sadly don't see that happening. Need to get rid of half to 3/4 of the apartment buildings to get that urbane professional demographic and again don't see that happening. Can dream though.

    4. +1. These property management companies sure do know how to make weedy lots look appealing.

    5. 8:08 Anon : "Need to get rid of half to 3/4 of the apartment buildings to get that urbane professional demographic."

      Wow. Classist much? People like you are the reason the entirety of NoVA is being turned into a single giant Colonial-brick-kitsch shopping mall full of delightful amenities for those sucking $100k+ a year from the gov't teat. Guess everyone who can't afford a Lexus should just move to Dale City, huh?

  2. Why is all of the money and development in Mason district being spent in Baileys and little or none in Annandale?

    1. Well, there is that apartment building that will replace the bowling alley, which means that the high school will...oh, never mind..

  3. Another place that would be perfect for a tattoo parlor or a pawn shop, we have neither in Annandale.

    1. That would be a nice change of pace, eh? But no, these new brick strip malls tend to be quite formulaic : 1 bank, 1 drug store, 1-2 cellphone dealerships, and 3-5 "upmarket"/overpriced fast food joints ... rinse, bulldoze, and repeat ...