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Friday, June 20, 2014

New school under discussion for Bailey's Crossroads



The long-delayed redevelopment plan for a property in Bailey’s Crossroads at Columbia Pike and Moncure Avenue seems to be back on track—and the project might include a badly needed new elementary school.

Mason Supervisor Penny Gross sent the following announcement to constituents on her email list June 19:

“Fairfax County is continuing to progress with a public-private partnership in the redevelopment of the ‘Southeast Quadrant’ of Bailey’s Crossroads. This area consists of publicly and privately owned property along Columbia Pike from its intersection with Moncure Avenue to Radley Acura  (5823 Columbia Pike). Initial proposals planned for this area included residential development and a public facility on these parcels.”

“Public meetings for this development soon will resume to seek public comment about a potential change of use,” the email from Gross continues. “Through a partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools, an opportunity may exist for inclusion of an elementary school in this project. Future notifications about this exciting new development will be available in the coming months!”

Everyone seems to agree that a new school is needed in that area, as all the existing schools are either way over capacity or will be in a few years. The problem has been a lack of land available for building a school.

Discussions about redeveloping the Moncure/Columbia Pike site through a public/private partnership with the Weissberg Corp. stalled several years ago and were revived in 2012. Weissberg owns part of the 6.5-acre site, and Fairfax County owns a section currently occupied by the temporary Bailey’s Crossroads Fire Station and the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter.

In February 2013, county officials gave a presentation on a proposal to build the East County Office Building on that site as part of a mixed-use development that would include 425 apartments developed by Weissberg. The East County building would house several health, social services, and other agencies currently in leased offices at the Heritage complex on Little River Turnpike in Annandale. There were supposed to be public meetings on that proposal last summer, but that never happened.

The East County Office Building is now “on hold,” according to a county official, and is not likely to be built on that site.

There has also been some interest in incorporating that facility into the redevelopment plan for Seven Corners. Seven Corners Task Force co-chair John Thillman would like to see a new public building for county offices on the site of the Willston Center, also incorporating the educational and nonprofit organizations currently housed in the Willston Center. 

Meanwhile, Weissberg is in the process of selling its share of the Moncure Avenue property to Avalon Bay.

“When Avalon Bay got involved, the discussion around development got more complicated,” the county official says. There are still plans on the table for a mixed-use project with apartments—and a school is part of that discussion.

14 comments:

  1. "..an opportunity MAY exist for inclusion of an elementary school in this project."

    Will anyone be surprised if this project gets pushed through and then somehow the "possibility" of a new school evaporates? And then Gross Penny will claim "I never said there WOULD be a school. I said there MIGHT be a school." Bend over and grab your ankles. Cluster 3 is about to get screwed again!

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  2. Isn't that the SouthWEST corner of Bailey's Crossroads? Southeast would be on the other side of Rte 7, no?

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  3. Any of these plans would be 100 times better than what exists there right now, do something. The biggest annoyance is the ridiculous amount of time its taking for any development in the Bailey's Crossroads area according to the revitalization plan. I don't see why the county can't move ahead with tasks under it's purview such as extending Seminary to Columbia pike and redeveloping the commercial area behind this Southeast location.

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  4. Southeast. Rt. 7 runs east/west and Columbia Pike runs north/south. If you're standing on Columbia Pike facing north towards Arlington, what's on your right is east.

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  5. I just DO NOT WANT A SOCIAL SERVICES building. PLEASE NO!!!

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    1. I agree, though seems like that is what "schools"
      are around here.

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  6. I agree, though some of the schools in the area are already

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  7. There needs to be good retail, residential and offices. This place is bustling on the weekends and our County planners and elected officials need to capitalize on the things that work and eliminate the bad planning ideas that don't. This is not a good site for a school........period. Columbia Pike is a busy commercial roadway. Does any one in this County have a brain in their head?

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    1. There is nothing "rural" about this site! A city site with residential buildings must include planning for schools! The county should start thinking about this site for a school, and expansion of Stuart High School now!

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    2. Who said "rural" the road was stated as too busy of commercial roadway for a school.

      Earth to Mars, are you listening?

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  8. I don't want to see a school built until county officials get off their collective asses and address the problem(s) that are causing the overcrowded schools. How about enforcing zoning laws, immigration laws, provide better parental education/financial responsibility (if you can't afford one child don't have 3...with a large % on free/reduced lunch who ultimately pays for this), better way to check addresses of students, and in Bailey's case eliminate bringing in approximately 300 out of boundary students. It is no secret multi-families cram into apartment buildings/houses.

    Yet the rally cry is let's build another school. I say BS. How long until any new school is overcrowded when the county fails to do anything. How long before Bailey's is back to trailers or taking over another office building. This has wash, rinse, repeat all over it.

    Add that to fact the county wants to build more apartments, though they try to paint a picture that any new housing will be occupied by professionals, a Clarendon type environment... Yeah, right, the question is how long before theses units are occupied with multi-families placing even great burden on the schools, etc and eroding property values...

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    1. No on has the guts to argue this point, because we all know its true, just too cowardly to say it and our political leaders run away from it like like vinegar and olive oil mix.

      What a mess, no one willing to take the bull by the horn and solve it.

      Fairfax you need to be returned to sender.

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  9. Get ready for Bailey's Upper Upper School

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/child-immigrants-can-legally-stay-us-years

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