|A rendering of the proposed apartment building calls it "Columbia Crossroads."|
Plans under discussion for the “Southeast Quadrant” of Columbia Pike include a five-story apartment building and a new urban-style elementary school.
This 7.4-acre site lies between Moncure Avenue and Radley Acura. Part of that site, currently occupied by the Bailey’s International Center office building, Safari Restaurant, Falls Church Automotive Center, and other businesses along Columbia Pike, is in the process of being purchased by AvalonBay.
|The site plan shows the apartment building on the right and the school on the left. Columbia Pike is on top.|
The Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter on Moncure Avenue is on a section of the property owned by Fairfax County. The temporary Bailey’s Crossroads Fire Station, also on that property is expected to be removed imminently, if it hasn’t already happened.
In July, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Mason Supervisor Penny Gross to begin a Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezoning process allowing development in the Southeast Quadrant.
The project will be presented to the Mason District Land Use Committee Oct. 28. It will come before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Nov. 5, and the BoS will take it up on Dec. 2. A rezoning proposal could be approved by spring or summer 2015.
AvalonBay representative Mark Looney of Cooley LLP; Brent Krasner of the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, and Kevin Sneed of Fairfax County Public Schools described the project at a meeting of the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Redevelopment Corporation Oct. 21.
According to Looney, the apartment building would have about 250 to 270 units. About 60 percent of the units would be efficiencies and one-bedroom apartments; and 40 percent would have two bedrooms. The county requires 12 percent of the units to have affordable rents; the rest would have market-rate rents.
The project would have 1.6 parking spaces per apartment, the minimum required by the county. There are discussions about reducing parking requirements for apartments, as renters in the target market, millennials, have fewer cars, Looney said. The building would be close to bus routes on Columbia Pike.
AvalonBay and Fairfax County would form a public-private partnership for developing the school, which is expected to take longer than the apartment building. In the meantime the school site would be reserved for a park or other public use.
The school design would be based on an urban model already developed by FCPS for the Tysons area. The five-story building would have about 38 classrooms and a capacity for about 950 students, Sneed said.
The school is needed to relieve overcrowding at Glen Forest Elementary and other nearby schools, which means there would be a boundary change process affecting several schools. Sneed acknowledged that overcrowding also needs to be addressed at Glasgow Middle School and Stuart High School.
The Bailey’s Community Shelter would need to be relocated, and a group is actively working on finding another site in the Bailey’s Crossroads area.
The Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan calls for several road improvements in Bailey’s Crossroads, including extending Seminary Road to Columbia Pike, connecting Moncure Avenue to Seminary, and widening Columbia Pike.