|An illustration of Markham place from the county staff report.|
The Markham Place apartment project is going forward. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 2 approved a rezoning application for a 12-story, 310-unit apartment building on Markham Street, Annandale, on a 3.4-acre site currently occupied by Annandale AMF Lanes.
“We are losing the bowling alley,” said Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, “but we will be gaining something really spectacular.”
This would be the first new development in central Annandale since the Annandale revitalization plan was approved in 2010, said Michael Lynskey of the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning at the BoS meeting. “It would serve as a catalyst for future redevelopment.”
The site had already been rezoned for mixed-use development in 2008, but that project fell through when the economy crashed.
Markham Place will include at least 6,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, 30 additional parking places for the public, and a narrow park along Markham Street. The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the rezoning application Oct. 30. The site would be rezoned from PDC (Planned Development Commercial) to PRM (Planned Residential Mixed Use).
The form-based plan approved for Annandale sets the maximum base height for buildings at this site at eight stories, but allows developers to go up to 12 stories if they provide additional public benefits.
The applicant, Markham Place LLC, a joint venture of Southern Management and the Webb Cos., is proposing two options for affordable housing: (1) committing 20 percent of the units in the building as affordable units as required by Fairfax County, or (2) committing the equivalent of 26 percent of the units as affordable units but locating some of them at the Parliaments, which is owned by Southern Management.
Additional proffers agreed to by the applicant include the right of way to accommodate the future widening of Markham Street, a section of a new local street along the northern border of the property, a traffic study, $10,825 to the school board per expected new student (assuming a ratio of 0.106 students per unit), $1,700 per unit for recreational facilities for residents, a linear park along Markham Street, an interim urban park or other public benefit such as parking facilities at the eastern end of the property, $50,000 to the Fairfax County Park Authority for park or trail improvements in Annandale, and $50,000 for public art.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting, Gross noted that the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee and Annandale Chamber of Commerce wholeheartedly endorsed the project.
She read an excerpt from a letter by the Chamber: “If Annandale is to remain relevant in the future, Markham Place needs to be built so that Annandale can keep and re-attract these vibrant young professionals as part of our permanent residential community. After all, these are our future leaders, volunteers, PTA members, and Little League coaches. To put it mildly, we need them back. Fortunately, Markham Place will be leasable space, recognizing that many young professionals are paying off hefty school loans and will not be entering homeownership for a while. Yet they would like new construction in a very central location. Annandale, the crossroads of Northern Virginia, is that location, and this project will fill the gap in our housing market while kicking off much needed revitalization.”