Could a few simple aesthetic fixes improve the appearance of central Annandale? That’s the idea behind the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization’s (OCR) proposed façade improvement pilot program.
The program would encourage business owners to make improvements like landscaping, painting, awnings, flower boxes, planting trees, screening dumpsters, and installing more attractive signs.
OCR planner Laura Baker told members of the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee (ACBDPC) May 12 that the county would provide some funding, and property owners would be asked to contribute matching funds. The program would be based on a similar façade program operated by the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation for businesses along Richmond Highway.
If adopted for Annandale, the pilot program would focus on a stretch of Columbia Pike between Evergreen Lane and Tom Davis Drive. Several properties on that road are fronted by large expanses of concrete that could be improved by adding some greenery and other tweaks, Baker says.
Several members of the ACBDPC said what’s really needed to make that stretch of roadway walkable is a sidewalk. Funding for a new sidewalk there, however, isn’t expected to be available any time soon.
After reviewing pictures of businesses along Columbia Pike, committee members selected three top properties for improvement: the collection of shops between 7201 and 7211 Columbia Pike (Beauttie Total Fashion, Imm Thai Cuisine, the AT&T Uniq Mobile store, Gloria Fashion Outlet, and the To Sok Jip restaurant); the shopping center at 7115-7127 Columbia Pike (Café Tu Ah, Gaboja restaurant, Jang Uh Si seafood restaurant, Big Bite Pizza, and On Hair); and the Annandale Service Center at 7029 Columbia Pike.