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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Landmark Mall slated for redevelopment



A preliminary sketch of the housing at Landmark.
The redevelopment project on the site of Landmark Mall has been delayed but is still going forward.

The Alexandria City Council had approved a redevelopment plan from the Howard Hughes Corp. in June 2013. The plan called for tearing most of Landmark Mall – except for Sears and Macy’s – and replacing that portion of the mall with a mixed-use development consisting of 350 to 400 multifamily units, 250,000 to 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and a new street grid.

When Hughes proposed changes in the project earlier this year, the council delayed a public hearing and has now rescheduled it for June 13. The council is expected to approve the plan at that time.

Hughes wants to increase the footprint of the project, with an additional 50,000 square feet of development, although the housing units would be capped at 400, says Patricia Escher, principal planner with the Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning.

The housing, about 36,000 square feet, will be developed by Mill Creek Residential. It hasn’t been determined whether the units will be apartments or condos, she says. The project will also include a two-story movie theater, and there might be an outdoor movie screen or ice skating rink.
Escher says demolition could start this fall. According to a deadline set by the city, the developer has to start work by June 2018.

21 comments:

  1. Good! Putting a brand new development between two aging department stores is just danged stupid, and is going to look goofy.

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  2. What is up with all the vertical stripes on new buildings these days? Talk about ugly. When did we decide that we want buildings to look like they're still under construction?

    Also, why the heck are we trying to save Sears when that company is going to be out of business in 2-3 years anyway?

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  3. Sears and Macy's own their own buildings. That is the challenge with this site for the developer. The same thing is happening at White Flint in Maryland: the Lord and Taylor's store wants to stay.

    It is not "danged stupid." It will be a vast improvement over an out-of-date mall.

    The next area that GREATLY needs improvement is the strip mall at Landmark Plaza - where the Total Wine and Shoppers is located.

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    1. I will boycott that one purely on the basis of loving total wine, lol.

      I am so sick and tired everyone trying to completely drive out simple, normal, down to earth businesses. If you want specialty olive oil stores and mediocre restaurants like Ted's Bulletin in your backyard, that is fine, and I occasionally like visiting them, too - but I also enjoy and use convenience stores, smaller restaurants like Valentino's (for a Landmark Plaza example) and other smaller businesses that these gentri-yuppiefied plazas seem to thumb their noses at.

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    2. I dont think Darren was saying he'd kick out total wine, where I spend 50% of my paycheck I might add, I think he was just saying it needs improvement. I'm with you otherwise. Including the Ted's remark, I feel like they've rolled a bit downhill.

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    3. Daren on r, Adam. The owner of Landmark Plaza had a masterplan study done in 2009 by RTKL (I used to work there.) What they proposed would have saved Total Wine but would have made a fabulous development.

      Don't worry, it'll happen eventually. I know all of you haters don't like Mosaic but if you were to do a before and after . . . well, it is remarkable what a nice development can do to a neighborhood.

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    4. What I meant to type was Daren "one" r.

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    5. Keeping Total Wine? Ok, now we are talking!

      I don't dislike development, Daren (with one r). I just really don't like the disdain for smaller businesses and other types of businesses that don't fit the yuppified mold. I don't hate Mosaic - I like it. I just think a lot of it is a bunch of mediocrity hiding behind a nice facade.

      Guess where all the residents of Mosaic have to go if they want to go to an ABC store? To that dumpy shopping center with the blue awning across the street. Because ABC stores do not fit the mold of what is acceptable in these types of mixed-use developments. But I'd suppose that the blue awning shopping center is being slated for redevelopment, too.

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    6. I like that this thread is focusing on the important things, like where I can get my booze.

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    7. LOL, Adam, just using that as an example. There are litanies of other smaller establishments that I frequent that are not welcome in these new developments.

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    8. It's funny because a real fancy beer/wine shop would be perfect for Mosaic AND provide me with an outlet for booze. In fact, I often thought a nice beer/wine store would be a great business for Annandale. Now if I want fancy beer/wine, I've got to hoof it all the way to either total wine on LRT.

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    9. Total Wine is a national chain, and essentially a big box store. How is it a "smaller business" ? BTW, there is an ABC store (though I am not sure how a store owned by the commonwealth is a small business either) in a new mixed use building on Columbia Pike.

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    10. I just love total wine and don't want to see it be chased out. That is a different discussion than the smaller, more humble business discussion - I didn't make that distinction clear enough, sorry.

      And Adam, I can walk to Total Wine in a pretty short time, and drive there in about 5 minutes.

      :-) :-) :-) Life is good.

      Which mixed use building on Columbia Pike?

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    11. Adam, also - Try this place, again, I found it mediocre and lacking in selection, but hey, it has a nice facade, and that is all that people care abut, I suppose. It's next to Open Road.

      http://www.merrifieldwineandbeer.com/beer/

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    12. 2940 Columbia Pike.

      There are a wide range of stores in new buildings. While building finance terms sometimes lean toward chains, there are independent stores in new buildings. Not too many lower end indie stores since they usually can't afford the rent - but eventually as those buildings age that will change. Meanwhile the advantages of the development and new density are considerable. And as your mention of TW indicates, its not like all the stores in old shopping centers are independent. As for TW, I do not know of any "urban format" ones - but if Target, Walmart, Best Buy and many other big box stores can do urban format, I don't know why Total Wine can't do it.

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    13. @ 11:08. Been there and I agree with you. Limited selection and exorbitantly overpriced. I've seen comparable selection at Giant/Harris Teeter these days. I dont mind (and kinda expect) to pay a premium at a wine shop, but usually the place makes up for it with really great customer service. Nothing special at that joint next to Open Road. Maybe I ought to open my own place.

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    14. I'd patronize your wine place!

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  4. Landmark Plaza actually just got a renovation/facelift in the last 3-4 years, so I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

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  5. I would love an ice rink! And I think anything would be an improvement over the empty and temporary-looking parts of Landmark Mall. Landmark Plaza doesn't look too bad to me--they had a facelift not long ago--but any improvements are welcome. Could we add office/retail on top of the one-story places to increase the revenues for improvements? Maybe provide additional space for the smaller retailers who get pushed out of Landmark? And how about using those empty spaces for pop-ups? If a restaurant or dance studio or business incubator could use the space until it is more permanently leased, that would be a win-win.

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  6. It's never going to happen they're still doling out leases at the mall. There is NO money to be had at this location, they know it and they're smart enough to NOT move forward with it. It doesn't take an MBA....

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