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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mixed-use development proposed for Beauregard corridor

A concept plan for JBG's project at the Beauregard Town Center. [Cunningham Quill Architects]
The JBG Cos. submitted a revised proposal for a Beauregard Town Center to the City of Alexandria calling for 577 multifamily housing units and more than 109,000 square feet of retail development.

The project would be the first effort to redevelop the Beauregard Street corridor since Alexandria approved the Beauregard Small Area Plan in 2012.

The Beauregard Design Advisory Committee will discuss the JBG proposal at a meeting at Goodwin House, 4800 Fillmore Ave., Alexandria, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

The Beauregard Town Center encompasses 48 acres on the west side of Beauregard Street between Rayburn Avenue and Reading Avenue in Alexandria’s West End. The site is currently occupied by the Shops at Mark Center and about 198 garden apartment units in the Hillwood and Stoneridge complexes, all of which are owned by JGB.

Because the area is so large, redevelopment is expected to be completed in phases, said Maya Contreras, a planner with the City of Alexandria’s Department of Planning and Zoning. JGB has not yet submitted a timetable.

The company’s revised plan would have less development than what the company sought two years ago, when it proposed 1,150 units and 150,000 square feet of retail.

The Beauregard Town Center is just one part of the 287-acre Small Area Plan, which encompasses seven neighborhoods. The Small Area Plan calls for mixed-use development, the majority of it residential with some office uses and a hotel facing Beauregard Street and retail on Reading Avenue.

The Small Area Plan requires new developments to include replacement housing for displaced lower-income residents on a one to one basis, so the details on how that will be implemented will be a key issue when the city reviews JBG’s site plan. The need to provide affordable housing was one of the key issues for the public during community meetings before the Small Area Plan was adopted.

JBG has committed to ensuring all current residents find a new home in the new development, and will pay a moving allowance to every tenant forced to relocate once construction begins, the Washington Business Journal reported.

“It seems like they are interested in pushing forward quickly,” said planner Laurene MacTaggart, with Alexandria’s Planning and Zoning Department. “We want the project to move forward but we want to make sure it’s the best project it can be.”


  1. Wow, I have never heard a Fairfax Planner say "We want to move forward but we want to make sure it's the best project it can be." Our planners don't even pretend to want the best project it can be. They just do whatever the developers and supervisors want. Of course they try to make the residents like it, but if we don't, nobody in the government cares.

    1. That's because this is City of Alexandria - not Fairfax County.

    2. I live in the City, and used to live in Fairfax. I think both comments above are unfair to Fairfax planners, who are not terribly different in their approach from those in the City. Our NIMBY friends in Old Town of course hate the City planners, just as the NIMBYs in Fairfax hate the County planners.

      By the way I imagine the P&Z's concern is that JBG is proposing something less dense that they had originally suggested.

    3. @Anonymous #1, have you developed any land yourself, and tried to make a project "the best it could be?" I have dealt with planners in DC, Alexandria, and Fairfax and in all instances they have been interested in making developments the best they can be and none of them have been development patsies. Your comment doesn't help us delve into the real issue, which is - WHAT is the best that the Beauregard area could be?
      I worked at the Mark Winkler Company when it sold its interest in these properties to JBG. The area is outmoded by some 30 years and needs redevelopment. So let's discuss what's the best use of that land and avoid complaining about urban planners in Alexandria.
      Thanks Ellie for all your work in covering these important developments!

    4. Thank you, Man in Action, for your rationality and insight.

      I also appreciate Ellie's updates; so often, we lowly citizens only hear about these things after construction has begun.

  2. 7 Corners 78/15/16, 8:52 AM

    Looks good. I was looking at this area before I purchased my home. 2 of my 3 final contenders were close to where this development would be. I would like to see more info on the town center.

    I wish they would put a true town center with parking in Bailey's Crossroads but this would be a good alternative.

  3. Let's just keep packing more and more people into smaller and smaller spaces. And never address the transportation problems or the roads, typical.

    1. The City is moving forward with the West End Transitway, and the Beauregard Small Area Plan will add to street connectivity in the area. It will also make the area more walkable and bikeable.

      Perhaps your concern is more with through capacity for people from Fairfax? Not the highest concern for the City of Alexandria.

  4. do the plans include building a new school? on donated property paid, in part, by the developers?

    1. No. The City expects that in the entire Beauregard area, redevelopment will actually lead to fewer school children, as larger apts are replaced by smaller (and more expensive on average, despite some committed affordable units) . There is a plan to have a new fire station, I believe on developer land, but I am not familiar with the details.

    2. The city is naive on this issue. Several years ago they swore they didn't need more schools in the budget because families moving in were not likely to have children. Well, that data and analysis was clearly flawed. Schools are massively over crowded and the city is struggling to find a solution. They need to admit the city will keep growing, the lower income population will continue to grow and needs housing (I'm glad there is a 1:1 requirement for replacement housing which is much better than what came before it) and build schools for the 21st century. Even amazing, super building TC Williams is just a decade or so old and its already too small and becoming outdated. Time to plan better City Council ad ACPS.

  5. Where's VDOT's input? 236, beauregardand chambliss is your worst nightmare come true. The intersection cannot accommodate one more vehicle. It can be 4-5 lights before you can make a left turn from Beauregard to 236E. Putting a bus stop on 236 before the ramp to
    to 395N&S is really brilliant. Is this Annandale's or Alexandria's call re go/no go? Remember Alexandria snuck in a monstrous building right up the steer from this proposed project and VDOT/Penny Gross never took an interest in the traffic until it was too late. The solution was a multi million dollar ramp to the express lanes which no one uses. It should be turned into a skate board park

  6. Wow! where are the green space, "pocket parks"? and bike ways?

  7. Wallis Lahtinen-Hicks8/22/16, 3:09 PM

    Yes, where are the green spaces and bike ways? And relocating poorer residents seldom works well for those residents

  8. Mary Farrah8/25/16, 7:07 PM

    I work just a few blocks from this proposed development. It would be so forward thinking and beneficial for the surrounding community if the property owner, developer and city planners worked to consider implementing the following:

    1-Help reduce stormwater runoff and associated negative impacts by:

    - Installing bio-retention swales planted with native trees and perennials between rows and around the perimeter of the parking lot and concrete areas.

    - Use pervious concrete rather than impervious concrete, and include a regular maintenance plan so it remains pervious.

    Just down the street is Dora Kelley Nature Park--the gem of City of Alexandria's parks and one of the last forested areas in the city with good quality wildlife habitat. There are already serious erosion issues in the park directly resulting from the stormwater runoff flowing from impervious surfaces like parking lots.

    2- The existing shopping center has amenities like an affordable grocery store and a pharmacy--not to mention Starbucks, and several lunch options. Many nearby residents are lower income immigrants who don't drive, making it necessary from a public health standpoint to retain a grocery store and pharmacy so people have access healthy food and prescriptions.

    3- How will this development impact parking in the surrounding area? I already have to park illegally everyday just so that I can report to work. The parking situation is already critical so what's the plan to alleviate the added burden?

    Let's be proactive and innovative, thinking of the long term impact on the surrounding community and environment rather than doing the same old, slap-dash, money saving but low-quality development that only further degrades the environment we all share and adds hardship to the surrounding community.

  9. Love your ideas. YES. Let's take the environment into consideration. Polluted runoff and impermeable concrete not only causes problems in our waterways but also adds to global warming because there is no tree canopy anymore. Green roofs on parking garages is also another option. Or even community gardens that can be irrigated with rainwater runoff.