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Monday, February 12, 2018

Redevelopment of Fairfax Plaza proposed

The aging Fairfax Plaza strip mall is ripe for redevelopment.
A redevelopment proposal for the Fairfax Plaza shopping center on Gallows Road next to the Mosaic District calls for a major mixed-use project on the 12.6-acre site.

Retail Properties of America Inc. (RPAI) submitted a nomination for a site-specific comprehensive plan amendment in December proposing 626 multifamily housing units, 104,400 square feet of office uses, and an equal amount of retail. The apartments would be in mid-rise buildings of five to eight stories.

A Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for June 21. Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth is expected to begin a community engagement effort on this and other proposed redevelopment projects in Merrifield this spring.

RPAI purchased the majority of the strip mall, 7.7 acres, which it refers to as Merrifield Town Center II, in 2016. That property includes the Unique thrift shop and CubeSmart.

“By nominating the entirety of the shopping center,” RPAI’s Statement of Justification says, “we will have the appropriate tools to create meaningful planning coordination within this last critical site that links the town center to Gallows Road and to the Metro, completing the final piece in the ‘puzzle’ of creating a walkable, transit accessible core of Merrifield.”

The base FAR (floor to area ratio), a measure of density, would be 1.7, with an option to increase the FAR to 1.9.

According to RPAI, the redevelopment will include a street grid connecting the project to Mosaic. There would also be an option for a significant office component, most likely for medical offices in response to the significant Inova investment on the other side of Gallows Road.

The Bisnow website cites the Fairfax Plaza project one of the top five developments coming to Fairfax County. “RPAI is hoping to capitalize and expand on the interest the vibrant Mosaic District in Merrifield has generated,” Alec Berkman wrote in Bisnow Jan. 30. “The Mosaic District town center transformed a relatively sterile area into a burgeoning community combining the walkability of a small town with the storefronts and cosmopolitan vibe of a major city.”

The other projects on the list are the St. James sports complex in Springfield, the Huntington Club Condominium near the Huntington Metro station in Alexandria, the Herndon downtown development, and the Promenade at Reston Station.

5 comments:

  1. I think both projects, Fairfax Plaza and Inova mentioned a few days ago, are great additions and provide a great tax base for FFX. The county needs more of such revenue generated development nodes.

    I looked up that Merrifield Garden Center was mentioned once for redevelopment and that Gallows and 29 intersection in general seems set for development. It is inevitable that there will be growth in the DC area and development is coming at many places especially now that sequestration has essentially been lifted.

    This should be accompanied by establishing a substantial bus service along Gallows Road from One of the Tysons Metro Stations via Vienna Metro all the way to Inova Hospital. The first step in the process should be frequent Express bus service during peak hours and then implementing something according to the following plans https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/study/countywide-transit.

    Getting a little ahead here but whatever transit solution that is brought to the Gallows road should be extended across Legion Bridge to Bethesda and such.

    In fact these proposals and further development around Merrifield should hopefully push Fairfax to start planning and implementing these improvements sooner than later.

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    1. ^
      ^
      ^
      This.

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    2. the Fairfax Connector route 401/402 already runs that route.

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    3. 401/402 route looks pretty good and a good start. I'd like to see if it could run a little more frequently during peak times and perhaps be given dedicated lanes where feasible in the future. Also if it can stand out with particular designation and marketing. That is what was envisioned in the County transit plan mentioned above.

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  2. beautifully said Anon @ 145

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