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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Community meetings on East County Government Center to occur this summer

The proposed site for the East County Government Center now houses the temporary Bailey's Crossroads Fire Station.
When public outreach meetings on a proposal for county office building and apartments on Moncure Avenue in Bailey’s Crossroads happen this summer, the potential impact on school overcrowding and traffic are expected to be major concerns. The project would be a public/private partnership on land owned by Fairfax County and Weissberg Corp.

Elizabeth Haag, deputy director of the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization, gave an update on the proposed East County Government Center at a meeting of the Bailey’s Crossroads Revitalization Corporation (BCRC) May 21.

The 180,000-square foot office building would house the county programs that had relocated from a building on Route 7 in Seven Corners last August to temporary quarters in the Heritage Center in Annandale. The county wants the new building completed before the lease on the Annandale building expires in 2020, Hagg said. The county hired Noritake Associates in February to develop a master plan for the project.

The new office building would house the same county departments that were relocated to Annandale, including the Department of Family Services, Department of Health, Community Services Board, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Child Protective Services, and many more.

The Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter on Moncure Avenue would have to be torn down to make way for the new project so the East County Government Center would also incorporate an 8,000-square foot shelter. A temporary shelter would be set up during the construction period.

The four to five-story apartment building, to be developed by the Weissberg Corp., could start development as early as spring 2015, assuming the master plan, rezoning, and other county approvals are completed by then. It would have market-rate apartments with a certain percentage of affordable units, Haag said, and possibly a limited amount of retail space.

The county also has plans to extend Seminary Road to Columbia Pike through land now occupied by an old office building at 5827 Columbia Pike next to Radley Acura.

There was a lengthy discussion at the BCRC meeting on what can be done about all the commercial trucks parked throughout the area. There were complaints about trucks parked along the service road in front of the Crossroads Shopping Center on Route 7, the service road east of the McDonald’s on Route 50, in front of Harris Teeter on Columbia Pike, and along Church Street behind Pollo Campero on Columbia Pike.

Aaron Frank, the land use specialist in Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’ office, said commercial vehicles are allowed to park in commercial areas. Actions to restrict parking would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Frank Sellers, president of the BCRC, said a lot of residents of Bailey’s Crossroads operate small businesses with trucks, like landscaping or interior design businesses, and any restrictions shouldn’t be a burden to them. A lot of the excess vehicles clogging residential streets seem to be spillover from residents of apartments with restrictive parking rules. Sellers asked Frank to provide more information on parking issues at the next BCRC meeting.

In other issues:
  • A standalone LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant will be built in the parking lot of the Crossroads Place shopping center on Route 7 across from the Skyline Center. That will complicate plans for a transit center on South Jefferson Street.
  •  The county will begin to remove illegal signs along roads in July. The county and the Virginia Department of Transportation agreed earlier this year to have the county act as VDOT’s agent in removing signs from VDOT rights of way. 
  • Repaving of Route 7, from Seven Corners to the City of Alexandria border, will begin this summer.
  • Construction of a sidewalk on the north side of Columbia Pike from Maple Court to Blair Road will start within a month.
  • The Planning Commission has approved the JBG Cos.’ proposal for an apartment tower on Route 50 in Seven Corners. A Hampton Suites hotel is planned for the adjacent site.


  1. I do not know why they would knock down that office building -- it may be old but it is full of tenants (and many of those tenants are non-profit agencies).

  2. We dont want this type of business here. YUCK. More handouts and big government.