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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Landmark redevelopment project to begin in spring 2014

Landmark redevelopment design by Howard Hughes Corp.

The City of Alexandria has approved a rezoning plan for total redo of Landmark Mall. The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to tear down the 11-acre middle section of the mall and replace it with an open-air, mixed-use development with shops, apartments, and a movie theater. The existing Sears and Macy’s department stores will remain.

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 with the first phase expected to open by the spring of 2016.

“This project will be the economic engine to bring vitality to this major retail center and the surrounding neighborhoods, which is long overdue,” said Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille.

Landmark opened in 1965 as an open-air shopping center and was enclosed in 1990. In the late 1990s, there were plans on the table to redevelop the mall but the project stalled as the developer dealt with bankruptcy and the economy tanked.

Howard Hughes plans to create an “urban village” with 285,000 square feet of retail, 400 residential units and an “upscale dining movie theater.”

The original application by Howard Hughes would have provided only retail, but Alexandria pushed for the inclusion of housing, as well as more enhanced pedestrian and bicycle connections.

Howard Hughes has agreed to contribute $4.5 million to local projects, including $500,000 for the Landmark transit center, $500,000 in pedestrian and bicycle paths, $200,000 in public art projects, $1 million in bus rapid transit and pedestrian access, $150,000 in aesthetic improvements to the Landmark flyover ramp on Route 236, and $2 million for Alexandria’s affordable housing fund.

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