There’s a plan in the works to build a large housing development in Seven Corners along Leesburg Pike between Juniper Lane and the office building being converted to Bailey’s Upper Elementary School. The Sears store and two office buildings on that site would be demolished.
The 847,000 square-foot project would include 748 apartments and 52 townhouses, Dick Knapp, senior vice president of Foulger-Pratt Cos. told members of the Seven Corners Land Use and Transportation Task Force May 13.
In 2009, one of the site’s property owners, J.L. McIlvaine Co., proposed but later withdrew a smaller development on the site with 425 units. That project generated strong opposition among nearby communities.
The current plans call for a wall and narrow park separating the development from the single-family houses behind it, Knapp said. The project would also include several small parks throughout the site and transportation improvements aimed at better circulation for school buses and cars at the new Bailey’s school. The service road in front of Sears would be eliminated, and there would be a new entrance to the development on Juniper Lane.
Knapp has already met with neighborhood leaders from the surrounding area and is planning larger public meetings on the project.
Based on preliminary discussions with residents, Knapp said the size of the proposed project has been reduced from an earlier draft that call for a total of more than 1 million square feet of development. He also plans to adopt a suggestion from residents for ground-floor medical offices for physicians displaced from the two existing buildings on the site.
The Seven Corners task force will evaluate the proposal to see whether it will fit in with the land use plan the group is developing, said task force co-chair John Thillman. If that means the developers would have to make substantial changes—such as reducing the building heights or increasing the percentage of affordable units—they would then determine if the project is still economically feasible.
The June 23 meeting of the task force will have a public comment period.