|An illustration of Hanna Plaza after the building is renovated.|
What started out as simple update on a by-right project, however, turned into a lengthy discussion on the future of Annandale.
|7409 Little River Turnpike in May 2014.|
The 25,500 square foot building is virtually empty. Its main tenants had been Title Max, which moved into the building vacated by Jerry’s Subs and Pizza, and a laundry.
Several members of the ACBDPC called the proposed renovation shortsighted and said this project could be a good opportunity for consolidating land to develop a larger, mixed-use project.
ACBCPC Chair Greg McGillicuddy suggested the property owner try to work with other landowners nearby to assemble properties occupied by the VCA Animal Hospital and Shell station on either side of the building and a Chinese restaurant and grocery store behind it. The Annandale section of the Comprehensive Plan would permit a building as tall as six stories in that spot under certain conditions.
|The proposed design for the second-story courtyard.|
“This isn’t improving Annandale,” ACBDPC member Vicki Burnam, executive director of the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, said of the Hanna Plaza project. “It’s not the best use of the property.”
Hyojung Garland of the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization said the county wants to see bigger projects rather than patchwork improvements. McGillicuddy agreed to work with the county to reach out to the other property owners and urge them to consider consolidation. Neither the ACBDPC nor the county can prohibit a by-right project.
Levine said the building’s owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, might be willing to consider consolidation if there’s a reasonable chance that it could happen, but will start renovations as soon as possible. The lack of the required number of parking spaces at Hanna Plaza could lead to delays, he acknowledged. The owner is exploring various options for sharing parking with other nearby businesses.
Even if the project proceeds as planned, Levine said, it would improve the Little River Turnpike streetscape and could spur other redevelopment projects.
|The courtyard as it appears now.|