|The Southeast Quadrant seen from Columbia Pike.|
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed to hold a public hearing Jan. 12 on a proposed land swap to make the way for a new multifamily housing development and county office building in the “Southeast Quadrant,” an area in Bailey’s Crossroads along Columbia Pike between Moncure Avenue and Radley Acura.
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross will hold a community information meeting on the proposal Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the Mason Government Center.
|The Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter.|
According to a report by county staff, the land swap calls for the county to exchange about 4.4 acres with AvalonBay Communities Inc., which plans to construct a 375-unit apartment building on the portion of the site along Moncure Avenue currently owned by the county.
That means the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter, at 3525 Moncure Ave. would have to be temporarily relocated.
During the Dec. 8 BoS meeting, when the board agreed to go ahead with the Jan. 12 hearing, Deputy County Executive Robert Stalzer said the county hopes to provide a temporary modular replacement shelter within a mile of the current shelter, but declined to identify the site.
The county is in negotiations with the property owner, he said, and anticipates there will be final agreement before the Jan. 12 hearing. Relocating the homeless shelter would cost $2.1 million.
A county office building would be built on the eastern portion of the property. Although the plans are vague, that facility could be used for the East County Human Services Center, which is currently housed in leased space in the Heritage Center on Little River Turnpike in Annandale, and a permanent site for the homeless shelter.
The real estate exchange also calls for the county to purchase 1.4 acres from 5827 Columbia Pike Associates LLC, an affiliate of Landmark Atlantic Inc. The office building at 5827 Columbia Pike, known as Bailey’s International Center, would be demolished to allow for a road connecting Seminary Road with Columbia Pike and Moncure Avenue. The purchase price of the Landmark site is $6.6 million, with $250,000 paid by AvalonBay and the rest by the county.
Several supervisors agreed at the Dec. 8 meeting that Bailey’s Crossroads needs redevelopment that includes market-rate housing, but raised concerns about going forward with the Jan. 12 hearing without knowing where the homeless shelter will be located.
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross expressed confidence that “we are going to move in the right direction. All the pieces will come together. We need a public hearing on Jan. 12 to be able to go forward.”
If the BoS goes through with the land swap, the next step would be rezoning.
The staff report on the real estate exchange makes no mention of a new school in the Southeast Quadrant. In January 2015, when the BoS approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to facilitate mixed-used development on the site, the amendment called for land to be set aside for an urban-style elementary school or other public purpose.
A long list of community residents who spoke at that BoS hearing, as well as at a Planning Commission hearing in November 2014, opposed a school in that location and urged the county to build a new school at the Willston Center site in Seven Corners instead.
Gross, who had initially supported a school in the Southeast Quadrant, now favors the Willston Center site and is working with the school board to make that happen.