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Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: The year in review

Here’s a look back at some of the major events in the Annandale/Mason District area covered in the Annandale Blog during the past year.


The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles decides not to relocate a customer service center from Arlington to Barcroft Plaza, a move that had been strongly opposed by local residents.

major blizzard dumps 30 inches of snow on the area, leaving people trapped in their homes for days.

The Board of Supervisors approves a rezoning proposal for the Spectrum retail center on Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

Construction begins on Inova’s Center for Personalized Health on the former Exxon Mobil campus on Gallows Road.

An employee at the Harris Teeter in Barcroft Plaza wins $7 million in the Virginia lottery.


The shopping center on Gallows Road in Merrifield is sold as part of a plan to expand redevelopment in the the Mosaic District.

Capt. Christian Quinn takes over as commander of the Mason Police District.

The General Assembly passes a bill making it harder for local governments to negotiate proffers with developers.

The Board of Supervisors approves the Southeast Quadrant land swap with AvalonBay to facilitate development of an apartment project in Bailey’s Crossroads.

The Arts Council of Fairfax County announces plans for a public art project in Seven Corners.


The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and school board clash over the county budget.

Community members urge the county to protect the natural resources at Lake Accotink, as the county begins the process to revise the park’s master plan.

The Board of Zoning Appeals clears the way for a huge sports and wellness complex in an industrial area off Backlick Road in Springfield.

Repaving and bike lane projects are proposed for several roads in Annandale.

The Hess gas station in Annandale is converted to Speedway.

Fairfax County announces a plan to temporarily relocate the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter to a field behind the Lincolnia Senior Center.


The Culmore community comes together for the annual Culmore Multicultural Day.

An emergency training course culminates in a simulated disaster.

A bus rapid transit system is under consideration for Route 7 between Alexandria and Tysons.

The Board of Supervisors approves the Monticello Mews townhouse project on Edsall Road.

Residents mobilize against Fairfax County’s plan to move the Bailey’s Crossroads homeless shelter to Lincolnia.

Paul Gianelos, a mentally disabled man, dies in police custody after he ran away from a supervised outing at Round Tree Park.

Plans are announced for The Block, a food court concept with several vendors, next to the Annandale Kmart.


The Brightview assisted living facility opens on Gallows Road.

A new pedestrian bridge crosses I-95 at Seminary Road.

Six MS-13 gang members are convicted for the 2013 murders and decapitations at Holmes Run Valley Stream Valley Park.

LongHorn Steakhouse opens on Route 7 in Bailey’s Crossroads.

A new pedestrian bridge is installed in the Broyhill Crest neighborhood after residents complained about the removal of the old bridge.

Bicycle improvements are considered for Little River Turnpike.

The Fairfax County school board begins a community engagement process on whether JEB Stuart High School should be renamed.

An eLoft project, with flexible units that could be used for living or working, is proposed for a vacant office building on Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

A Middle Eastern restaurant, Al Hamra, opens in Annandale.


The Board of Supervisors agrees to put a meals tax referendum on the November ballot.

A domestic dispute in a home on Beverly Drive in Annandale results in a man fatally shooting his son-in-law.

Police arrest the “forever loyal” bank robbery suspect.

A Hampton Inn opens on Arlington Boulevard in Seven Corners.

The Board of Supervisors revises the zoning ordinance to allow higher density development in areas targeted for revitalization.

The Board of Supervisors approves a Comprehensive Plan amendment to allow a townhouse development behind Heritage Mall in Annandale.


A new bear statue is installed on Davian Drive in Annandale after the old bear was vandalized.

New houses are for sale off Peace Valley Lane in Seven Corners.

The Board of Supervisors approves a rezoning proposal allowing the replacement of the Jefferson Fire Station in Falls Church with a larger facility.


A study by the Urban Land Institute recommends short-term improvements for Annandale.

Fairfax County purchases property on Seminary Road – formerly occupied by the Fairfax Animal Hospital – to be used as a permanent location for the Bailey’s Crossroads homeless shelter.

Aldi announces plans to open a grocery store in the old Bloom spot in the Annandale Shopping Center on Columbia Pike.

A mixed-use development project is proposed for the Beauregard corridor in Alexandria’s West End.

A Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots a mentally ill man outside Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The Taj Restaurant opens in Barcroft Plaza.

Work begins on an infill housing project at Brooks Place opposed by residents of the Malbrook community.

A customer chases and catches a man who robbed a laundromat in Bailey’s Crossroads.


AvalonBay backs out of plans to build an apartment project in the Southeast Quadrant of Bailey’s Crossroads, and, as a result, Fairfax County drops plans for a temporary homeless shelter in Lincolnia.

Police seize more than 80 cats from a home on Westmoreland Road in Falls Church.

Consultants recommend a strategic vision for the library system.

The ballet studio at Pinecrest Plaza reopens under new ownership.

Capt. Thomas James Rogers is appointed commander of the Mason Police District.

The commonwealth’s attorney finds police are not culpable in the death of Paul Gianelos.

The owner of Little Italy in the Bradlick Shopping Center announces plans to close in November.

The Staples in Pinecrest Plaza announces plans to close.


The second Taste of Annandale draws more than 3,000 people to a community festival with food, music, dance, a 5K, vendors, a chili cookoff, and children’s activities.

Glory Days Grill announces plans to open in Barcroft Plaza.

Residents and legislators call for more regulations of short-term rentals, such as Airbnb.

Communities of Trust hosts a forum aimed at improving relations between police and residents.

A new historic marker in Pine Ridge Park honors The Pines, a small African-American community forcibly displaced by Fairfax County in the 1960s.


An Anita’s restaurant opens in Ravensworth Plaza.

On Election Day, the nation goes for Donald Trump as the next president, but Hillary Clinton gets an overwhelming majority in Mason District; Fairfax County voters reject a meals tax referendum.

The Board of Supervisors approves flexible design guidelines for new schools in urban areas.

Advocates for immigrants vow to fight Trump’s anti-immigration policies.

Lambros Goldsmiths opens a pop-up jewelry store on Columbia Pike in Annandale.

District Taco opens in Skyline Center in Bailey’s Crossroads.


The Board of Supervisors approves a comprehensive plan amendment to allow a mixed-use redevelopment project – with 284 apartments – at Graham Park Plaza on Arlington Boulevard.

A rezoning application to allow the construction of 67 townhouses behind Heritage Mall in Annandale is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Grevey’s, the bar owned by former Washington Bullet Kevin Grevey, closes after serving sports fans for 37 years in the Yorktown Shopping Center.

The Board of Supervisors approves a rezoning application for the e-Loft project – with flexible units for living or working – on Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

The Block, an eatery with six separate food entrepreneurs, opens next to Kmart on John Marr Drive in Annandale.

The commonwealth’s attorney finds the fatal shooting of a mentally ill man by a sheriff’s deputy outside Inova Fairfax Hospital was justified.

The future of Skyline Center is uncertain as Vornado Realty Trust defaults on its mortgage. 


  1. Thanks to everyone who voted to reject the meals tax.

  2. Thanks for publishing this blog. I'm new to the area and find the articles very informative.

  3. Very nice summary!

    I would make one addition to May. The article says, "The Fairfax County school board begins a community engagement process on whether JEB Stuart High School should be renamed."

    I would add that the results of FCPS survey of the Stuart community and students resulted in a majority rejecting a name change for the high school.