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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Board of Supervisors approves Columbia Crossroads project in Bailey's Crossroads

An illustration of the Columbia Crossroads development.
The Board of Supervisors on July 25 signed off on a rezoning application and conceptual development plan from the Weissberg Corp. for 370 apartments or condos, three townhouses, and, potentially, a county office building on a 7.4-acre plot on Columbia Pike.

That plan is similar to one proposed by AvalonBay that was withdrawn last year.

“The Columbia Crossroads development has been a long time coming, but a thoughtful, patient community process produced a proposal – new housing, transportation connections, and a future office building  that will be a vibrant addition to historic Bailey’s Crossroads, an extraordinarily diverse area of Mason District and Fairfax County,” said Supervisor Penny Gross.

While the development plans are still conceptual, they call for a single, multifamily building at the corner of Columbia Pike and Moncure Avenue. It would feature a “donut” design, wrapping itself around a parking garage and an open space courtyard in the center. About 43 of the units would be provided as “workforce housing,” meaning they would have below-market rate rents.

The plans also allow for a street-level retail or restaurant option, and the developer might want to   include an independent or assisted living facility in the building.

Just south of the multifamily building, the overall development could include three townhouses with two-car garages and driveways. The approved plans offer an option to add three additional units to the multifamily structure instead of the townhouses.

New shelter

The future multifamily building would be on the site of the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter. Under a real estate deal the board approved in March, the county will exchange this land for an adjacent 1.49-acre property owned by the developers.

As a key part of the approval, the shelter will remain open until October 2019 when a new, larger, 52-bed shelter is expected to be completed nearby at 5914 Seminary Road. Construction of the new shelter, which will including transitional housing, is expected to start in spring 2018.

The rezoning also allows the county to use its property adjacent to the future multifamily structure to develop a 180,000-square-foot office building, which could include other uses, such as a child care center, independent living facility, medical office, restaurant, retail, bank, or public park.

The potential office building would be located on a site occupied by the Landmark building. The county bought this property last week from Landmark Atlantic for $6.3 million as the initial step in  realigning Seminary Road envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan and to allow for development of the entire site in a more comprehensive, cost-effective manner.

With the Landmark parcel, the county’s holdings will total nearly 2.8 acres. The county will tear down the existing office building to leave an open site for sale or future development.

New roads

The overall development plans include building out a local street grid that will help spur future revitalization efforts in the area, especially from Center Lane to the southeast. The plans will create two new roads, including a future connection to Seminary Road.

Weissberg will build a new public road that will run parallel to Columbia Pike off of Moncure Avenue. This street will be south of the new residential building and will eventually be extended to intersect with a future road the county will build to connect to Seminary Road.

A new private road that runs north to south will also be constructed, helping to carve the developer’s and county’s properties into two distinct blocks.

Before Weissberg can move forward, it still must get approval on its final development plans which it expects to submit to the county in 2018 or 2019.


  1. Can't wait until they get on with it. I think I first heard about projects for this parcel of land 7-8 years. Also, I would think the new shelter could be built faster 2019.

    County should consider buying all the properties along center lane or encourage the owners of those parcels to consider redevelopment while properly building out and aligning Center Lane from Seminary Road to Columbia Pike. In fact Center Lane should just become a two lane extension of Seminary Road to Columbia and renamed accordingly.

  2. did every supervisor vote for it?

  3. looks just like Mosaic district...........NOT!

  4. Hello Supervisor listening? Your constituents have repeated told you we do not want a government building stuck in the middle of our business district. We want shops and businesses that pay taxes to help keep our real estate taxes down.

    Hello Supervisor listening? Why did you enact out of turn plan amendments 3 times to overturn the community's 2007 plan for mixed use in this area? We want a mini Shirlington; a mini Mosaic not Penny's Palace.

    Hello Supervisor Gross...please resign before you do any more damage to our community.

    1. Penny Gross is a socialist in disguise as a democrat. I love it when the bloggers on here say that she is in bed with developers. She is the most anti development-anit commercial supervisor for her middle class constituents.

      Look at what is happening to Mason: you have the upper middle class in limited areas like Sleepy Hollow and the lower middle class to the very low income residents of Culmore at the other end of the spectrum. The middle of the apple is rotting out and it has been done singularly by the governance of Gross for the last 20 years. Like Trump she doesn't listen, she believes she knows everything and has insisted on her social palace. She is determined to put her final destructive signature on Mason and will forever make Baileys Crossroads the welfare capitol of Fairfax County.

    2. Penny Gross has been the most destructive politician for Mason District. Did not vote for her. It is amazing how bad this District has become. Just look at the grass that is up 2/3 feet on Lincolnia, the trash everywhere, the traffic, etc. And now another building to try to drive through the area. FFC has certainly changed in the last 20 years and let's not forget the 24% real estate taxes in the last four years. Where is the money going? I tell the politicians retirement plans. Shameful. Seniors are moving out of FFC as well as VA for States such as NC and FL. Can no longer live here on their fixed income with the sky rocketing taxes and they will continue to go up. Very sad.

  5. I happen to think the development looks great. I am especially impressed that there will be below market rate housing for our teachers, firefighters, and police officers. The plans for the new family shelter also sound good. Folks, whether you want to see it or not, there are people living in their cars, the parks and on the street in our lovely little neighborhood. Let's pull together to plan and help rather than sit on the internet and complain. I will sign as anonymous as from the tenor of some of the comments I don't want to be harassed--sad, but true

  6. Not a NIMBY, but.... Like one of the previous posters said, I would like to see something more akin to Shirlington. It appears that the County has decided to place all low-income services in our neighborhood. These kind of efforts erode our neighborhood even more. These types of low-income services/housing need to spread around the County instead of being consolidated in one area. We already have homeless people camping out at the local stores like Panera Bread. Believe it or not, I am a huge proponent for caring for the homeless, just don't want to bear all the burden.