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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Columbia Crossroads project moving forward

The site of the Columbia Crossroads project, with the Landmark building in the background.
A plan to develop the Columbia Crossroads mixed-use/multifamily redevelopment on the Southeast Quadrant of Bailey’s Crossroads is moving through the approval process.

The project calls for a five-story, 378-unit apartment building on the corner of Columbia Pike and Moncure Avenue, possibly with some retail on the ground floor.

A Planning Commission hearing on a rezoning application is scheduled for July 13. The Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) endorsed the project on June 27.

Once the rezoning is approved, the Weissberg Corp. and Fairfax County will complete a land exchange and property consolidation involving an adjacent site occupied by the Landmark office building at 5827 Columbia Pike. That should happen this fall, John McBride, an attorney with Odin Feldman Pittleman, representing Columbia Crossroads LP, told the MDLUC.

The Landmark office building, the now-closed Safari restaurant, and an auto shop are expected to be demolished in winter 2018, McBride said.

That site will then be fixed up as temporary, green space for community use and seasonal events, such a farmers’ market or Christmas tree sales, as an interim measure until construction can start.

When the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter on Moncure Avenue is relocated to its new space, which will be built at 5818 Seminary Road, the old shelter building will be torn down, as would a Dominion Power field office nearby.

The new shelter is expected to open in October 2019. The Planning Commission recommended approval of a zoning special exception for the shelter on June 29. The Board of Supervisors will consider it on July 11.

At that point, construction could start on the new residential building. By then Weissberg will have secured a developer. There would also be three townhouses at the rear of the property.

The county-owned property on the site of the Landmark Building would be developed later. Tentative plans call for a new building housing health and human service offices currently located in leased space in the Heritage building on Little River Turnpike in Annandale. If that doesn’t happen, the county could sell the property.

The HOA board for the Ellery Place townhouses, the residential community closest to the new development, is supportive of the plan, McBride said, but urged the developer not to seek a waiver of parking space requirements. Each of the new buildings would have parking decks; the parking structure for the apartments would be in the interior of the building.

The project also calls for adding a third lane on that part of Columbia Pike, improving the Moncure intersection, and adding a new traffic signal – if approved by VDOT. If that happens, the upgraded sidewalks at that spot will have to be redone.


  1. Good. This sounds like a nice plan to improve the area. I like the idea of using the green space in the interim. I hope that we could have something like that over the long term - perhaps the county could keep the land they own but let it be green space after the rest of the things are built.

  2. So it's still apartments and Penny's Palace. I guess it will look better than vacant Sarari Lounge et al.

    "The county-owned property on the site of the Landmark Building would be developed later. Tentative plans call for a new building housing health and human service offices currently located in leased space in the Heritage building on Little River Turnpike in Annandale. If that doesn’t happen, the county could sell the property."

    LOL. Please don't tempt us - the county is not going to sell. We all know that Penny's Palace will be be shoehorned into this plan, even if/when all other development plans fall through. And she will tout it as an accomplishment, of course.

  3. What do you mean by "Penny's Palace"?

    That section along Columbia Pike is shabby looking, anything will be an improvement


  4. What we need in the SEQ is the 2007 Comp Plan that the community designed. Instead, Sup. Penny keeps making changes with out of turn comp plans and pushing forward with more rental residences and her human services building, a.k.a. Penny's Palace.

    Mutli-use commercial and residential is far, far, far better for our tax base than increasing Fairfax Counties real estate portfolio. Plus, the SEQ is our prime business/retail location...right across from Best Buy and Trader Joe's.

    Give Mason District a break and give us more businesses to help generate a tax base to pay for the schools, roads and services. Residential project may pay taxes, but they increase the need for more services. Not a even deal for Bailey's Crossroads.

    1. The Penny Palace needs to land somewhere else. Baileys is a primary crossroad for mixed use- residential, commercial, retail and entertainment. Make it a restaurant mecca, bring in theaters, galleries not more damn social services that is sucking the life out of Mason. Penny needs to take her socialism to Cuba, NIMBY!

    2. How did Mason ever vote in and get stuck with a socialist for a supervisor?

  5. The Columbia Crossroads development will be a 5-story (100' max height) residential building with ~43 Workforce units (police, EMT, teachers). The apartment building will max out at 370 units with the blend of studio, 1-bed, 2-bed residences being determined by market rates.

    What everyone should be concerned about is the Eastern Resources Health & Human Services Building the County is proposing. Initial plans show a 180,000 sqft building (90' max height) that will cost tax payers ~$125,000,000. Why not sell this land to a private developer and use the proceeds to fund the purchase of a Skyline building? The Sklyine Towers complex consists of 8 buildings and ~2.6 million sqft of office space. Presently, only ~40% of the office space is occupied. Further, Vornado held a public auction in December 2016 that not a single REIT showed up to bid on. The noteholders purchased the office park for $200M with $140M owed on debt. How can the County justify spending so much money when Mason District has some of the largest office vacancy in Fairfax County? Wouldn't our tax dollars be better served renovating existing office space?

    Let's just hope Penny Gross doesn't get to force this down our throats before the 2019 election. I know this will be a huge platform for debate in the coming months.