Sequestration, redevelopment and overcrowded schools were a few of the topics raised Saturday by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland and other local officials at Hyland's 26th Annual Town Hall Meeting at Mount Vernon High School.
"Mount Vernon is a hot market for Fairfax County," said Hyland, who spoke to an audience of about 100 people. "And recognizing growth in the student population in schools has surprised all of us."
Mount Vernon School Board member Dan Storck said that overcrowding in his District will lead to a boundary change study that will occur sometime between now and the summer. "We've seen an increase of more than 15,000 students in the last three years… Right now, we're defining what schools should be involved in that review." Read: FCPS: New Elementary Schools Slated for Route 1
County Board Chair Sharon Bulova said that the county is already seeing the effects of sequestration. "Just the threat of sequestration is causing uncertainty among the corporate community in Fairfax County, and already businesses are choosing not to fill vacant space, not to make a move that otherwise they may have made as we are coming out of the recession years," she said.
County Executive Ed Long said that sequestration threatens to destabilize the county's economy. "Before it gets addressed in March (by Congress), it will impact the county and it will impact the state, probably after our budget is put together, and our ability to deal with things once the budget is put together is very challenging," said Long.
Read Patch's story on sequestration here.
Woodlawn Plantation, Woodlawn Stables
The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture has plans to expand their agricultural services at Woodlawn Plantation with proposals for a restaurant, a walking garden, classroom space and an event space, all of which would replace Woodlawn Stables.
"What they (Arcadia) are proposing is rather dramatic," said Hyland, who has a meeting this week with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which owns the property. "Woodlawn needs to do something, because they don't have the money to keep the stables up."
Read: Arcadia: Proposing a Restaurant at Woodlawn?
Fort Belvoir Commander Col. Gregory Gadson said that while Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) construction is complete, there are some large-scale projects in development. The completion of the new 270,000 square-foot PX is scheduled for completion in late June, he said. More immediately, on Tuesday, Belvoir will unveil its USO Warrior Family Care Center. The 20,000-square foot building has been designed and built with sound-proof walls and special lighting for troops battling Post Traumatic Stress and traumatic brain injuries.
Some of the development updates presented at Saturday's "virtual bus tour:"
Mount Vernon Gateway at Buckman Road
- A rezoning application is expected soon for the development of 17 acres of land on Richmond Highway between Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue. Applicant Landmark Atlantic Holdings wants to tear down the older residential and retail buildings and replace them with 150 town homes and 350 multi-family units.
Fort Belvoir Area
- A rezoning application has been submitted to Fairfax County for the redevelopment of the 6.6 acre property at Accotink Village, located along Ricmond Highway between the Fairfax County parkway and Fort Belvoir's Tulley Gate. Development partners The Bainbridge Companies and Eastwood Properties want to build 283 housing units and 24,000 square feet of retail space. The Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning in January 2013.
- The Army is moving forward with plans to open the National Museum of the U.S. Army on site in 2015. Lodging facilities on post are also scheduled to be upgraded, including the renovation of a Holiday Inn Express and building a Staybridge Suites hotel.
Widening Richmond Highway
- Proposal: $180 million to widen 3.5 miles of Richmond Highway to six lanes from Telegraph Road to Route 235 at Woodlawn. The Federal Highway Administration completed an environmental assessment of transportation alternatives for the project last May, and Fairfax County, the Virginia Department of Transportation and FHWA are designing the improvements. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
Mulligan Road/Jeff Todd Way
- Project: Grading, curbing and paving of Mulligan Road, the four-lane connector that runs from the intersection of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway and Route 1, is scheduled for completion in late 2013. Last fall, the roadway was renamed "Jeff Todd Way" in memory of the former community leader, who passed away unexpectedly.
Huntington/North Gateway Projects
- Project: Property owner MRP Realty will tear down the 40-year-old office building located across from the Huntington Metro Station, and replace it with a 390-unit, four-to-six story apartment complex, a 15-story, 260,000 square foot office building and lot and a 200-room hotel. MRP plans to start the site plan application process with the county soon.
- Property owner A&R Development is looking for a rezoning application for a 173-unit apartment complex adjacent to the Huntington Metro Station. The plans will be submitted in the next few months.
Huntington Club Condominiums
- The Huntington Club Condominium Association is developing a comprehensive plan amendment for a mixed-use development of its site at Huntington Avenue and North Kings Highway. The project includes 1,200-1,800 housing units, 600,000-1 million square feet of office space and 127,000 square feet of office space. The Fairfax County Planning Commission was to address the project application on Jan. 24, and the Board of Supervisors will vote on the matter on Feb. 24. If approved, the condo association will put out a request for proposals on the property.
- The Carlyle Group is working to introduce plans to build a five-story, 145,000 square foot apartment building at the Cityside property (formerly Belle Haven Towers). Carlyle showed initial plans to the Mount Vernon Council last summer, and to the South Fairfax Development Corporation in September.
Sunoco Station at 5928 Richmond Highway
- Sunoco wants to redevelop and reopen the closed gas station. The new station would have six pumps and a 3,000-square foot convenience store. The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the Special Exception permit application in February.
Penn Daw Projects
- Insight Property Group started demolition and site work on the 240-unit apartment building at North Kings Highway and School Street last December. The $54 million project is planned for completion in mid-2014.
Penn Daw Plaza
- Combined Properties wants to tear down wants the 50-year-old shopping center and replace it with a 490-apartment complex with ground level retail. The rezoning application is expected to be submitted in early 2013.
- The Adler Shopping Center at 6220 Richmond Highway is being planned for redevelopment. Capital Investment Advisors and the property owner have entered into a partnership to redevelop the site into a 360-unit mid-rise residential property with 30,000 square feet of ground level retail. The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a rezoning application for the property in March.
- Plans are in place to demolish the Fairview Motel at 6417 Richmond Highway and site owner Hersha Group wants to replace it with a 108-room Fairfield Inn & Suites. Construction is expected to begin soon.
The Beacon of Groveton
- Phase I of the mixed-use development at the property was completed in September 2012, opening up 290 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail. A start date has not been announced for Phase II, which will include a 50,000 square-foot office building and more retail space.
- For years, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority had redevelopment plans for the vacant 33-acre property located on the east side of Richmond Highway near Lockheed Boulevard. Last January, the county received an unsolicited proposal from developer AHP for the property, which would make the property into a mixed-use 204-unit apartment complex and parkland. Fairfax County is reviewing the application and there is no timeline for any decisions.
Hybla Valley Projects
- The former home of the Mount Vernon Multiplex Cinemas will be a Costco this May. The $24 million project is estimated to bring 250 jobs to South Fairfax County.
- County approval has been granted for development of the 11,880 square foot property on the east side of Richmond Highway between Fordson Road and Boswell Avenue. Development team Merchants National Properties and Marx Realty plan to start construction in early 2013.
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital
- The $43.67 million expansion of the Inova Mount Vernon campus began last April, and includes a new patient tower, two operating rooms and improved medical surgery, orthopedics, joint replacement and rehab services.