Friday, Jan 13, 2017

Madison Homes Proposes to Develop Townhomes as a Component of the Heritage Mall Redevelopment

Source: IPEM

On December 6, 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a rezoning of the Heritage Mall in Annandale from the C-6 Community Retail District to the Planned Development Commercial District. This paves the way for single-family attached residences to complement existing retail and office uses.

The 11-acre property is located on the west side of Heritage Drive in the Braddock Magisterial District. The eastern part of the property is currently developed with Heritage Mall, a retail shopping and office center.  Principal tenants in Heritage Mall include an H-Mart grocery store and CVS Pharmacy. The western portion of the property includes a parking lot, a former service station, a convenience store, and undeveloped open space.

The property owner, Bristow Shopping Center Limited Partnership LLP (Webb Companies), made significant improvements to the existing center in recent years, but sought to make better use of the excess parking area at the rear of the site.  Madison Homes contracted to purchase the back portion of the property, with a proposal to develop a new townhome community.  The first step in the approval process was to amend the Comprehensive Plan, which had envisioned a denser, multi-family component.  In June, the Board approved the amendment, opening up the rezoning action.  A total of 241,824 square feet of gross floor area (GFA) was approved including 75,412 GFA of commercial office and retail uses and 67 single-family attached dwellings for an overall FAR of 0.50.  As has been the case with several recent townhouse proposals in Fairfax County, parking was a significant issue.

The Planning Commission has focused on townhouse garage dimensions and guest parking due to recent parking concerns with higher density townhome projects.  Fortunately, after site visits and much discussion, the parking issue was adequately resolved and received Planning Commission approval.  The approval will permit an influx of investment and provide new residential opportunities in an older part of the County that has not previously benefited from the type redevelopment occurring in many other parts of the County.  A space for a community resource center will also be provided within the commercial component of the development.