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One More for Rte. 1 Revitalization

Richmond Highway revitalization took another step forward Tuesday morning with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new headquarters office building of the Genuario Cos. Inc.

Located at the corner of Richmond Highway and Radford Avenue, the 5,000-square-foot, two-story, Colonial-style structure will provide lease space on the ground floor, with the Genuario Cos. offices on the second level. The basement level will be utilized as a showroom area, according to plans.

Gathered in front of the present office building at 8400 Radford Avenue, under a cold clear sky, were a host of dignitaries to participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking with the Genuario family. The Genuario Cos. specialize in development and construction.

On completion of the new office building, the present structure, which dates back to the late 1940s, will be demolished to make way for a new, single-family home, Louis Genuario Sr. explained. "The house will be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," he said.

"This project was actually conceived in 1989, with the first plans being drawn in 1991. However, the timing to make it happen is now right. The new house will sell for about $250,000," Genuario estimated. The new office building is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, not counting the land.

MOUNT VERNON District supervisor Gerald W. Hyland, who attended the ceremony, joked on coming to the microphone that if Genuario had waited another 10 years, "The house would have been worth $1 million."

He acknowledged Genuario's years of involvement with the revitalization efforts, saying, "You have really helped us transform Richmond Highway. We are very happy you have held in."

Lee District supervisor Dana Kauffman emphasized the Genuarios’ perseverance in continuing to build their business in the local area. State Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-44th) noted, "The Genuarios are part of the Mount Vernon family. They live here, they go to church here, their children go to school here, and they are business people here."

Louis Genuario Jr., who explained the plans and design for the new office structure — which will contain an elevator and entrance ramps, making it ADA compliant — reflected, "When we bought this property in 1989, Gerry Hyland was a new supervisor. We went to him and he helped us with all the necessary procedures."

Following the formal portion of the ceremony, the dignitaries, including Richard F. "Rick" Neel, representing both the Southeast Fairfax Development Corp. and the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, donned hard hats and gripped shovels in a mock act of "breaking ground." The building is scheduled for completion during the first half of 2004.