City of Fairfax residents saw plans for the revitalization of downtown take several steps forward in 2004, among many other changes.
One of the first visible steps in the redevelopment of Downtown Fairfax happened in 2004 with the demolition of the old Post Office on Chain Bridge Road.
To be redeveloped by Trammel Crowe, the site will include 92,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 43,000 square feet of office space, a public square and a 700-space parking facility.
Fairfax City also got its first look at the architectural plans for the new Fairfax Regional Library. The 23,000-square-foot library is to be built on the town-owned parking lot at the corner of North Street and Old Lee Highway and will have a 200-space parking lot. The old library site on Chain Bridge Road will be torn down to make way for 60 condominiums.
City Hall Gets a Facelift
The City Council approved expansion and renovation of City Hall and the construction of a new police station.
City Hall will get a two-story addition connected to the rear of the existing building with a new, two-story entrance lobby.
The new police station will be built behind the John C. Wood Center on Old Lee Highway. The existing building will be used for office space during the renovations. After the renovations and construction are complete, the existing building will be demolished for parking for the police station.
The city is currently soliciting bids for these projects, and the closing date for those submissions is Jan. 21.
Development on the Doorstep
Although city residents don't have much of a say in Fairfax County land-use decisions, increased development will have an effect on them. The Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan was amended to approve the Fairlee/Metrowest Development next to the Vienna Metro station and South of I-66. After the rezoning process is complete, as many as 2,250 new housing units will be a short drive from downtown.
A plan to put a mixed-use development in a spot that had been planned for office only could put residential density at the intersection of Route 50 and Waples Mill Road. Both of these, and an assortment of other proposals, will appear before the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing on April 21 and then move on to the Board of Supervisors for a final decision later this year.
In the summer of 2004, the City Counsel approved $250,000 for the construction of a Business Improvement District. The district will study ways to revitalize the Route 29/Route 50 corridor. The area is considered by city leaders to be the economic engine of the city and is home to many of the cities retail and service industries.
After a committee is created to oversee the district, its members will study potential changes to zoning codes to encourage businesses to improve their storefronts.
Along with the hoped-for economic revitalization, the city will change the name of Route 50 from Lee Highway to Fairfax Boulevard. Confederate history groups opposed the name change. Route 29 will continue to be called Lee Highway.
Forget the presidential and congressional races, the mayor and all six members of the Fairfax City Council were up for re-election in 2004. Every single member of the nonpartisan Council and the mayor won another term.
On the City of Fairfax School Board, Julie Knight defeated incumbent Jon Buttram by eight votes. The other four members of the School Board won re-election.