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Planning Approves More Carlyle ‘Quick Service’ Restaurants

Two more less-than-full-service restaurants were approved for the Carlyle development by the Alexandria Planning Commission at their March 6 meeting — much to the frustration of Planning Commissioner E. Stewart Dunn, Jr.

With each application that comes before the Commission seeking a Special Use Permit (SUP) to operate a quick service restaurant within the 70-plus acre Carlyle Development, Dunn warns his colleagues they are taking another step toward discouraging full service restaurants from entering that market area. Yet, even with these latest approvals, vacant space available within the complex remains at 200,000 square feet plus.

The counter-argument to attracting full service restaurants in that area is that they will appear when the business climate warrants them. Presently, most of the restaurant business in the Carlyle area is generated by the daily work force, according to both planning staff and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.

As noted by staff in their report to the Commission, "With 84 percent of allocated retail space in Carlyle currently unoccupied, there continues to be more than sufficient square footage to accommodate all of the retail that is desired. These and other quick service establishments approved in recent years serve the thousands of workers in the immediate area."

Thus far seven quick service restaurants have been approved for the area totaling 14,842 square feet. "Staff finds there is a sufficient amount of retail space remaining for other retail uses as well as full service and quick service restaurants," their report stated.

An application for a full service restaurant with a total square footage of 7,654 received "administrative" approval February 8

by the Planning and Zoning Department, according to staff. It would be located at 1900 Jamison Avenue.

LAST WEEK'S applications came from the Potbelly Sandwich Works, LLC, to be located at 1925 Ballenger Avenue, and Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc., Bruegger's Bagels, scheduled to open at 520 John Carlyle St., Unit 110.

Staff recommendation of approval for both applications was adopted by the Commission unanimously.

The 2,300-square-foot Potbelly Sandwich Works will occupy the end tenant retail space on the first floor of a mixed use building that contains offices and other retail enterprises. It will offer soups,

sandwiches, and milkshakes, according to the applicant Michael Puckett.

To be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, the restaurant will provide seating for an estimated 78 customers. Fifty eight of those will be located inside with the other 20 outdoors, according to the staff report.

The site of the Bruegger's Enterprises endeavor is being developed with the Shops at Carlyle Square building, a multi-story condominium that includes a mix of residential and retail. The proposed 1,905 square feet restaurant is to be located in a middle tenant space on the first floor.

The applicant, Bruegger's Bagels, will offer bagels, coffee, specialty sandwiches, fresh-made salads, wraps, stone hearth breads, soups, and deserts, according to their application. With a total seating capacity of 68, split 40 indoors and 20 outdoors, their proposed hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Parking requirements for both establishments were specified in the Carlyle Development Transportation Management Plan. Both are within the requirements of the buildings' parking garage specifications, according to the staff report.

In other actions, the Commission approved two subdivision requests for lots at 112 East Glebe Road and 5350 Fillmore Avenue. Both lots are currently vacant. Applicants in both cases propose homes on each of the subdivided lots.