The Fort Belvoir or Mount Vernon Estate construction projects alone would be enough to impact area traffic and the character of Mount Vernon. However, the area is now in the midst of substantial private sector development along the Route 1 Corridor, running from the Beltway in the north to the Fairfax County line and the Occoquan river in the south.
In addition to the large federal projects there is underway or planned construction or renovation of hotels, motels, mixed use developments, new fast food restaurants, and shopping malls. They have created pressure to design, finance and complete infrastructure projects such as the widening of the Route 1 highway in the Fort Belvoir area to the south, or the much debated prospect of installing light rail transit, metro transit extension and/or bus rapid transit.
Looming large for many in the Route 1 corridor is the consequent eminent domain land acquisition required to widen Route 1 and accommodate the mass transit expansion to carry commuters, visitors, and others along the Route 1 Corridor.
Here are some of the many projects planned for or already underway in the Route 1 area (additional information from Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation):
- The National Library for the Study of George Washington . Construction is now underway adjacent to the Mount Vernon Estate off Route 235 and the Mount Vernon Parkway . It will be used by scholars to study the writings, philosophy, and life of George Washington, our first President, and to serve as a archival and education center.
- Route 1 Widening: November 2011, DOD awarded $180 million to VDOT and Fairfax County to widen the 3.5 mile segment between Route 235 and Telegraph road from 4 to 6 lanes, and accommodation for pedestrian, transit, and bike access. Public comment is underway on FHWA studies. Project due to be completed by 2016.
- Jeff Todd Way/Mulligan Road. Four lane connector road from Route 235 and Route 1 to Telegraph Road. Scheduled for completion in 2013.
- Transit Studies. A county-wide transit network study underway, including the Route 1 corridor, which will look at transit alternatives including light rail, bus rapid transit and metro rail extensions. Study expected to be completed at the end of 2012.
- VSE building. Proposal under consideration to remove existing building and replace it with a 346 unit high rise residential building and 366,000 sq. ft. office/hotel structure. This building is adjacent to the metro station on Huntington Avenue. County staff report due September 2012.
- Huntington and Biscayne Avenue. Proposal under consideration for a 173 unit mixed use redevelopment project. Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland requested the developer amend the proposal; would require a rezoning application.
- Huntington Club Condominiums. Proposal under consideration for a 1,800 unit mixed use development for housing, retail and office space.
- Sunoco Gas Station. Sunoco plans to file a special exception permit to establish a gas station at the site in the northern section Route 1 near Huntington Avenue.
- Penn Daw Special Study. Proposal under review for mixed-use revitalization of a 15-acre area adjacent to Penn Daw Plaza.
- Kings Crossing. Multiple phase development plans for retail space in phase 2; phase 3 plan for mixed-use multi-family housing and retail space. Phase 2 already underway.
- The Grande at Huntington. Plan is to redevelop the site where “Fast Eddies” now exists. Will be a 225-250 unit mid-rise residential development with ground level retail. Under consideration.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites. Proposal to demolish existing Fairview Motel and replace with 108-room Fairfield Inn and Suites.
- The Beacon at Groveton. Construction underway for 290 upscale apartments and ground level retail units. Additional retail and office building construction planned later. First market rate rental in decade.
- Memorial Heights. This is the former Dairy Queen site. Proposal is 6,000 ft of retail and restaurant space to replace old Dairy Queen site.
- North Hill site. At the intersection of Lockheed blvd and Route 1 is a 33-acre site owned by the Fairfax Housing and Redevelopment Authority (FCRHA). Different proposals with different concepts are being considered. No decision on the direction that will be pursued.
- Costco. New store to be opened in place of the site where the Mount Vernon Movie Multiplex formerly existed on Route 1 near Sherwood Hall Lane. Due to open in 2013.
- Fordson Place. Plans approved to build a 12,500 sq. ft. retail center between Boswell Avenue and Fordson Road.
- Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. A 65,000 sq. ft. renovation began in April 2012 that includes a new patient tower with 20 new patient rooms, two new operating rooms, and 20 new patient rooms for the Joint Replacement Center. In addition, medical surgery, orthopedics, joint replacement and rehabilitation services will be enhanced.
- Mount Vernon Gateway at Buckman Road. Proposal and rezoning application pending to remove and replace retail and residential buildings on 17 acres and upgrade to 500 residences, including 350 multi-family units and 150 town houses.
- Candlewood Suites. Construction being completed on a 57-room hotel.
- Towne Place Suites. At the corner of Richmond Highway and Woodlawn Court adjacent to Woodlawn shopping center, a plan to develop a 92-room Towne Place Hotel. Rezoning application approval required.
- Accotink Village. Mixed use revitalization on 6.6 acres. Application for rezoning includes a proposal for 283 housing units and 24,000 sq. ft. of retail space.
- Fort Belvoir Expansion. The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission decision led to the expansion of the Base, nearing completion, that included the following projects: $1 billion, 120-bed Belvoir Community Hospital, employing 3,200 people, and will serve 85,000 active duty and retired military personnel in the region. Other projects include wounded warrior transition complex, among others. This is the largest single construction project in the Mount Vernon area and will add significantly to the number of employees, families and support personnel coming to the base daily.
- The U.S. Army plans to build the new National Museum of the U.S. Army on the Fort Belvoir Base near John Kingman Gate off Route 1. A 2015 opening is planned. Projections are for thousands of visitors annually to the Museum from all over the U.S.