An artist’s rendition of the new BB&T Bank that will be built in the Sully Station Shopping Center in Centreville.
Centreville It’s official — at long last, something is being built on the vacant pad site at the right end of the Sully Station Shopping Center. That something will be a BB&T Bank, which got a thumbs-up, last Tuesday, Jan. 29, from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“It finally closes the loop,” said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully). That shopping center was built in 1986 and, although businesses moved into the rest of the center, nothing ever came to the free-standing portion on one side of it. Said Frey: “I’ve never seen a pad site sit empty so long.”
The shopping center is on Stone Road in Centreville and, over the years, many businesses expressed interest in going there, but they were never the right fit. “There were fast-food restaurants, gas stations, even a car-repair place,” said Frey. “But I told them ‘no’ because I didn’t think there was any way the community would accept them because of the noise and traffic congestion they’d bring.”
But a bank is less intrusive, he said. “This use is quieter, has less traffic and will have a lower profile and lights, plus shorter hours,” said Frey. “The vehicle drive-throughs are one way and the parking is separate. And a lot of people use banks for the ATMs, and that spreads the traffic out even more because that’s available 24 hours a day.”
Before the supervisors approved the project, it received an OK from the county Planning Commission on Nov. 29. But its first stop was at a meeting of the Sully District Council of Citizens Associations and its Land-Use Committee, where attorney Bob Lawrence presented details of the plan.
BB&T stands for Branch Banking and Trust, and the new bank will be in a 3,221-square-foot building. It’ll have two drive-through windows and a drive-up ATM machine.
“Instead of office buildings, with more square footage — as originally planned for that site — there’ll be one, smaller building,” said Lawrence. “There’ll be plenty of parking, plus access from Stone Road and from the subdivision to the south. There are also proffered buffers and a berm.”
The building will be constructed of brick and a composite building material, and the bank’s main entrance won’t be visible from Stone Road. There’ll be room for 10 vehicles in the drive-throughs, and the site layout will be similar to the existing BB&T in the Franklin Farm Shopping Center.
Centreville residents Priscilla Knight and Mark McConn said drivers speeding on Stone Road often make it difficult for people to get in and out of the Sully Station Shopping Center. But Lawrence said Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation would review the plan to make sure it wouldn’t cause any traffic problems. And Pat Gorman with Bohler Engineering, representing BB&T, said there might be some traffic-calming measures that could be done there.
Gorman also noted that the building would be 25 feet high, the BB&T letters on it would be internally lit and “the landscaping and berm will shield the lighting.” And at the end, the council gave its approval to the project.
The property is already zoned C-6, for community retail. And the county’s Comprehensive Plan calls for neighborhood-serving commercial uses within that shopping center, so the bank will be in keeping with the plan by providing additional services to the surrounding residential community.
“I think it’ll fit in very nicely,” said Frey on Monday. “We met with the neighbors and, this time, for the most part, they were fine with the bank going there. They were pleased to see something finally going in there that was compatible with the neighborhood.”