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Good News for City of Fairfax

Less unemployment; Lowe’s and ALDI planning moves here.

There’s good news for the City of Fairfax: its unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Virginia and two new businesses are interested in locating here.

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, the unemployment rate in Fairfax is at a five-year low of 3.8 percent, significantly lower than the high of 6.7 percent during the economic recession. As a result, the City’s rate is now lower than Fairfax County’s.

In addition, both Lowe’s and the ALDI grocery chain are anticipated to open new stores in the City. Besides giving local residents more choices about where to shop, the new businesses would also be welcome additions to Fairfax’s commercial-property base.

Pleased with these latest developments, Mayor Scott Silverthorne said they underscore Fairfax’s bright economic future. "The City continues to receive interest from the private sector, including large retailers, developers and small businesses who want to locate in the heart of Northern Virginia," he said.

"This is in part due to the City Council’s commitment to low tax rates, more predictable regulations and a timely review process," he explained. "Combined with our top-to-bottom review of our zoning ordinance, we are sending the signal that the City of Fairfax is a great place to start or grow a business."

In keeping with that idea, Silverthorne announced last week that two of the City’s large, vacant, "big-box," commercial properties may soon have new tenants. Lowe’s has expressed interest in moving into the former Kmart site in the City’s west end, along Route 29. It plans to create a new, state-of-the-art store within the existing footprint.

Furthermore, the ALDI chain – which sells grocery and household items, mainly under its own brand names, has indicated it’ll open a new store in the former Office Depot site in the City’s Kamp Washington area. Private Label Store Brands magazine recently named ALDI the 2014 Retailer of the Year.

"I’ve promised both retailers that I’ll ensure they have a smooth application process and that the City government will move quickly to welcome them into the City of Fairfax family," said Silverthorne. "I thanked them for their investment and for bringing vacant buildings to productive use, which is a strong symbol of economic revitalization in the City of Fairfax." All in all, he said, combined with the plummeting jobless rate, "This is incredibly good news for a small city."