Mount Vernon: Strip Mall Transformation

Mount Vernon: Strip Mall Transformation

Approval recommended for 375 residential units and 7,500 square feet of retail on 5 acres in place of aging strip.

Novus Property Holdings has been seeking to redevelop a 5.2 acre property in the Penn Daw Community at the intersection of Richmond HIghway and Fairview Drive for the past four years, said Sara Mariska, who represents the developer.

“For those of you who know the site, I think we can all agree that this is going to be something much better than the aging strip retail that has been there for too long,” said Mariska.

The property is located at 6319, 6321, 6325 and 6329 Richmond Highway and 2622, 2700 and 2716 Fairview Drive, in the Mount Vernon Planning District.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday, Sept. 22, recommended approval of up to 375 mid-rise multi-family residential dwelling units with 7,500 square of retail use on the ground floor of Land Unit G of the Penn Daw Community Business Center.

“We’ve worked really hard to make it a walkable, pedestrian-friendly redevelopment.”

— Bill Brinley, Vice President, Spring Bank Community Association

“We’ve worked really hard to make it a walkable, pedestrian-friendly redevelopment. We think this is a good example of how a development can be when you have the community, developers and the county all working together,” said Bill Brinley, vice president of Spring Bank Community Association.

Brinley and Josh Delmonico, president of Spring Bank Homeowner Association testified before the Planning Commission on Thursday, Sept. 15. The community association has been working with the developer, Inovus, and county for the last two years, said Brinley.

“High-quality architecture, landscape design, and pedestrian amenities” were promised, according to staff reports, as well as high-quality facade treatments on all four sides.

According to staff reports:

“Building height and massing should taper, or other architectural elements such as balconies, or pitched rooflines should be employed to reduce the effect of the building height and bulk on the adjacent residential neighborhoods to the south and east.”

“Adequate buffering and screening landscaped with year-round vegetation should be provided to minimize the visual impact of any development on the adjacent neighborhood.”

“Well-designed, publicly accessible urban plazas or parks should be included to create a sense of place and provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, consistent with the Urban Parks Framework.

“Development should dedicate 89 feet from the centerline of Richmond Highway for planned transportation improvements.

“The walkability and multi-modal connectivity of the redevelopment should be enhanced through the addition of sidewalks, streetscaping, and bicycle facilities. Safe pedestrian and bicycle connections that provide direct access to nearby transit, amenities and retail uses should be provided. Safe pedestrian crossing of Fairview Drive is essential with any redevelopment.”

According to Planning Commission documents, the Board of Supervisors directed the Planning Commission staff in June 2015 to evaluate the potential for the project.