Neighborhood Outlook: What’s on the Horizon for the City of Fairfax

Neighborhood Outlook: What’s on the Horizon for the City of Fairfax

Homes, grocery renovation and road improvements.

Artist’s rendering of the Novus Fairfax Gateway development from Lee Highway.

Artist’s rendering of the Novus Fairfax Gateway development from Lee Highway.

Several development projects are either proposed or in the works in the City of Fairfax. Below is a snapshot of some of them:

Novus Fairfax Gateway

Novus Fairfax Gateway LLC got the go-ahead from the Fairfax City Council to transform part of the Kamp Washington triangle between Fairfax Boulevard and Lee Highway into a modern, community-serving, mixed-use project.

Planned for the 8.33-acre site are 403 multifamily apartments – including 24 affordable dwelling units, 29,000 square feet of first-floor retail and commercial uses. There’ll be a 4,000-square-foot office space for use by the nonprofit CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), plus a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and 11,000 square feet of residential amenities.

The commercial space and three- and four-story buildings will front on Lee Highway and Fairfax Boulevard. Five-story buildings will be centrally located and a seven-story parking garage will feature a half-story on top for a pool.

There’ll be a through street with a connection at the Bevan Drive signal at Fairfax Boulevard, plus a new, un-signalized entrance on Lee Highway. The community’s road network could correspond to the future redevelopment of the rest of the Kamp Washington triangle, while treating the section connecting Lee Highway to Fairfax Boulevard with several, traffic-calming elements to reduce cut-through traffic.

Oak Knolls

Oak Knolls is on a 6-acre site along Main and Oak streets in Fairfax. Built in the early 1960s, it currently houses 110 units in five buildings. Now, the Oak Knolls Realty Corp. wants to redevelop it into two, 32-unit condominium buildings; 30 stacked, two-over-two, townhouse-style condos; and 40, 22-foot-wide townhouses.

Altogether, there’d be 134 units – 94 condos and 40 townhouses – and all would be for sale, with no rentals. A pedestrian walkway would lead residents to their homes. The four-story, 32-unit condo buildings would have red-brick, fiber-cement siding, metal railings, stacked siding and bay windows on the corners. And a red-brick, courtyard wall along Oak Street would offer privacy to the 22-foot townhome units.

Old Lee Highway

Old Lee Highway leads residents to homes, schools, businesses, shopping, the police station, Sherwood Community Center and Van Dyke Park. It runs 1.5 miles from North Street to Fairfax Circle and carries about 13,000 vehicles daily. It also has 21 local bus stops, plus on-street parking in some portions.

Old Lee Highway also pre-dates the Civil War and hasn’t changed much since its neighborhoods were built. So now, wanting to improve it and transform it into a “Great Street,” the City is studying how to do just that. It’s garnering citizen input and has applied for $2 million in FY 2016 revenue-sharing funds to do the actual work the study will recommend.

The three areas of Old Lee to be studied are Willard Way/Courthouse Plaza, Embassy Lane/North of Blenheim, and Artie’s Restaurant/south of Old Pickett Road. The goal is not to add any more lanes, but to make Old Lee safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles, while also beautifying it and improving its stormwater management.

The Enclave

Nearly 4 acres of the Mantua Professional Center on Pickett Road are available for development, and the IDI Group Cos. hopes to build 80 condos there off Silver King Court. The site’s currently vacant and mostly heavily wooded.

Instead of the 55,000 square feet of office space that could be built there, the applicant is proposing 80 condo units in two, four-story buildings. There’d be underground parking underneath each building, plus a small surface lot and other parking spaces.

Called The Enclave, the condos would be constructed on the area formerly envisioned for three office buildings. And land on which two other office buildings would have been built would, instead, be preserved as open space for a village green enjoyed by the residents, school and existing office community.

Lotte Renovation

The Lotte market in Fairfax plans to renovate and remodel its store. It’s cleaned up its site and intends to no longer have a mini mall, but to just sell groceries. It also hopes to rectify its traffic-circulation problems.

There’ll be one, main entrance off Old Lee Highway, with one lane in and two lanes out, to deter unauthorized, off-site parking. Lotte will fund two, new signal poles and will create an interparcel connection to the west.

Four access points will be consolidated into one and additional landscaping islands will be created. There’ll be a new, store façade and signage, and the parking area won’t be used for anything else. There won’t be trash and debris outside, and the former mini-mall will be demolished.