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New West End Residential Development Headed to Planning Commission

The Newport Village development is hoping to demolish two garden-style apartment buildings at the intersection of W. Braddock Road and N. Beauregard Street near Northern Virginia Community College and replace them with a 383-unit residential development.

The developer is asking for a rezoning permit that would nearly double the allowed building height at the site from 45 feet to 92 feet, which staff expressed support for — citing the 120-foot maximum height approved for the Array at West Alex development on King Street.

“The request for increased building height at the project site has been reviewed for consistency with both the allowable and actual building heights in the surrounding area,” staff said. “The current request to increase allowable height to 92 feet therefore compares favorably to the allowable heights in the area given that it falls within the lower end of the range of building heights at properties immediately nearby.”

The added density would net a total of 12 affordable housing units, which drew some frustration from the Alexandria Housing Affordability Advisory Committee. The plans for the building were originally submitted in 2018, meaning the development got in before new changes last year would have required to developer to contribute 18 units.

“Members expressed disappointment with the number of proposed affordable units being provided in light of the magnitude of the increase in density, while acknowledging that the application was not subject to the December 2020 policy update,” the report noted. “Members also requested the number of committed affordable units be finalized to no lower than 12, as well as proportional to the overall unit mix.”

The new development would consist of studio apartments, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, with options on the ground floor to add additional retail later and parking in a garage.

In a report, staff supported the redevelopment as part of an overall plan to add density along bus rapid transit lanes planned for Beauregard Street.

“Consistent with recommendations in its Transportation Master Plan, the City is implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system known as the West End Transitway to provide high-capacity transit service using a combination of dedicated and shared lanes and enhanced stations with rider amenities,” staff said. “The future transit corridor includes the portion of North Beauregard Street directly in front of the project site and one of its stations is anticipated directly along the project site’s frontage, just to the east/southeast of the corner of North Beauregard Street and West Braddock Road.”

The project is scheduled for review at the Tuesday, Feb. 2 Planning Commission meeting.

Image via City of Alexandria

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