Development on West End lot could signal the start of Mark Center overhaul

Mark Center parcel being redeveloped, via Google Maps

A proposal to turn a vacant Mark Center lot into a potential residential or commercial use — rather than office — could signal the start of a planned overhaul to the West End office center.

In a new master plan amendment for 5000 Seminary Road and 4880 Mark Center Drive filed by CRP Mark Center Hotel LLC and Institute For Defense Analyses, the vacant lots could be turned into a variety of non-office developments. The overhaul of the site is closely tied with plans to install a bus rapid transit (BRT) system called the West End Transitway.

“Given the location of the Property at a major interstate highway, the future BRT improvements, the transit center across Mark Center Avenue, and pedestrian connectivity, the Applicant seeks to allow for future development of a variety of uses,” the application said, “including multifamily, continuing care or senior living, commercial, hotel, and/or office uses by a future developer.”

The applicants are requesting additional uses and an increase in density allowed on the site, bringing it in-line with other nearby Mark Center buildings.

The parcels being considered for development sit in the heart of an area some in the city are hoping to see converted into a more publicly-accessible stretch of development. In meetings of the Beauregard Design Advisory Committee, committee members and city staff expressed hopes that new development could open the traditionally closed-off office park.

The application said public benefits, like improvements to the sidewalk and public amenities, will be discussed in future submissions.

“The proposed MPA will allow for use of the underutilized Mark Center Hilton property & 4 acre Plaza I property with density and uses adjacent to the future West End BRT line,” the application said. “Multifamily use and other uses walkable to a transit environment is consistent with [transit oriented development] principles that the City prioritizes as well as many of the general development goals of the more recent Beauregard SAP.”

The application is scheduled for review at the Oct. 5 meeting of the Planning Commission.

via Google Maps

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