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Stonebridge submits plans for Victory Center demolition and redevelopment

Victory Center in Alexandria used as a vaccine clinic (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

After a long, troubled history: a final defeat nears for the Victory Center (5001 Eisenhower Avenue).

Stonebridge has submitted concepts to the city that would entail the demolition of the long-vacant Victory Center office building and converting the site into townhouses.

While Stonebridge has previously expressed a hope to get a federal tenant in the Victory Center, the door seems to have closed for that admittedly long-shot possibility.

“The existing office building on the property was renovated in 2005 and has been vacant ever since,” land use attorney Kenneth Wire wrote to the City of Alexandria. “Despite numerous attempts by the prior owner and the current owner to lease this building, there is no commercial or government interest in bringing office uses to the property.”

Wire wrote that a different approach must be taken to utilize the site.

“This 17-year vacancy demonstrates that a different approach must be taken to revitalize Eisenhower West,” Wire wrote. “The City and the region have a housing supply crisis not an office supply crisis. This project will provide both rental and home ownership housing units in close proximity to the Metro Station and an affordable housing building.”

Wire said Stonebridge is requesting a master plan amendment for the site that will allow the developer to build market rate and affordable housing units.

The new development would add 601 residential units to the site, divided up as:

  • Multi-family: 400 units
  • Affordable: 90 units
  • Townhouse: 111 units

While the typical haggling between developers and the city is the developer asking for an increase in height, here Stonebridge is asking for to build below the current minimum height of 10 stories for the site.

“The buildings vary in height between 3 and 4 stories for the townhomes, 5 and 6 stories for the affordable multifamily building, and 6 to 8 stories for the courtyard multifamily building,” Wire wrote. “Applicant is requesting a master plan amendment to reduce the required building height on the property.”

Stonebridge received some pushback from city staff earlier this year, recommending against townhouses as not being consistent with density requirements in the site’s small area plan. Instead, staff recommended the existing Victory Center building be overhauled once again: this time as a residential conversion.

“Staff recommends retaining the existing office building,” staff wrote in response to Stonebridge’s plans. “The approximate footprint of the existing Victory Center office building (350′ x 142′) compares similarly with other office-to-residential conversions that have been constructed in the city. Continue to work with Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) to locate potential users, which may include non-profit housing developers and senior living facilities.”

H/t to Virginia Newsletters LLC

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