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Mixed-use development near Van Dorn Metro could create new pedestrian link with Fairfax

An industrial park on Vine Street, squeezed between the Van Dorn Street Metro station and the Beltway, could be replaced with a new mixed-use development — and a new potential connection to the Van Dorn Metro station.

The development plans, however, hinge on hopes that the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) express lane plans don’t bleed over onto the site.

The development proposed is just a smidge south of the Alexandria border with Fairfax at the Van Dorn Street Metro station. Plans submitted to Fairfax County shows the current industrial park could be replaced with offices and a hotel on the west end of the site and apartments with ground-floor retail on the eastern end, per a map of the proposed development.

The project would build a new pedestrian access to the Metro from the south and a potential pedestrian/vehicular connection to the opposite side of the Beltway, though what form those connections could take are vague in the development plans.

The plans propose minimal on-site parking requirements both because it is so close to the Van Dorn Street Metro station and to encourage Metro use.

The main thrust of the amendment is a request that requirements for access across the Beltway be kept flexible as the development works around the VDOT’s plans for the area.

The amendment notes that the comprehensive plan is very specific in its recommendation of a bridge over the Beltway connecting the site to Oakwood Road, but that could be complicated by the VDOT plans to add express lanes on I-495. With the site sitting so close to the Van Dorn Street intersection, VDOT’s changes to the interchange — like potential road widening or toll infrastructure — could interfere with any plans to build a bridge at the site.

“The schematic in Exhibit A does not show the bridge from Oakwood Road across the Beltway because of the potential such an alignment may never materialize depending on the final HOT Lanes design,” the application said. “The comprehensive plan text proposed with this nomination, as described below, provides flexibility for how such access could be provided in the future.”

The application asked for flexibility to adapt transportation plans for the site to VDOTs plans for the corridor.

Image via Google Maps

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