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Petitions launched for and against ABC Virginia opening new store in Old Town

More than 200 people have signed a petition against ABC Virginia opening a new location on S. Washington Street in Old Town. At the same time, another Change.org petition has gotten about 75 signatures in support of the new liquor store.

A Change.org petition from “Southwest Quadrant Neighbors” has garnered more than 200 signatures, with petitioners complaining that the location at 825 S. Washington Street is “ill-suited as it is located in the middle of a tight-knit residential neighborhood, close to several schools and family and child-oriented establishments, and is without dedicated parking for ABC to secure.”

Virginia ABC is considering the 3,000-square-foot building for a new store, and posted a notification for public comments for two weeks.

“We have received comments both in favor and against the proposed location,” Valerie D. Hubbard, a senior public relations specialist with Virginia ABC, told ALXnow. “We do not have a lease agreement currently.”

Hubbard said that Virginia ABC weighs a number of factors when determining the location for new stores and expanding customer access.

“These include a location’s demographics, traffic patterns, rental rate and population density,” she said. “It also considers the distance of a location to existing stores, sales at those stores, tenant mix at the shopping center, and the accessibility and deliverability to the location. This process has led to the creation of 398 stores throughout the Commonwealth, with 92% of Virginians living only 10 minutes from a Virginia ABC store.”

Those petitioning against ABC moving into the 3,000-square-foot property say that there are four other ABC stores located within two miles of 825 S. Washington Street. There are, in fact, three ABC stores within two miles of the proposed location.

The nearest ABC stores are at 501 Montgomery Street in Old Town North (1.4 miles away), at 3161 Duke Street (about 2.6 miles away), at 5940 Richmond Highway (about 1.4 miles away) in the Huntington area of Fairfax County, and at 1524 Belle View Boulevard in Fairfax County (about 2 miles away).

Opponents say that the new store will result in a crime increase, are “not neighborly,” and will result in decreased parking and increased traffic, but proponents say that there are no ABC stores on the southern section of Old Town.

“It’s a long walk to the north side store that is inconvenient and puts one at risk to other crimes,” states the pro-ABC store petition.

The store is the former home to the Queen Bee Designs pop-up, and is on the same block as Faccia Luna (823 S. Washington Street) and Southside 815 (815 S. Washington Street).

Vienna-based Rosenthal Properties is managing the leasing for the space, which is owned by Writ Limited Partnership.

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