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A 14-building apartment complex next door to the former Landmark Mall property recently sold for $225 million, the Washington Business Journal first reported.

The City’s Office of Real Estate Assessments confirmed the March 28 sale and the amount, which have not yet been posted online.

The property was purchased by Bridge WF II VA Mason Van Dorn LLC, a partnership between Florida-based Shoreham Capital and Utah-based Bridge Investment Group Holdings LLC, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Bridge Property Management is now managing the property, according to the Mason at Van Dorn website.

The 25-acre, 1,180-unit apartment complex was built in 1972, and was acquired by California-based CIM Group in 2017, according to a March 29 release. At the time it bought the property, Landmark Mall was about five years away from being demolished to make way for the 52-acre WestEnd and the Inova at Landmark developments.

CIM Group confirmed the sale of the property, but did not mention the price or buyer in the release. CIM Group also owns another large Alexandria property — the Southern Towers apartment complex near the intersection of Seminary Road and N. Beauregard Street.

CIM Group says it made a number of improvements to the Mason at Van Dorn Apartments property, including upgrades to communal areas, building a residential club house near one of the property’s two large swimming pools, as well as a playground with a grilling area. CIM Group also said they built a new business center, fitness center, theater room and kids room.

Images via Google Maps and Facebook

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Inova Alexandria Hospital at 4320 Seminary Road (staff photo by James Cullum)

Inova Alexandria Hospital has run out of space and needs a temporary trailer for surgical equipment in the hospital loading area.

Inova is asking the city to approve a special use permit to use the 906-square-foot temporary trailer until Alexandria Hospital moves to Inova at Landmark in 2028.

The 10.4-acre Inova at Landmark development is located on the 52-acre WestEnd property that was formerly home to Landmark Mall.

In its SUP application to the Planning Commission, Inova said it’s in the process of upgrading an operating room with upgraded equipment and needs an exterior storage container to support the upgrades.

According to Inova’s request:

The proposed improvements will enable Inova to continue its commitment to quality care for its patients by providing an upgraded operating room within the existing hospital while also providing space for storage of materials necessary for the hospital to function.

The matter will go before the Planning Commission on May 7.

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New Urgent Care facility south of Alexandria (image courtesy Inova)

Inova-GoHealth opened a new facility to treat common health concerns in Fairfax — just south of Alexandria — yesterday (Thursday).

The new Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care center opened at 6218-B North Kings Highway off Richmond Highway in Belle Haven.

The new facility is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends.

According to a release:

The new center treats common health concerns for adults and children six months and older, including COVID-19, flu, fever, asthma, allergies, minor cuts, burns, pink eye, urinary tract infections, fractures, sprains, strains and more. The centers are open 365 days a year, including holidays.

The much larger Inova project in Alexandria was approved last year and is scheduled to be built by 2028.

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Construction of Inova Alexandria at Landmark is expected to be done in four years, and city staff are in favor of the hospital system’s comprehensive sign plan. Here’s what that looks like.

On Tuesday (Feb. 6), the Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Inova’s sign plan for the 10.4-acre development on the 52-acre WestEnd property that was formerly home to Landmark Mall.

No electronic signs are allowed in the zoning districts, according to the city’s zoning ordinance.

According to the city:

The Comprehensive Sign Plan proposes to provide clear and consistent guidance on the quality, design, and materials for building, wayfinding, and open space signs in the site. Per §9-103(C), the applicant is requesting the Coordinated Sign SUP to encompass two blocks plus streets within West End Alexandria. Through the SUP, the applicant seeks to increase the number, type, and area of signage to align with the density, scale, and activity expected within the campus.

Inova’s signs at the site must be approved by a special use permit, and include:

  1. Digital text or graphic signs, Parking ID, that would be up to 58.75 square feet, freestanding, and on approach to the garage entrances.
  2. Two types of illuminated signs that may be located higher than 35 feet above the grade… only allowing one such sign per building.
  3. Site identification and landscape signs up to 97.5 square feet and 65.25 square feet, respectively, with heights of 8.67 feet and 7.25 feet, respectively. § 9-202(A)iii.2 restricts these signs to no more than 24 SF and no taller than 6’ in CDD zoning districts.
  4. The applicant requests window signage for a secondary building entrance
  5. Freestanding wayfinding signs that exceed the city’s restriction of a maximum height of six feet, freestanding and parking identification signs that are 8.67-feet-tall, and outdoor recreation signs that are up to four-feet-tall.
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Hospital admissions for Covid over the last year (image via City of Alexandria)

If it seems like a lot of folks are coming down with Covid, you’re not just imagining it; Alexandria has seen an increase in Alexandria Hospital admission levels for Covid this month.

Hospital admissions for Covid hit their peak for the last year during the week of Jan. 13, with roughly 10 hospital admissions per 100k residents.

The good news is that even at that peak, hospital admissions were still in the “Low” category. While admissions often increase after the holiday season, 2024 marked the first time those admissions didn’t climb to “Medium” levels during that period since the pandemic started.

Overall, there were 172 people admitted to the hospital in Alexandria for Covid over the last week, a 10% decline from the previous week.

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The proposed Inova Alexandria Hospital building on the former Landmark Mall site (via City of Alexandria)

Inova Alexandria Hospital is currently a 318-bed community hospital. Once it opens its new hospital in Landmark in 2028, it’ll be a 192-bed hospital.

At a City Council meeting last week, Councilwoman Alyia Gaskins raised concerns from the community about the loss of beds in the new development. Dr. Rina Bansal, president of Inova Alexandria Hospital, said the decrease in beds is part of making services more efficient.

“On the surface, that seems like a reduction in services,” Bansal said.

Bansal said around 30% of patients using inpatient beds shouldn’t be there.

Year over year, we’ve grown in the number of patients we have in the inpatient beds in the hospital. When you have patients in beds in the hospital, there are patients under observation status that are not considered true inpatients, and you have actual inpatients. About 30%… are observation patients; patients who should not be in inpatient beds

Even though the number looks like a decrease, it’s a number based on significant research from a strategic perspective, from a market share perspective, as well as transition of services from inpatient to outpatient.

Bansal said the number of beds is based on projections.

“Our goal as a system is to continue to grow and care for a larger segment of the community,” Bansal said. “We are growing; we are not going to spend over $1 billion to make our footprint smaller in Alexandria.”

Bansal also noted that the Inova Oakville facility will be ready for occupancy next summer and will be open for business in October 2024. Bansal said the groundbreaking for the Landmark development will be in the summer after the Oakville location ribbon-cutting.

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(Updated 9/27/23) Before unanimously voting on financing the massive WestEnd Alexandria project at the former Landmark Mall site, a majority of Alexandria City Council members said that they still dislike the name.

Council unanimously approved a number of proposals on the 52-acre development, which will be devoted to the new Alexandria Hospital, and a multi-block town center with apartment buildings, pavilions, restaurants, and rooftop open space.

But Foulger-Pratt’s WestEnd project is located within the larger West End neighborhood; akin to naming a development DelRay or OldTown.

Foulger-Pratt has already branded the development and has no plans on changing the name.

“No, a name change is not being considered at this time,” Courtney Williams, Foulger-Pratt’s marketing director, told ALXnow.

One of those approved measures is a wayfinding sign program throughout the development, which Council members said will only confuse residents.

Vice Mayor Amy Jackson said that the wayfinding signs will be confusing.

“When you are putting in wayfinding signs saying ‘2.5 miles to the West End,’ and people saying, ‘Hey, aren’t we in the West End?’ What West End is that?” Jackson said. “That’s what’s going to start happening.”

City Councilman Canek Aguirre said that he feels dismayed by the name.

“I wasn’t happy with the name, but we can’t tell people what to name things,” Aguirre said. “They’re going to name it what they want. But what this body can do is signal some of our displeasure behind what the name is. We are still fully behind the project, we still want to see everything happen… but the name is problematic.”

Council Member Alyia Gaskins said that WestEnd signage will be confusing, since the neighborhood nickname is tied to a geographic area.

“The West End for so long in this city has meant a geographic area, not a specific development,” Gaskins said. “That is something that we need to be thinking about.”

Council Member Kirk McPike said that the name hurts other organizations with “West End” in their name, such as the West End Business Association.

“All of that gets destroyed for them by this development, which is going to take the name of half our city and apply it to one piece of land,” McPike said. “We would never allow a development on the east side of the city call itself Old Town. We would never allow a development in the middle of the city to call itself Del Ray, but we’re allowing this development to take the name of half the city and apply it to themselves. I know the horse left the barn, the ship has sailed, but it was wrong and I’m really disappointed that we allowed that to happen.”

Councilman John Taylor Chapman said that the issue will be problematic for the city.

“We are now going to have to focus on this,” Chapman said. “We are going to have community members and folks who have grown up in the region and have gotten to know what the West End does, and signage is going to be an issue for us. We need to be very clear with them about the problems that creates for staff and the city.”

Council also approved the creation of the Landmark Community Development Authority, which will set a special tax rate for the development in order to pay the city back for $141 million in financing.

Council approved the following:

  • A development special use permit to build a central plaza (on blocks F and N), a paseo (on block R) and a terrace park (on block P)
  • Plans to build two retail/restaurant pavilions with outdoor dining, a playground, seasonal ice-skating rink, and areas for passive recreation
  • Plans to extend commercial space and add new rooftop open space to block E
  • Plans to modify the layout of the block E residential building by infilling the ground floor courtyard with a one-story commercial space
  • Development of 4.4 acres of open space on four blocks, including a tennis/pickleball court, basketball court

The first pavilion, a two-story 4,610-square-foot structure, will be located in a central plaza on block F. The second pavilion, a two-story 978-square-foot building on block N, would include a 270-square-foot seasonal ice-skating shop and a public restroom.

The development for the WestEnd Alexandria project (via City of Alexandria)
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A 56-year-old man was shot multiple times last night a block away from the Braddock Road Metro station, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

The victim was shot in the back multiple times at around 11:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Madison Street, according to scanner traffic. The victim was transported to the hospital and his condition is unknown.

No information on suspects was released to the public. Multiple shots fired incidents have recently occurred on the same block as Friday night’s incident.

Anyone with information can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Map via Google Maps

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The 1.1 million-square-foot Inova at Landmark project got unanimous approval by the Alexandria City Council on Saturday, giving the hospital system the green light to build the future home of Alexandria Hospital.

Inova wants to start construction on the former Landmark Mall site in 2024 and have the four-building hospital campus finished by 2028. The hospital building is designed to face I-395, making it a gateway for drivers traveling north.

After years of stagnation, Alexandria started working with Inova on the site about three years ago — while the City was starting to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“To be at this point at this time is really transformational, and this is a big deal,” Mayor Justin Wilson said. “I do think this is really important and it’s gonna be really a gateway for our community for a long time to come.”

Inova at Landmark includes a 569,000 square-foot hospital center, a 111,000 square-foot cancer center, an 83,000 square-foot specialty care center and a retrofitted 550-space parking garage. A 1,488-space below-grade parking garage is also planned with at least 19 parking spaces set aside for electric vehicle charging.

“It is our duty to ensure that our new hospital is not only a state-of-the-art facility, but also a place where compassion, excellence, and innovation come together to provide the best possible care for our community” said J. Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Inova in a statement. “We are thrilled with Council’s action and are excited to make this vision come to life.”

Inova can build up to 250 feet, or 23 stories, for the tallest structures, the main hospital building and the cancer center, although the latter is proposed to be only 77 feet tall.

Inova currently plans to build a 184-foot tall main hospital building (nearly 17 stories) with a two story glass atrium at its entrance, above which would be a six-story Z-shaped inpatient tower. Inova anticipates that the building will be 184 feet tall to hide hospital mechanical equipment inside a “mechanical penthouse.”

“As one of the individuals who was born in the now soon-to-be old Alexandria Hospital, I look forward to having new generations of Alexandrians have quality care and to be born in a state-of-the-art facility,” said City Council Member John Taylor Chapman.

Each building will be constructed under LEED Silver guidelines. According to a city staff report:

The campus buildings will feature window glazing and building design to minimize heat gains, low-flow faucets and fixtures, high indoor environmental air quality, and will participate in Dominion’s Renewable Power Program with a goal to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Inova will also dedicate 64,000 square feet to open space on the site, in addition to building a 14,810-square-foot central plaza in Block Q. Inova must also submit a “consolidated and coordinated” public art plan for the hospital campus.

The proposed Inova Alexandria Hospital campus, outlined in gray, on the former Landmark Mall site (via City of Alexandria)

Landmark Mall first opened in 1965, and was the first mall in the region to feature three anchor department stores (Sears, Woodward & Lothrop, and Hecht’s). By 2010, the mall had nearly no tenants and in 2021, the city bought the 11-acre parcel of land for $54 million from The Howard Hughes Corporation. Inova signed a 99-year ground lease for the property that same year.

Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, said that the project makes Inova Alexandria Hospital an anchor that “redefines one of our largest neighborhoods and is a tangible and visible signal of the strength of the Alexandria economy.”

“This helps us attract additional investments, employers, and residents that will bring the WestEnd project to life,” Landrum said.

The project takes up a fifth of the total land use on the 52-acre West End Alexandria development. It was designed by Ballinger and Ennead Architects and is managed by Inova.

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The former home of Landmark Mall is likely to soon get a new tenant. The 1.1 million-square-foot Inova at Landmark Project sailed through the Alexandria Planning Commission last night, with just one hurdle left before getting the green light to start construction.

With the 6-0 (Chair Nathan Macek recused himself) approval further bolstering Inova’s plan to move Alexandria Hospital to the West End site, the matter will now be presented to City Council at its public hearing on Saturday, March 18.

“We should be celebrating a little bit bigger,” Inova’s attorney Cathy Puskar said. “Because this is a huge milestone for the city to get this project approved and moving forward and constructed, hopefully by 2028.”

Inova Alexandria Hospital opened at 4320 Seminary Road in 1962, and will eventually move its operations to the Landmark site. The project was designed by Ballinger and Ennead Architects and is managed by Inova.

The project takes up a fifth of the total land use on the 52-acre West End Alexandria development, and includes a 565,000 square-foot hospital center, a 111,000 square-foot cancer center, an 83,000 square-foot specialty care center and a retrofit of the mall’s old 550-space parking garage. The parking garage is the only remaining vestige of the once-popular shopping destination. The project also includes an underground 1,488-space parking garage below the specialty care center.

Inova’s height request of 250 feet (23 stories) for the main hospital building was also approved without discussion, although the current plans call for the height of the building to be 184 feet tall.

Commissioner Melinda Lyle said she’s excited for the project.

“This hospital is such a needed addition not only for the city of Alexandria, but for the region,” Lyle said. “I think we should all be celebrating.”

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