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Alexandria Toyota dealership (via Facebook/Alexandria Toyota)

Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota sold for $35 million to a Maryland company last month, and the dealership is keeping the name “Alexandria Toyota.”

Waldorf-based Kody Holdings, which owns a dozen auto dealerships in Maryland, bought the dealership at 3750 Richmond Highway on November 21.

The 390,000-square-foot property is worth $25.3 million, according to a January 2022 assessment. Taylor built the current dealership on the lot in 2000, and five years later it was worth $6.2 million, according to city records.

Taylor is a Living Legend of Alexandria and is well known for his philanthropic efforts, especially with the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. The son of a Fairfax County Sheriff, he served in the Army during the Vietnam War and afterward got into the car business by partnering with Bill Page Toyota. He bought out his partner in 1984 and became the sole owner of the dealership.

Kody Holdings and Taylor did not respond to requests for comment.

Photo via Alexandria Toyota/Facebook

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Alexandria Hyundai‘s special use permit has been extended to 2045 — with conditions.

After nearly three hours of deliberation on Saturday (October 15), City Council approved three special use permit requests to allow the dealership to continue operating until 2045, with the caveat that Council will take another look in 2040 at the permit for a service and storage parking lot.

Kevin Reilly has run Alexandria Hyundai on two acres of land between the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Mount Vernon Avenue for more than 20 years. With Hyundai converting to electric vehicles, Reilly is forced to upgrade his dealership and get an extension to his SUPs, which previously expired in 2025.

Council voted 4-2 (with Council Members Sarah Bagley and Canek Aguirre voting no) approving the SUP for the 22,000-square-foot lot.

Last week, the Planning Commission approved the plan for Alexandria Hyundai to keep operating, but denied the SUP to extend the life of the lot, which Reilly says he needs to keep operating. The parking lot is prime real estate on Mount Vernon Avenue, and the Commission agreed with City staff in finding that it does not comply with the city’s master plan, which outlines more active and pedestrian uses for that stretch of the Mount Vernon Avenue.

Reilly said that he needs the parking lot to stay in business.

“You can’t run a dealership unless you are facility compliant,” Reilly said. “It’s really economically unviable, and if you don’t meet the manufacturer’s customer satisfaction scores. Part of that is if your vehicle is in there (in the dealership), we need to have your vehicle to you immediately. If there’s no there’s no customer satisfaction, I just can’t operate.”

Reilly, a former president of the Del Ray Business Association, was praised for being a good neighbor by Council, and his proposal had the backing of the DRBA, the Del Ray Citizens Association and the Del Ray Land Use Committee.

“When I first moved to Del Ray there were literally just a handful of businesses on the Avenue,” said DRBA’s Gayle Reuter. “We are so thankful that over 20 years ago Kevin Reilly made the decision to move to Del Ray… Many of the events the community loves so much — the Del Ray Halloween Parade, the farmer’s market, Art On The Avenue — wouldn’t have happened without his early support in getting them going.”

Vice Mayor Amy Jackson praised Reilly and thanked him for running his business in Alexandria.

“We do appreciate what you do for the community and in Del Ray,” Jackson said.

The project includes a new service drive-thru lane, service reception areas and the installation of four electric vehicle chargers for community use. The chargers will be installed by this time next year, Reilly said.

The plan also includes a 770-square-foot canopy for a new 1,730-square-foot service reception addition, as well as a 1,500 square foot service reception area.

Praveen Kathpal told Council that the property should be converted to housing or open space, and that keeping the dealership until 2045 on Mount Vernon Avenue is a long time.

“Our current mayor will turn 66 years old in the year 2045,” Kathpal said. “This year’s high school seniors will be unavailable for any 40-under-40 lists. Taylor Swift will be older than Kurt Cobain would be if he were alive today. We’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Coolio’s hit, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise.’ So, do we really want to be storing cars along Mount Vernon Avenue when all of that happens? I don’t think so.”

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The Alexandria Planning Commission partially approved plans that will allow for a car dealership to keep operating on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray.

Alexandria Hyundai has operated on two acres of land between the 1600 and 1800 blocks of Mount Vernon Avenue for more than 20 years. Owner Kevin Reilly says that his dealership needs to conform to industry changes by converting to electric vehicles in order to stay in business, and filed three special use permit (SUP) requests with the city.

The Planning Commission denied Reilly’s request to allow for the continued use of the parking and storage lots at 1605 and 1611 Mount Vernon Avenue, but approved two other SUP’s — with conditions — for the properties at 1707-1711 and 1801 Mount Vernon Avenue.

Reilly wants a 20 year extension on his special use permits, which currently allow his business to operate until 2025. His proposal includes a new service drive-thru lane, service reception areas and the installation of four electric vehicle chargers for community use — in exchange for allowing the dealership to continue operating until 2045.

“Hyundai has a global design initiative program, and as a dealer if I do not comply, the financial penalties basically make it not viable for me to continue,” Reilly told the Planning Commission on October 6.

Reilly’s plan includes a 770-square-foot canopy for a new 1,730-square-foot service reception addition, as well as a 1,500 square foot service reception area.

City staff, however, say that the dealership does not fall in line with the city’s master plan, which calls for more active and pedestrian-serving uses for the neighborhood. Staff presented rendering of other potential uses for the site, such as townhouses or a mixed-use building with a car dealership on the ground floor.

The efforts were ridiculed by Cathy Puskar, Reilly’s land use attorney. Puskar said that heigh restrictions in Del Ray prohibit such development, and that the building used by city staff as an example of residential units above an auto dealership is 60 feet tall — 15 more than what is allowed. She also said that a conceptual drawing with town homes lacked details.

The conditions approved by the commission stipulate that:

  • Alexandria Hyundai would need to build a four-foot-tall decorative fence or wall along the 1600 block of  Mount Vernon Avenue
  • The dealership will need to add trees in front of the properties in the 1600 block, as well as remove 21 parking spaces for community use
  • If approved by City Council, the SUPs for the properties in the 1700 and 1800 block will need to be reviewed in 2032, and expire in 2045

Gayle Reuter of the Del Ray Business Association said that Reilly should be allowed to stay on Mount Vernon Avenue.

“Why wouldn’t we want to keep such an outstanding business in our neighborhood?” Reuter said. “For those who think that the ownership distracts from new development and improvements to the community, tell that to the brand new townhouses directly behind the dealership that are now on the market for $1.5 million.”

Neighbor Maria Wasowski disagrees.

“Auto sales and parking lots really divide the two commercial ends of (Mount Vernon Avenue),” she said, adding that her position was not personal against Reilly. “We all like him and don’t wish him ill.”

All three special use permit requests now go to City Council for review.

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Former National Tire and Batter (image via Google Maps)

A former National Tire and Battery (NTB) in the West End could be transformed into a used car dealership if the repair shop next door can get approval.

Koons of Alexandria has filed an application for a special use permit to establish a used car dealership at the former NTB building at 5800 Edsall Road, just off S. Van Dorn Street.

Koons of Alexandria also operates the repair center and car rental agency next door, which will remain there under the new proposal.

The application said the project would come with extensive interior and exterior renovations to the NTB building. The dealership would have around 50-100 cars at any given time, with some light repairs ongoing inside the building.

“With this proposal, the Applicant proposes interior and exterior renovations of the existing building to upgrade the building’s appearance, as shown in the enclosed plans,” the application said. “A total of 359 parking spaces are located on the Property and the neighboring 5800 Edsall Road site and are shared between the two buildings. The provided parking is more than sufficient to meet the needs of both buildings.”

The NTB building was built in 1995 and mostly stayed as a tire sale facility until December 2020, when NTB relocated elsewhere in the West End. In 2017 there were plans to turn it into a Land Rover/Jaguar dealership, but those ultimately fell through.

The project is scheduled for review at the Nov. 1 Planning Commission meeting.

Image via Google Maps

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Alexandria Hyundai has been taking up space on three blocks of Mount Vernon Avenue for 21 years, and owner Kevin Reilly is submitting a plan to be able to stay on the Avenue for at least 20 more.

Hyundai wants upgrades at their dealerships, Reilly says, and that means he has to build a service drive-thru lane and service reception areas.

“What I’m asking for is to continue on the avenue essentially, that’s what it comes down to,” Reilly said at a recent Del Ray Business Association meeting.

The issue is that Reilly’s dealership runs against the city’s Mount Vernon Avenue Business Area Plan, which calls for a more walkable community with more mixed use retail and housing.

“(Automobile dealership) uses are inconsistent with the Potomac West Small Area Plan and with the existing zoning that does not allow automobile-oriented uses such as automobile dealerships. Although it is unlikely that either dealership property will redevelop in the foreseeable future, mixed-use buildings, with ground floor retail and residences or offices above would be compatible with adjacent residences and would complement the Historic Core and the nearby retail area at Mt. Vernon and Monroe Avenues.”

The plan includes:

  • A 770 square foot canopy to a 1,730 square foot service reception addition
  • A 1,500 square foot service reception area to their showroom lot in the 1800 block of Mount Vernon Avenue
  • The addition of four New Electrify America electric vehicle spaces with fast chargers for public access

Reilly, who is a former Del Ray Business Association president, says that the four New Electrify America electric vehicle chargers are a gift to the community.

“It takes 30 minutes or so to charge your vehicle,” Reilly said. “What do you do with 30 minutes? You’re walking up and down the Avenue and availing yourself of all the wonderful businesses here.”

Alexandria Hyundai’s plan goes before the Planning Commission on June 7 and City Council on June 18. If approved, Reilly anticipates six-to-eight months for construction.

Via Google Maps

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A&B Auto on Colvin Street, photo via Google Maps

New plans submitted to Alexandria’s Planning Commission indicate that a gravel lot and trailer at 3120 Colvin Street could get turned into a two-story commercial building and motorcycle repair shop.

The new Colvin Street Garage building would replace the current A&B Auto lot and trailer. The new location is just up the street from the Halal slaughterhouse, which garnered some controversy back in 2020.

According to the application:

The plan proposes to remove the existing trailer and gravel parking. The plan proposes to build a two-story commercial building and the use for units A, B & C would be for motorcycle repair under “general automobile repair” and warehouse. The use of warehouse is storage, online [sales] and repair.

The Planning Commission will review the project on Tuesday, June 7.

Image via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Friday Night Lights debut at Alexandria High School stadium — “A ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Parker-Gray Memorial Stadium will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 ahead of the Titans’ first home game at 7 p.m. Speakers will include Superintendent Dr. Gregory Hutchings Jr., School Board Chair Meagan Alderton, Mayor Justin Wilson, and more. Gates will not open to the public until 6 p.m.” [Patch]

City Council extends State of Emergency to January 2022 — The Alexandria City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the state of emergency to January 31, 2022. [ALXnow]

Affordable housing could replace Alexandria Land Rover dealership — “The Beyer Auto group is vacating its Land Rover dealership at the intersection of Duke Street and Telegraph Road in favor of new, larger digs on Van Dorn Street just over the Fairfax County line. And now, there’s information about what could become of the original Land Rover Alexandria dealership: An organization is interested in building affordable housing there, according to Washington Business Journal, which first reported on the development.” [Alexandria Living]

Wegmans announces May 2022 opening in Eisenhower East — “Wegmans is building an 81,000 square-foot store in Alexandria just west of Hoffman Town Center off of Eisenhower Avenue. The grocery store at Carlyle Crossing is part of a mixed-use project on a 5-acre site.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Rain showers in the morning with scattered thunderstorms arriving in the afternoon. High 81F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 68F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New job: Crew at Trader Joe’s — “Our Crew Members create a warm and friendly shopping experience in our stores. We answer questions, offer suggestions and ensure our customers know they are welcomed and cared for. We entertain customers and make grocery shopping an exciting adventure.” [Indeed]

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Two men have been arrested after allegedly trying to resell stolen cars and nearly running over an Alexandria Police officer.

Michael Daugherty, an 18-year-old resident of Washington, D.C., and a 20-year-old man from Prince George’s County, Maryland, were arrested on Dec. 7 after allegedly fleeing the Yasini Auto Gallery near the King Street-Old Town Metro station in a stolen white Toyota RAV4.

The suspects allegedly refused an Alexandria Police officer’s order to stop and nearly hit him, according to a search warrant affidavit. The vehicle was later found abandoned less than a half mile away on Roberts Lane near the Mason Garden Apartments.

Alexandria Police have connected the incident with the November theft of multiple cars that were listed on the OfferUp website. In those cases, owners who advertised their vehicles for sale on OfferUP met the suspects at predetermined locations and were given false checks of up to $22,000. The suspects then drove away in the cars and at least one of the cars was listed on the same website.

The auto gallery ended up buying a Chevrolet Camaro for $4,000 that had been stolen on Nov. 4 after the victim had been given a false check for $23,000. The auto gallery then posted the car for sale on its OfferUp profile.

“We gonna bring you more cars anyway but we want at least 5 (thousand dollars for the Camaro),” the suspects allegedly told the Yasini representative, according to the affidavit.

After being contacted about the stolen car by Alexandria Police, the owner of the dealership reported on Dec. 7 that two of the suspects responsible for selling the vehicles were trying to sell him another one.

“Police arrived on scene… and attempted to stop the individuals in the vehicle by commanding them to stop after receiving confirmation they were the suspects,” police reported in the affidavit. “The vehicle did not stop and almost struck the officers attempting to stop the vehicle.”

Police found the suspects near the abandoned RAV4 and confirmed their identities by getting their cell phone numbers from the owner of the dealership.

Daugherty was released on bond on Dec. 8 after being charged with attempted assault on law enforcement, receiving/buying stolen goods and failure to remain at an accident involving property damage. The 20-year-old suspect was charged with violating a protective order and was released on bond that same day.

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Construction has started in Fairfax County at the new home of Beyer Automotive Group’s Land Rover Alexandria.

After more than 20 years at 2712 Duke Street, the dealership plans to move into its new home on a 5.9-acre lot at 5636 S. Van Dorn Street in 2022.

Land Rover Alexandria is co-owned by 8th District Congressman Don Beyer, who is a partner in the Falls Church-based group that owns eight dealerships throughout the region.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the plan in April.

John Altman, Beyer Automotive Group’s chief operating officer, told WTOP that the company outgrew its Alexandria location and that it’s new location will be the largest Jaguar Land Rover dealership in the Mid-Atlantic.

The two-story, 50,000-square-foot building will include up to 28 service bays and an expanded vehicle showroom, according to Fairfax County. It will also be able to hold up to 326 parking spaces and be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. About 60 employees are expected to work at the site at any one time.

Chesapeake Contracting won the contract to build the dealership at the site, which is near the Van Dorn Metro station. It is currently “undeveloped and is wooded with upland forest and open field, and features steep grades rising from South Van Dorn Street,” according to a Fairfax County staff report.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Land Rover Alexandria Is Moving — A developer “has filed plans with Fairfax County to build [an] auto dealership and service center, on a 5.6-acre parcel fronting Van Dorn Street between the Capital Beltway and McGuin Drive, just outside the city of Alexandria… Beyer Auto Group will uproot its Land Rover dealership from its 22-year home at 2712 Duke St. in Alexandria to this new location, while establishing Jaguar sales on the property as well.” [Washington Business Journal]

Water Main Break Near Hospital — An extended, partial road closure was reported near Inova Alexandria Hospital yesterday (Tuesday) evening after a water main broke at the intersection of N. Jordan and Howard streets. [Twitter]

Women’s Halfway House Opens at New Location — “Friends of Guest House, the transitional organization for formerly incarcerated women, has some new digs. Twenty women moved into Friends of Guest House’s newly opened residential six month re-entry program at 120 S. Payne Street.” [Zebra]

New Insight into Severance Case — “Years after serial killer Charles Severance terrorized Alexandria, Virginia, and was convicted in three murders, the lead prosecutor is sharing key insights into the case… ‘He wanted it to be terrifying,’ [Commonwealth’s Attorney for Alexandria Bryan] Porter said of Severance’s crimes.” [WTOP]

APD Officer Saves Man from Overdose — “An Alexandria police officer saved the life of a man who had overdosed on opioids. Read his story, and learn how you too can save a life.” [City of Alexandria, Twitter]

Tonight: Beautification Awards Ceremony — “The 2019 Alexandria Beautification Awards ceremony will recognize residents, organizations, and businesses and community groups for their efforts in contributing to the beautification of the City of Alexandria. Awards will be presented in six categories.” [City of Alexandria]

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