Alexandria, VA

(Updated 4 p.m.) Shortly after the first community meeting on plans for Landmark Mall, Inova is planning to host a second meeting tomorrow to discuss potential rezoning of Inova Alexandria Hospital’s current Seminary Hill site.

Current plans for the hospital are to be rezoned and redeveloped as residential properties, a move that has drawn some praise from local civic associations, according to Alexandria Living Magazine.

Still, the final vision for what new development looks like at the current Seminary Hill location is unclear. The City clarified that no permits or plans have been approved so far.

According to a news release from the City of Alexandria:

On December 22, Inova, in partnership with Foulger-Pratt and the City, announced a redevelopment proposal to construct a new hospital and mixed-use district at the former Landmark Mall site. In order to facilitate the relocation of the hospital from its current location to Landmark Mall, Inova plans to work with the community as it moves forward with a request to rezone the existing hospital site at Seminary Road for a variety of residential uses.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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(Updated 1:25 p.m.) It’s been a couple weeks since plans for Inova Health System to spearhead redevelopment of Landmark Mall were announced, and in the last few days more details have emerged.

In a meeting last night, developers outlined plans to build a state-of-the-art medical facility with a trauma center, helipad, 230 patient rooms and more. The project will also reportedly come with 4 million square feet of new development, including housing, retail, and other uses.

What will happen to the current Inova site on Seminary Hill when the hospital moves is less clear. The property is currently planned to be rezoned for residential development.

Image via City of Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Details Emerge in New Landmark Mall Plan — “Construction will happen over several years, likely starting with the demolition of the Landmark Mall building as early as 2022.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Office of Historic Alexandria Debuts Parker-Gray Commemorative Website — “Today the Office of Historic Alexandria launched a website to honor the opening of Parker-Gray High School in 1920. The page provides a wealth of history, including information about alumni, staff, and faculty.” [Zebra]

Alexandria Health Department Vaccinates Healthcare Workers — “Between December 24 and January 4, AHD administered 1,032 doses of vaccine, over the course of three vaccination events.” [City of Alexandria]

Bishop Ireton Seeking New Principal — “Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia seeks candidates for the position of Principal, with an official start date of July 1, 2021” [National Board for Professional Teacher Standards]

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The primary forces behind the Landmark Mall redevelopment are hosting a meeting tonight to discuss upcoming details of the project.

Foulger-Pratt, Inova Health System, City of Alexandria are hosting a virtual meeting tonight (Monday) from 7-8:30 pm. to discuss plans for the joint four million-square-foot project that will include a new medical campus at the former Landmark Mall. Plans call for a project that would revitalize the West End with a “new mixed-use, walkable urban village.”

Mayor Justin Wilson said in his January newsletter that the redevelopment will bring a billion dollars in new investments to the region.

“Despite over two decades of decline, it is not a mystery why we had been unable to spur redevelopment on this site in the past,” Wilson wrote. “It is a complicated site, with a complicated ownership structure requiring significant infrastructure investment.”

The video can be watched via YouTube or Facebook Live and questions can be submitted in advance.

“Inova would create a new medical campus, anchored by a relocated and expanded Alexandria Hospital,” the City of Alexandria said in a press release. “The site would include residential, retail, commercial and entertainment offerings integrated into a cohesive neighborhood with a central plaza, a network of parks and public spaces, a new fire-EMS station, and a transit hub serving bus rapid transit, DASH, and Metrobus.”

Image via City of Alexandria

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Two years after it filmed in Alexandria’s Landmark Mall and D.C., Wonder Woman 1984 was released on HBO on Christmas.

The revived Landmark Mall is featured in an early action sequence, thought the exterior shots of the mall changed the name and Fairfax County police — not Alexandria — are featured in the scene. In 1984, the mall would have also been an outdoor mall, as the mall was only enclosed in 1990. The film also features several scenes in Georgetown and other parts of D.C.

Locals online said they got a kick out of seeing Landmark Mall in a restored state before its turned into a hospital.

If you saw the movie, do you think it lived up to the hype? Sound off in the comments:

Photo via Warner Brothers

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The City of Alexandria announced today that it has reached an agreement with Inova Health System and the Landmark Mall property owners to create a new hospital campus and mixed-use development at Landmark Mall.

The new campus would relocate the existing hospital on Seminary Hill and expand to over 2,000 healthcare workers. Construction could begin as soon as 2023 with the first parts of the campus coming online in 2025.

“The proposed development would revitalize the West End of Alexandria by transforming the unoccupied, enclosed mall site into a mixed-use, walkable urban village,” the city said on its website. “Inova, the leading nonprofit health care provider in Northern Virginia, would invest $1 billion to create a new medical campus, anchored by the relocation and expansion of its Alexandria Hospital and more than 2,000 health care workers.”

The development would also include residential, retail, commercial and entertainment uses in the surrounding area as part of a central plaza — a longtime feature of Landmark Mall redevelopment plans — along with a planned new transit hub.

“Affordable and workforce housing would be enhanced through developer contributions and co-location with community facilities such as a new Alexandria Fire-EMS station,” the city said.

The new plan comes after years of uncertainty about the now-empty mall’s future.

The new plans for Landmark Mall are being planned in tandem with Inova’s plans to open a facility at the planned Oakville Triangle development.

“This plan for the future of the Landmark site is exciting, long-awaited news for our community,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson in the city’s announcement. “The project would be a catalyst for the West End, providing significant benefits for Alexandria and the region at a time when focus on our long-term future is critical.”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Photographer Searches for Couple That Proposed in Old Town — “Who had a romantic engagement tonight in front of the tree in Old Town Alexandria (Market Square)? My friend inadvertently caught your proposal when she took a photo of the tree and would love to make sure you got it.” [Twitter]

Landmark Mall Lives Again on Christmas in WW84 — “Wonder Woman 1984, a portion of which was filmed at Alexandria’s Landmark Mall, will be released Christmas Day, Dec. 25.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

City Clarifies Curbside Pickup Schedule — “Curbside refuse collection (trash, recycling, yard waste) is collected as normal during the month of December, with the exception of Dec. 24, when we ask for those routes to set out material by 6am.” [Twitter]

ACPS Seeking After-School Teachers — “T.C. Williams After-School Credit Recovery Program… Must be certified in the specific subject content areas , and able to address learning standards, differentiate instruction, and have strong organizational and classroom management skills. EL Certified strongly encouraged to apply.” [Top School Jobs]

Staff photo by James Cullum

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As the city prepares to head into 2021, staff and Transportation Commissioners have been putting together a New Year’s resolution of top transit priorities for the next two fiscal years.

In a report prepared for tomorrow’s Transportation Commission meeting, 20 planned transit projects were ranked by their priority to staff and commission members.

The top scoring item was the Landmark Transit Hub, a planned nexus of bus rapid transit, Dash and Metro bus traffic in the West End.

“[The goal is to] provide an urban transit hub within the neighborhood… to serve as a stop and transfer point for bus rapid transit, DASH, and Metro Bus service,” staff said in a description of the project. “Bus stops will be provided as on-street parallel spaces.”

The new transit hub was listed as costing over $5 million with a ten-year timeframe to start construction. A presentation from staff in 2018 said that Landmark Mall is the most-used non-Metro station transit location in Alexandria and is a critical transfer hub for various bus lines.

Part of the new hub would be a series of bus terminals to allow smooth transfer between bus routes, as well as access to the planned transitway in the area.

The next highest ranked priority was the expansion of bike trails in Alexandria based on earlier-identified needs.

“Bike and multi-use trail projects were prioritized for the 2016 update to the Ped/Bike Chapter of the Master Plan,” staff said. “This project compiles at least 7 of the 10 prioritized projects that call for the construction of 4.8 miles of new trails.”

Image via City of Alexandria

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It’s the end of a busy week in Alexandria.

This week, our top story was City Council’s decision to extend the state of emergency in the city until March 31, 2021. That means that by the spring the city will have been under a state of emergency for more than a year.

Council also approved a proposal adding Virginia Tech’s initials to the Potomac Yard Metro station. Now the name “Potomac Yard – VT” goes before the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for final approval.

Evenings have been busy on the crime front, as there were calls for shots fired on Monday nightTuesday morning and Wednesday night.

Alexandria City Public Schools, on Friday, also sent out surveys to families regarding a phased reentry for in-person instruction, while reporting that 93% of students have checked into their online classes. Parents of younger students are complaining about too much screen time, and ACPS staff will present the School Board with an update on how the VirtualPLUS+ model is going in mid-October.

On Thursday, hundreds of residents honored late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a candlelight vigil.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. UPDATE: Alexandria City Council Extends State of Emergency to March 2021
  2. ‘Landmark Overlook’ Would Completely Transform 8 Acres Across from Landmark Mall
  3. Alexandria Commuters to be Impacted by Arlington National Cemetery Metro Station Improvements
  4. Alexandria Restauranteur Participates in COVID-19 Vaccine Trial
  5. ‘Lipstick On A Pig’: BAR Rejects Heritage Old Town Proposal
  6. Did You Know: There’s An Old Bell in the Alexandria City Hall Clock Tower
  7. Just Listed in Alexandria
  8. West End Assisted Living Facility Going to Alexandria Planning Commission
  9. Police Investigate Shots Fired in Landmark Area
  10. ‘why ALEXANDRIA’ Podcast Launches in Del Ray
  11. Restaurants and Other Businesses for Sale in Alexandria

Have a safe weekend!

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Alexandria Police are investigating a report of gunfire near apartments in the Landmark area of the West End.

Police tweeted on Monday night that they were investigating a call for service in the 200 block of North Pickett Street.

Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow that police are investigating multiple shots fired, and that no one was reportedly injured.

There have been numerous calls for shots fired in the city over the last several months. The incident occurred near Landmark Honda and the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library on Duke Street.

Map via Google Maps

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