Updated at 3:30 p.m. on May 24 — The estimated costs of the total infrastructure improvements at the former Landmark Mall site have ballooned 40% since City Council signed off on the project in 2021, forcing the city to get creative with its financing.
Tonight (Tuesday), the City Council will vote on directing City Manager Jim Parajon to execute an agreement between the city, Landmark Land Holdings (a joint venture between Foulger-Pratt, The Howard Hughes Corp. and Seritage Growth Properties.) and Inova Healthcare Services to address the $62 million shortfall.
The increase is due to a number of issues, including inflation and equipment shortages, according to a staff report to be presented to Council. The initial agreement between the parties had the city contributing $86 million for infrastructure and $54.25 million for the future home of Alexandria Hospital for a total of $140.25 million. Now the city proposes to increase Landmark Redevelopment-related City Bonds in a “maximum aggregate principal amount sufficient” to raise $37.6 million in net construction proceeds to pay for the infrastructure improvements and interest charges on those bonds.
City staff said that worsened economic conditions pose challenges to future private investments to the project, and that “unanticipated interest rate hikes coupled with illiquidity of the debt markets further worsened by the collapse of regional banks have resulted in a deterioration of asset values.”
“The cost increase is a factor of various events including advancement of design and engineering, infrastructure, parks and open space scope refinement, supply chain disruptions, material and labor cost increase due to both inflation and shortages, and regional competition due to the prevalence of major projects stimulated in part by federal infrastructure funding,” city staff reported.
Additionally, “While the Developer was able to value engineer approximately $17 million in savings, the overall cost for infrastructure improvements has increased by approximately $45 million based on executed guaranteed maximum price construction contracts for approximately 70% of the infrastructure costs.”
In March, City Council unanimously approved the Inova at Landmark project, which 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. Inova wants to start construction on its 1.1 million-square-foot project in 2024 and have the four-building hospital campus finished by 2028.
The hospital takes up a fifth of the total land use on the 52-acre West End Alexandria development, the rest of which is dedicated to residential, commercial and medical offices.
The proposed plan to address the funding gap is below:
- Landmark Land Holdings has agreed to cover approximately $7.5 million of the funding gap by waiving fee on increased costs and increasing its equity contribution, further reducing its developer fee, and shifting a portion of the infrastructure improvement costs to individual vertical parcel developments
- The City will fund $37.6 million of the funding gap through the increased issuance of City Bonds to be repaid from synthetic Incremental Tax Revenues (real property tax, retail sales and use tax, meals tax, and transient lodging tax) generated from the Landmark site. The CDA will increase the special assessment backstop to account for this increased issuance
- Block D in the project will be dedicated as workforce housing
- The parties will explore exemption/removal of Block J (Affordable Housing/Fire Station) from the Landmark Community Development Authority special assessment obligations and from assessments related to a future business improvement service district to increase feasibility of affordable housing at Block J
- For two years, Landmark Land Holdings will identify and make available up to three pop-up spaces for local businesses with a minimum of 90 days to operate with their license agreement becoming month-to-month after the initial 90 days
It’s been a busy week in Alexandria.
City Council unanimously approved City Manager Jim Parajon’s $884.3 million fiscal year 2024 budget, funding citywide pay increases, a fully funded school system and collective bargaining agreements with the police and fire departments.
On Thursday night, the School Board announced that Interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt has been promoted to superintendent. Kay-Wyatt has led Alexandria’s 16,000 student-strong school system since the beginning of this school year after the resignation of Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. So far, she’s managed ACPS through post-pandemic educational issues, an increase in juvenile crime and the ACPS budget process. Her four-year contract ends on June 30, 2027, and her annual salary is $265,000.
Much of the week was punctuated by crime incidents, including a gunfire incidents in Landmark, an attempted carjacking on Duke Street and another shots fired incident near the Braddock Road Metro station.
- New tool maps out income and racial inequality across Alexandria
- Fairfax County man sentenced 10 years for 110-mph Duke Street crash that killed man
- Teen arrested for attempted carjacking on Duke Street
- Carjacking suspect arrested after midnight pursuit on King Street
- JUST IN: Police investigating shots fired incident near Braddock Road Metro station
- JUST IN: ACPS to announce new superintendent on Thursday
- Fundraiser established for family of the ACHS student who died this week
- Brothers want Tex-Mex restaurant ‘Dos Hermanos’ to open in Del Ray in June
- Mount Vernon Avenue closed near George Washington Middle School due to gas leak
- No arrest after shots fired in Landmark area Sunday morning
- Upcoming free tour explores the hidden history of Alexandria’s Parker-Gray neighborhood
Have a safe weekend!
A 28-year-old Fairfax County man wanted for a Jan. 4 shooting incident faces numerous charges after allegedly striking an Alexandria Police Department cruiser in the Landmark area earlier this month.
Police arrested Mengesha Mnat after a brief chase on April 3, after he allegedly pulled into the 7-Eleven parking lot at 6120 Lincolnia Road, according to a recently released search warrant affidavit. Police said Mnat parked facing the street and struck a police cruiser as APD approached his car to make an arrest.
Police tracked Mnat to an apartment complex less than a mile away near the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Southland Avenue. He was reportedly pursued by APD investigators and the K9 unit.
“Mr. Mnat parked the vehicle and fled on foot, (and) while running your affiant could observe Mr. Mnat manipulating his hands around his waistband,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.
The following was recovered from the suspect’s “flight path”:
- A loaded Glock handgun
- 11.8 grams of suspected fentanyl, which field-tested positive
- 5.8 grams of suspected cocaine
- 1.5 pills of Oxycodone
Mnat is suspected in a Jan. 4 shooting incident in the 6100 block of Lincolnia Road. He was charged with discharging a firearm in a public place, resisting arrest, disregarding police commands to stop, assault on law enforcement, hit and run (property damage), possession of Schedule I/II drugs with a firearm, and possession to distribute Schedule I/II drugs.
Mnat goes to court on April 26.
Notification:: There is a moderate police presence in the 6100 block of Lincolnia Road. This is in response to a shots fired call for service, no injuries were reported in connection with the incident. APD is on the scene and investigating. pic.twitter.com/jSQl6tsUUz
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) January 5, 2023
Image via Google Maps
Traffic might be a little slower around Lincolnia and Landmark this week due to lane closures on Duke Street.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said in a release that there will be daytime closures on Duke Street between Oasis Drive and South Walker Street starting today (Tuesday) through Thursday.
“Single-lane closures along eastbound and westbound Duke Street will take place Tuesday between noon and 3:30 p.m.,” VDOT said in the release, “and Wednesday and Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.”
The shift will allow the deck to be replaced on the eastbound side of the bridge over I-395, part of the rehabilitation of the Duke Street bridge. The improvements aim to extend the life of the bridge and boost safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The project’s website said improvements for the bridge include:
- Replacing the concrete bridge deck and beams
- Upgrading the westbound sidewalk to a shared-use path
- Widening the eastbound sidewalk
The project is scheduled for completion this winter.
According to the release:
Once the shift is complete, the eastbound Duke Street lanes over I-395 will be temporarily routed over the westbound side of the bridge alongside the westbound lanes. This shift will allow the deck to be replaced on the eastbound side of the bridge. In addition, as part of the shift, drivers along the northbound I-395 ramp to westbound Duke Street will temporarily encounter a stop sign instead of a yield at the end of the ramp. These traffic patterns are scheduled to be in place until mid-summer.
Alexandria: On Tue 4/11 from noon-3:30PM, and Wed 4/12-Thu 4/13 from 9:30AM-3:30PM each day, Duke St (Rt 236) will have single-lane closures at I-395 to implement a traffic shift as part of the bridge rehab project. More info: https://t.co/MHunSHokhi pic.twitter.com/ZNnT6ks3Kj
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) April 10, 2023
Image via Google Maps
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.
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.
City Council is back for our March Public Hearing.
Today we are considering the final approval of our new Alexandria Hospital at the site of the former Landmark Mall. pic.twitter.com/voMQXaEt4j
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) March 18, 2023
No arrests have been made since a man was fatally shot in the Landmark area on Friday night.
The Alexandria Police Department was dispatched to the 200 block of S. Reynolds Street at around 11:30 p.m. for reports of a man shot in the upper body. Multiple callers reported to police that a black SUV fled the area after the incident.
“Officers discovered a man with trauma to his upper body and rendered first aid until rescue personnel arrived,” APD said in a release. “The victim was then transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
The man has not been identified, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy.
This is the third shooting death of 2023 in the city, following the death of a teenager in the West End in January and a homicide in Arlandria last month.
Anyone with information on this incident can call Detective Michael Whelan at 703-746-6228, via email at [email protected], or through the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.
Map via Google Maps
News Release: The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred in the 200 block of South Reynolds Street.
Read more: https://t.co/mRZ6Z0N54B pic.twitter.com/XSYnZTjl5O
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 4, 2023
Notification:: There is a moderate police presence in the 300 block of South Reynolds Street, this is in response to a shots fired incident. One person was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. APD is on scene and investigating the incident. pic.twitter.com/QngXKuOBSx
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 4, 2023
A 45-year-old man is being held without bond in connection with a stabbing in the West End on Saturday evening, according to the Alexandria Police Department.
Police were dispatched just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, to the ninth floor of an apartment building in the 300 block of S. Reynolds Street for a report of shots fired and found the victim suffering from a non-lethal stab wound to the midsection.
The suspect, Akkeim Edwards, was arrested without incident and charged with felonious assault. He goes to court for the incident on March 15.
Edwards was sentenced to 90 days in the Alexandria jail for indecent exposure in 2011, with a year suspended. He was also found guilty of trespassing in 2020, and spent two months in jail, with two years of supervised probation, according to court records.
The incident is still under investigation, police said, and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Edmund Dougherty at 703-746-6697, email at [email protected], or by calling the Alexandria Police Department non-emergency number at 703-746-44444. Callers can remain anonymous.
Notification:: There is a heavy police presence in the 300 block of South Reynolds Street. This is in response to a felonious assault incident. Two victims sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital. APD is on scene and investigating. pic.twitter.com/lDaDRIbBCv
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) February 5, 2023
News Release:: The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a stabbing incident that occurred on Saturday.
Read more:: https://t.co/FTMOWnMVHl pic.twitter.com/LReKoL84W1
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) February 8, 2023
The massive Inova at Landmark project is headed to the Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council for final approval in March and the project could wrap by 2028.
The city released Inova’s development site use permit application last week and it includes new renderings for the 930,000-square-foot hospital campus. The Planning Commission’s public hearing on the project is on Tuesday, March 7, and the City Council public hearing will be held on Saturday, March 18.
Inova, which has held numerous public meetings on the project, wants construction to occur between 2024 and 2028. That schedule is subject to change, Inova’s attorney Cathy Puskar previously told ALXnow.
Inova at Landmark includes 675,000 square feet devoted to the new hospital, 130,000 square feet to a cancer center and 110,000 square feet to a specialty outpatient care center. The inpatient hospital is designed to be nine stories tall and includes a roof tower to hide hospital mechanical equipment that would make the structure 175-feet tall (16 stories).
Inova signed a 99-year ground lease for the property more than two years ago, and sent its first wrecking ball into the former Landmark Mall in May 2022. The old above-ground 550-space parking garage is the only structure that remains, and it will be retrofitted into the new hospital campus.
The project makes up a fifth of the total land use on the 52-acre West End Alexandria development. The city bought the 11-acre parcel of land for $54 million from The Howard Hughes Corporation in 2021, and Inova has a 99-year ground lease for the hospital land.
The project was designed by Ballinger and Ennead Architects, and is being managed by Inova.
A 32-year-old D.C. man is being held without bond after an armed carjacking in the West End.
The incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, when the male victim was walking to a construction job in the 400 block of S. Van Dorn Street. The victim parked his Toyota Tundra and walked a short distance when the suspect approached him from behind and pointed a handgun at him and demanded his property, according to a recently released search warrant affidavit.
The victim told police that the suspect stole his car, keys, phone, a chain necklace and a box cutter. Police tried chasing the stolen Tundra, but it eluded them.
“The vehicle refused to stop for numerous law enforcement officers,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “In the process, the vehicle struck one vehicle that was stopped at an intersection.”
Donte Tavon Thomas was arrested near the abandoned Tundra under the Van Dorn Street Bridge, which is in the Carlyle area. Police also found a handgun with an extended magazine on the ground within “arms reach” of Thomas, according to the search warrant affidavit.
Thomas was charged with armed robbery, receiving a stolen firearm, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, providing a false identity to law enforcement, eluding police, and property damage hit-and-run.
The City of Alexandria is looking at adding protected bike lanes (page 21) to Eisenhower Avenue and South Pickett Street in the Van Dorn neighborhood.
A report to the Transportation Commission last week reviewed some of the plans for adding protected bike lanes around the city. The plan, as recommended in the Complete Streets Five-Year Plan reviewed in June, includes adding these new bike lanes sometime in the next five years.
Protected bike lanes are facilities that are fully separated from vehicular traffic with a physical divider, like a curb, bollards or planters.
The protected bike lanes would run on:
- South Pickett Street (from Duke Street to Edsall Road)
- Eisenhower Avenue (from South Van Dorn Street to Holmes Run Parkway)
While that stretch of Eisenhower has traditionally been industrial areas and small clusters of local businesses, the area is gradually urbanizing with large swaths of new residential development planned.
According to a report filed at the Transportation Commission:
Staff have taken steps aimed to streamline decision-making regarding bicycle lane design and implementation. The adoption of the Curbside Prioritization Framework in the Alexandria Mobility Plan (AMP) helps staff identify where bike lanes would be a high priority. As part of this framework, bike lanes, among other items included in City plans, were identified as the highest priority use in all land use contexts.
The report said protected bike lanes are an important strategy for meeting the needs of riders of all ages and abilities.
Bike lanes have not always been fondly received in Alexandria: bike lanes were paired with a road diet on Seminary Road that stirred up some local controversy in 2019.
Image via Google Maps