Newsletter

This week was a mix of big plans for the future in Alexandria and concerns about public feedback on city projects.

The top story this week was on Sunday, when a driver struck and killed local resident Roy Saravia Alvarez. The driver, Fredy Ortiz-Dominguez of Hyattsville, Maryland, was arrested last night and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Here were the most-read stories around ALXnow this week:

  1. UPDATED: Pedestrian struck and killed in Arlandria
  2. Construction begins for Inova’s massive Oakville Triangle project
  3. Petition gains steam to save Torpedo Factory artist studios
  4. Multi-use development at 1300 King Street could be finished by late 2022, says developer
  5. City considers axing Complete Streets feedback form
  6. Deterioration forces additional closures to Arlington-Alexandria bridge
  7. Francis C. Hammond Middle School student suspended for alleged ‘shooting up the school’ message
  8. Alexandria looks to improve Van Dorn Street bridge and Holmes Run Trail crossing
  9. Archeologists discover new pieces of early 19th century waterfront brewery in Old Town
  10. New field lighting baked into Minnie Howard campus expansion permitting
0 Comments

After an extensive period of community discussion and development, the new townhouse portion of the Oakville Triangle development (2610 Richmond Highway) is headed to city review later this year.

“The applicant is seeking approval of a development special use permit with site plan to construct 84 fee simple townhomes with the accompanying subdivision,” developer Tri Pointe Homes DC Metro Inc. wrote in the permit application.

The DSUP is required for adding more than eight dwelling units to a single townhouse structure. The project’s transportation management plan special use permit is scheduled for Planning Commission review at the Thursday, Nov. 4, meeting.

The 84-townhouses are one part of broader plans to turn Oakville Triangle into new development. Plans for Oakville Triangle center around the new construction of an Inova HealthPlex as an anchor to the site, much like plans for a new Inova hospital to anchor redevelopment at Landmark Mall.

In addition to townhomes, the site is planned to have multi-family buildings and mixed-use development, along with an overhaul of Mount Jefferson Park. Overall plans for the site were approved in 2020, and now the Oakville Triangle developers are working through the specifics of the individual pieces of the development.

“Tri-Pointe has worked in conjunction with the overall guidelines of the Oakville Triangle Route One Corridor Plan and is meeting most of the overall goals of the plan with this proposal,” the developer wrote in the application. “Because of staff’s desire for a north/south vehicular street, the applicant adjusted their initial proposal and now requests the layout as depicted on the attached plans. The layout includes a request for several modifications of the Design Guidelines found in the Oakville Triangle Route One Corridor in an effort to best utilize the site.”

Photos via Tri Pointe Homes DC Metro Inc.

9 Comments

The Oakville Triangle redevelopment is progressing steadily, as developer Stonebridge has reportedly secured the $300 million in financing necessary for its construction, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg did not discuss the terms of the financing on the 13-acre property from Los Angeles-based investment company PCCP, although it means that the timeline for the project is on track to be unveiled in the fall of 2023.

The massive Oakville Triangle project is located at the corner of Fannon Street and Richmond Highway — just down Richmond Highway from National Landing and the Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, and includes more than 1 million square feet of residential space dedicated to apartments, the 93,000-square-foot Inova HealthPlex and 55,000 square feet of retail.

The project goes before the Planning Commission and City Council this November.

3 Comments

Morning Notes

Beyer Calls for Accountability in Wake of Capitol Siege — “The idea that we would just move on and not hold those responsible for this accountable is immoral.” [Twitter]

Stonebridge Sells Piece Of Oakville Triangle Site To Townhouse Builder — “Stonebridge is under contract to sell a 3.5-acre piece of the site to Winchester Homes to build an 84-unit townhouse project, Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg tells Bisnow.” [Bisnow]

City Warns Against Icy Roads — “With potential winter weather in the morning, roads may quickly turn icy. If you’re commuting Thursday morning, plan for extra travel time and use caution.” [Twitter]

Emergency Utility Assistance is Available — “If you were unable to pay your Virginia American Water or Washington Gas bills between March 1 and October 31, 2020 as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for assistance. Deadlines to apply are Jan 29 for water bills and Jan 31 for gas.” [Twitter]

Italian War Bride Turns 100 in Alexandria — “For Ada’s 100th, a few close friends and family, including daughter Daria, granddaughter Nathalie, and friend Betty, socially-distanced at The Hermitage. The party ensued with a sheet cake, flowers, gifts, a myriad of birthday cards from friends unable to attend, and video-chatting with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.” [Zebra]

City Seeks Feedback on Old Cameron Run Trail — “Ending Sun. Jan. 31: the feedback period to provide input on the proposed design for the Old Cameron Run Trail: alexandriava.gov/116739 The 0.53-mile shared-use path btwn Hooffs Run Dr. in Eisenhower East & S. Payne St. in the Southwest Quadrant. The City wants to hear from you!” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Windy. Cloudy skies will become sunny in the afternoon. High 36F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph. Higher wind gusts possible… Mainly clear early (in the evening), then a few clouds later on. Low 23F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph.”[Weather.com]

New Job: Private Piano Teacher — “Old Town Music School, an old fashioned preparatory Music School in Old Town Alexandria for over 20 years, is expanding and hiring a community of professional musicians/teachers who offer a nurturing, positive and personal approach to piano lessons. Students are beginning through advanced intermediate levels. Seeking out-going, motivated and fun teachers to join our faculty.” [Indeed]

5 Comments

Shortly after the City Council approved overall plans for the new Oakville Triangle, developers are coming back to the city next Tuesday (Dec. 5) with specific development applications for various pieces of the development.

Developers have submitted three applications for sites in the development area, including the creation of development blocks and the medical facility. The first application would lay out a street grid and infrastructure for the new development. In total, four development blocks would be created.

In a report, staff recommended approval of the creation of four development blocks and easements to start laying out the road network.

“Staff recommends approval of the requested Development Site Plan (Infrastructure Plan) with a subdivision to create the development parcels, open spaces and the required streets and a vacation of portions of right-of-way on Oakville Street, subject to compliance with City codes, ordinances and staff recommendations,” city staff said.

The second application is for the Inova Healthplex — specifically to allow construction with a parking reduction and an illuminated sign higher than 35 feet above ground, modifications to the tree-canopy requirement, and an exception to height-to-setback requirements. Staff recommended approval of the development special use permit (DSUP).

The third permit request being heard at the Planning Commission meeting is for the creation of two multifamily units being built on the development parcels in the first application.

“The applicant requests approval of two Development Special Use Permits with site plans and modifications, and associated Special Use Permits,” staff said in a report, “including encroachments into the public right-of-way for building canopies, in order to construct two multifamily buildings at approximately 715,000 sf (square feet) with 577 units and 55,000 sf of ground floor retail, site-wide landscaping, streetscape and infrastructure improvements, as part of the Oakville Triangle Phase 1 redevelopment.”

If approved at the Planning Commission, the applications would move forward to the City Council at its Jan. 23 meeting and the applicant would have until Jan. 24, 2024 to start construction.

Image via City of Alexandria

2 Comment

Morning Notes

Virginia Tech Students Help Design Oakville Triangle — “A group of local Virginia Tech students in an architecture studio class got the opportunity to reimagine a small section of Alexandria this semester.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Carolers Serenade Goodwin House Staff — “The carolers arrived in Dickensian costumes  as a trio and sang classic as well as beautiful newer arrangements of traditional Christmas carols, well-known winter favorites, and gems of Channukah pieces with gorgeous harmonies.” [Zebra]

Expected Snow Closes ACPS, but Virtual Learning Continues — “On Dec. 16, virtual learning will continue, but ACPS buildings and grounds are closed. All programs and services at ACPS school buildings and facilities are canceled, including meal distribution, child care programs offered by ACPS partners, and the Tech Help Desk.” [Patch]

Del Ray Street Goes Big for Holidays — “Just take a walk down East Luray Avenue. For a few blocks on East Luray west of Mount Vernon Avenue, more than two dozen houses are decorated not only with lights but also with brightly painted 4-by-6-foot plywood sheets.” [Washington Post]

City Seeking Assistant City Manager for Public-Private Partnerships — “As a member of the City Manager’s Senior Leadership Team, the Assistant City Manager for Public- Private Partnerships reports to the City Manager and a Deputy City Manager and is responsible for leading the overall public private partnership initiatives for the City primarily via capital project planning and financing…” [Glassdoor]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

2 Comment

New plans for the Oakville Triangle received an overwhelmingly positive reception from the City Council at the public hearing on Saturday and unanimous approval.

Plans for the Oakville Triangle include a new Inova HealthPlex and other land use changes. Plans presented to the City Council show dramatically scaled back retail and office space in the area compared to what was approved in 2015.

The new plan reduced retail from 193,900 to 65,000 square fee. and office density from 135,200 to 115,000 square feet — following a trend of reduced retail density in new developments.

“You’d rather have less retail than empty retail,” explained developer Doug Firstenberg at the meeting. “I think we’ve sized it and still bring a good mix of uses.”

The plan also includes an expansion of Mount Jefferson Park and improvements, a move praised by City Council members.

“This plan is so much better than the 2015 plan,” said Councilwoman Del Pepper. “I like the park. I like the way it’s situated. It makes it more of a usable park and it’s such a plus. And of course we can hardly let go of the fact that the health care [center] is going to be moved there. All these things will not only help the community but help development up and down Route 1. This is really a terrific change. I felt like we had a whole new project here and it’s so superior to what we had.”

Duncan Blair, an attorney representing the applicant, said projects within the development will be back in January for special use permits and infrastructure.

“The goal is to have this project under construction quickly,” Blair said.

Images via City of Alexandria

0 Comments

Developers are planning to host an online meeting next week to update the public on plans to build a large new health center at the heart of the redeveloping Oakville Triangle.

Stonebridge and Inova Health Systems held meetings earlier this year discussing proposed plans to build a “Inova HealthPlex” — which will have emergency room services, an outpatient care center and medical offices. The developers gathered community feedback and submitted concept development applications.

Now Inova and Stonebridge are coming back with new designs for public consideration.

“The community is invited to participate in the applicants’ next virtual engagement opportunity on Tuesday, November 10th at 6 p.m.,” the city said on its website. “The live presentation will be held via Zoom where the community may ask questions directly in the online forum. Meeting topics include an update to the project schedule in preparation for upcoming public hearings, updated conceptual renderings of building and site designs, updates to the Block C open space design, among others.”

The call in number for the meeting is 301-715-8592 and the passcode is 287000.

The project is planned for review by the Planning Commission and City Council this fall and development special use permits in early 2021.

Images via City of Alexandria

2 Comment

Morning Notes

Alexandrian Killed in D.C. Shooting — “Metropolitan Police identified Montrell Lucas, 18, of Alexandria, as one of two victims who were killed Tuesday night. Police responded to the 1600 block of Maryland Avenue Northeast around 8:46 p.m. for a report of a shooting and found three victims.” [Patch]

D.C. Company Sends Out Incomplete Ballot Applications — “Judith, a city of Alexandria resident, received the letter, which includes a partially completed application for a mail-in voting ballot and a pre-addressed and prepaid envelope to send the application to her registrar’s office. But her ballot application would have gone to the wrong address.” [NBC4]

Inova Reveals Design for New Healthplex in Oakville Triangle — “Oakville Triangle, located on the opposite side of Route 1 from the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and the Metro, will see new residential, some retail and public open space adjacent to Mount Jefferson Park. The new Inova Healthplex will feature an emergency room as well as other outpatient services and medical services.” [Alexandria Living]

Annual Classic Car Show Postponed to 2021 — “After careful consideration, the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to not move forward with the re-scheduled September event.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 84F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Alexandria Police are Hiring — “Interested in applying for our department? Register for our upcoming tests using the link below!” [Twitter]

New Job: Land Acquisition Manager — “If you’ve been involved in land acquisition/development for a publicly-traded homebuilder we would like to connect. We are developing residential and mixed-use communities for the future.” [Indeed]

2 Comments

Alexandria wants community input on the latest plans regarding the proposed Oakville Triangle redevelopment, and another Zoom meeting is planned early next month.

Inova Alexandria Hospital plans to accommodate development at National Landing and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus by expanding it services with a new HealthPlex in the city’s Oakville Triangle neighborhood.

The proposed facility will offer emergency room services, an outpatient care center and medical offices. Construction is expected begin next year, and the facility is slated to open at the corner of Fannon Street and Richmond Highway in the fall of 2023.

The city also wants feedback on a new .75 acre public park that will be built adjacent to Mount Jefferson Park before the entire plan goes before the Planning Commission this fall.

“Meeting topics include an update to the preliminary traffic analysis, a summary of community feedback from the Open Space survey, and conceptual renderings of the building and site design,” according to the city.

The Zoom meeting will be held August 4 at 6 p.m.

Map via Google Maps

2 Comment
×

Subscribe to our mailing list