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
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Staff photo by Jay Westcott
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
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
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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
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The developers behind the Oakville Triangle redevelopment say the project has been dramatically reshaped by the decline of brick-and-mortar retail.
Early designs for the project were of a predominately retail district set up across several blocks near Mount Jefferson Park, but Doug Firstenberg, a principal with development investment firm Stonebridge, said in a video that the 13-acre project near Potomac Yard is being reshaped.
“The original design for the Oakville Project was going to include exclusive retail near Mount Jefferson Park,” Fistenberg said. “So what’s changed? The retail world changed a few years ago and it’s, unfortunately, changing again.”
Firstenberg said the idea of a predominately retail district isn’t economically feasible. Now, neighborhood-serving retail will be focused on the new buildings facing Richmond Highway. A hotel that was also planned for the site has also been scrapped.
Instead, a large section of the development at the western end of the site will be replaced with townhouses and the area will be the site of a new Inova HealthPlex.
“The HealthPlex is a standalone emergency room with other complementary standalone services,” said Dr. Rina Bansal, President and CEO of Inova Alexandria.
Bansal said the HealthPlex will feature a full-service emergency room, surgery center, and medical office space. The site is designed for outpatient care only, meaning patients cannot stay for more than 23 hours.
One of the local benefits of the change is a 34,000 square-foot expansion of Mount Jefferson Park. Firstenberg said early community feedback indicated that the park was viewed as a crucial community resource and expansion of that was prioritized.
Firstenberg said the developer is targeting Planning Commission and City Council review in November for the small area plan and the first quarter of next year for a special use permit. Firstenberg said that timeline is important to keep the project on track for summer 2021 construction and opening in the third and fourth quarters of 2023.
A press release noted that feedback can be submitted through the project website.