The 367-unit residential development The Rutherford is headed to Planning Commission review tomorrow and makes use of a relatively recent new policy that codified an older trade.
The project is a multifamily building set on a 4.5 acre site at 5000 Seminary Road, next to the Hilton Mark Center. Of those 367 units, 25 will be committed affordable units. The developer is also contributing $811,547 to the Housing Trust Fund.
The staff report noted that The Rutherford is the first application within the Beauregard Small Area Plan to use the increase in density in exchange for housing approved back in 2020. The practice was a longstanding one for developments in Alexandria, but The Rutherford is the first in the Beauregard area to use the new official guidelines.
“The applicant noted that the proposed project is the first application within the BSAP to involve an increase in density following the adoption of the 2020 Housing Policy Update and underscored its efforts to maximize the total affordable housing contribution,” the report said. “Pursuant to the BSAP, developer contributions are charged on net new development and are intended to offset plan-wide and neighborhood-specific impacts to infrastructure, public facilities, affordable housing, and other city priorities by new development.”
The project is also set to have 405 parking spaces in two levels of underground parking. A presentation on the project notes that city staff are currently recommending approval of the project.
The project’s development special use permit, coordinated sign permit and transportation management plan are scheduled for review on Tuesday, June 6.
(Updated 2:50 p.m.) The westbound lanes of Seminary Road between the 4600 and 4700 blocks — near Francies C. Hammond Middle School — have reopened following a two-vehicle car crash that temporarily shut down traffic.
Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) spokesperson Raytevia Evans said the call for an accident went out around 2 p.m.
“AFD units were dispatched, including rescue squad to help get a car door open,” Evans said. Two individuals sustained nonlife-threatening injuries, and both are being transported for additional treatment.”
Evans said police are at the scene of the incident and road closures were in place for the westbound side of Seminary Road.
Notification:: Due to a two-vehicle car crash, the 4600-4700 westbound lanes of Seminary Road are temporarily closed. Non-life-threatening injuries were reported. APD and AFD are on scene. pic.twitter.com/fp5pFRSgSW
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 17, 2023
James Cullum and Vernon Miles
Image via Google Maps
The conversion of a high-rise West End office building into a 212-unit apartment tower has been completed, according to developer PRP.
Washington, D.C.-based firm PRP bought the 12-story, 209,000-square-foot property at 4900 Seminary Road in 2018. The property is named Sinclaire on Seminary, and average apartments are 850 square feet in size with ceilings up to 10-feet-tall.
The conversion is the latest in a trend that’s seen Alexandria’s office uses increasingly being turned into residential space. A study last year found that Alexandria took the fourth spot in a national ranking of cities experiencing office-to-residential conversions.
“Find your place to land in sun-filled studio, 1, & 2 bedroom residences,” PRP says on its website. “Stunning kitchens and baths with sleek and modern finishes balance with energy-efficient washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers by General Electric. Sinclaire’s responsibly repurposed apartments come complete with high 9′-6″ ceilings, large operable windows, oversized closets, and smart-lock entries.”
The building is next to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center and the Seminary Road exit off Interstate 395.
Kettler is managing the property, and amenities include more than 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, indoor parking and outdoor lounge areas with fire pits.
Photo via Google Maps
The Alexandria Housing Development Corporation has been rebranded as “Housing Alexandria.”
No official word on the name change has yet to be released on AHDC’s website, but residents at its numerous properties were notified via email. Additionally, Housing Alexandria’s 14-story Park Vue apartment complex (511 Four Mile Road) in Arlandria has been renamed “The Square at 511.”
Housing Alexandria says that the strategic rebranding will mean a rollout of new logos.
“Along with this change in the company name, we will also adopt new logos to fully express our initiative of continued improvement,” Housing Alexandria told residents. “The re-branding, however, shall not affect the manner in which we operate our business, as well as the organizational structures of the company.”
The City of Alexandria website has also recognized the new name in its listing of affordable housing partners.
The rebranding is part of the organization’s 2021-2025 strategic plan, as it pursues “a brand that differentiates us from our peers and helps us more clearly express our values.”
“AHDC residents and community members will be able to identify our brand and work more efficiently,” the nonprofit said in the plan. “Increased presence will yield more community advocates, resident voices, and financial support for AHDC.”
Housing Alexandria is developing a 500-unit affordable housing complex at the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Glebe Road in Arlandria as well as an affordable homeowner development on Seminary Road.
(Updated 4:10 p.m.) Fewer crashes, reduced traffic volumes and more bike riders — a new report shows that the Seminary Road Diet is working.
The information comes from a Post-Project Implementation Evaluation by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services. The evaluation shows has been a 41% reduction in crashes along the one-mile stretch of Seminary Road between North Howard Street and Quaker Lane since the road diet went into effect in 2019, according to a report released Tuesday (Nov. 1) by the city’s Department of Transportation & Environmental services.
That’s not all: there have been zero crashes involving serious injury or death, and traffic does not appear to have diverted to neighborhood streets.
Morning peak traffic has increased by 15%, although average peak travel times decreased between 11% and 17%.
The Seminary Road Diet — reducing the four through lanes of the roadway to two and adding bike lanes and a turn lane in the center — was one of the most controversial issues of 2019.
Mayor Justin Wilson said that he’s read the report, and says that the change did what it was designed to do.
“I’m pleased, but not surprised,” Wilson said. “Based on my conversations with many residents in the Seminary corridor, including many who initially opposed the change, the new Seminary has improved the quality of life for walkers, bikers and drivers alike.”
It took the city two-and-a-half years to compile the data for the Seminary Road Project Evaluation Report. The delay in reporting was attributed to needing traffic patterns to return to pre-Covid levels before determining the impact of the road diet.
The report found that traffic volumes during peak travel times decreased between 11% and 17%. Extreme speeding is also down, with the percentage of people driving faster than 35 miles per hour on the roadway now at 7% of drivers.
The Post-Project Implementation Evaluation determined:
- Average annual crashes on Seminary Road decreased by 41%
- Non-severe injury crashes decreased by 14%
- There were an average of .8 fatal or severe crashes per year from 2015 to 2019, and zero from 2020 to 2022
- Property damage-only crashes decreased by 8%
- Extreme speeding is down, with the percentage of people driving faster than 35 miles per hour decreased from 11% to 7%
The Seminary Road Project Evaluation Report is now available. Findings include traffic volumes decreasing during most peak periods and overall crashes decreasing by 41%. To view the complete report, visit https://t.co/H6Mv0V58bx pic.twitter.com/NOyvQ1VtbL
— Alexandria Transportation & Environmental Services (@AlexandriaVATES) November 1, 2022
Things are about to slow down in school zones.
The Alexandria School Board on Thursday (October 6) unanimously approved a resolution requesting a reduction from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph in school zones.
“We are really making our students and our community safe,” said Board Member Abdel Elnoubi, who wrote the resolution. “We’re helping save lives here.”
The resolution now goes to City Council for approval.
The following school zones have 25 mph speed limits:
- N. Beauregard Street — Outside the John Adams Elementary School, William Ramsay Elementary School and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School zones
- Braddock Road from N. Beauregard Street to Quaker Lane — Outside Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus school zone
- Seminary Road (Kenmore Avenue to N. Pickett Street) — In the Francis C. Hammond Middle School zone
- King Street — Alexandria City High School’s school zone
City Council will also review a plan to install Alexandria’s first speed cameras in school zones later this month.
The conversation over a speed limit reduction and cameras installation began after a nine-year-old girl was hit by a car and seriously injured just outside Jefferson-Houston Elementary School in March.
The south-facing exit from I-395 onto Seminary Road has been for high occupancy vehicles (HOV) only since 2019, but solo drivers will have an option to take the exit ramp for a toll starting early next month.
The ramp off the express lanes currently has an HOV-3+ restriction, meaning the cars must have at least three occupants. Transurban, which operates the express lanes, said it is the only ramp along the corridor closed to toll-paying customers.
The shift to a toll option is scheduled to take effect on Friday, Sept. 9
“Converting the ramp will offer vehicles who are traveling with fewer than three people the option to pay a toll to exit to Seminary Road from the northbound 395 Express Lanes, or to enter the southbound Lanes from Seminary Road,” Transurban and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said in a release. “Dynamic message signs currently installed on Seminary Road will display real-time toll prices to destinations available from the ramp beginning September 9.”
Vehicles with an E-ZPass set to “HOV ON”, along with buses and motorcycles, will continue to have toll-free access to the ramp.
Work on adding toll signage and road markings will require temporary traffic shifts starting today through Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Photo via Google Maps
Parts of Seminary Road were shut down last night and early this morning after what police are investigating as a single-vehicle crash following a possible road rage incident near Inova Alexandria Hospital.
Police said there were gunshots reported during the road rage incident. Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow that the car that crashed was reportedly the victim of the road rage incident and swerved off the road to avoid gunshots.
“Seminary Road from Howard to Jordan Streets is temporarily closed,” police said. “This is due to a single-vehicle car crash stemming from a possible road rage incident in which shots were fired.”
Police said there were no injuries as a result of the shooting, but minor injuries were sustained in the crash.
Seminary Road from Howard to Jordan Streets was closed last night but reopened early this morning.
Notification:: Seminary Road from Howard to Jordan Streets is temporarily closed. This is due to a single-vehicle car crash stemming from a possible road rage incident in which shots were fired. No injuries as a result of shots fired. Minor injuries sustained in the car crash. pic.twitter.com/ZfOA9cBVs6
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 1, 2022
Image via Google Maps
A three-car crash has temporarily shut down part of Seminary Road near the intersection with N. Beauregard Street.
Alexandria Police said in a release that the crash has shut down westbound traffic on Seminary Road after Mark Center Avenue, between N. Beauregard Street and I-395.
Injuries from the crash are non-life-threatening, according to police
Notification:: There is a temporary road closure on the westbound side of Seminary Road after Mark Center Avenue. This is due to a three-car crash. Injuries were reported to be non-life-threatening. pic.twitter.com/w5LT4y67VO
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 11, 2022
Image via Google Maps
Multiple cars, including at least one police vehicle, were involved in a crash this morning that resulted in multiple injuries.
The crash occurred sometime before 6 a.m. this morning at the intersection of Beauregard Street and Seminary Road.
Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett confirmed to ALXnow that a police vehicle was involved in the crash. Bassett said three cars were involved in the crash. There were at least two serious but non-life threatening injuries, and at least two people were taken to the hospital.
The street remained closed as of 9 a.m. as police continued their investigation.
Notification:: The intersection of Seminary Road and Beauregard Street is temporarily closed due to a multi-car collision. Serious injuries were reported. APD is on scene. Updates will be made when available. pic.twitter.com/tiN6PpBjAw
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) April 18, 2022
Image via Google Maps