Alexandria, VA

A new residential neighborhood could soon be replacing the long empty parking lot just east of the Victory Center on Eisenhower avenue.

The plan is to bring 139 new townhomes to 4901 Eisenhower Avenue on a 6.9 acre parcel that is currently a parking lot.

The move brought some praise from members of the City Council who have waited years for some forward movement at the large lot. The development plans were approved at the Saturday City Council meeting — the same week that Inova announced it would be operating a vaccine clinic in the main building.

“It’s good to see this development moving forward,” said Council member Del Pepper. “It will be a real asset here.”

One concern raised by Council member Amy Jackson is the impact the new development could have on the area’s school system. Jackson said it was an issue the City Council would have to be mindful of as more developments start to fill out Eisenhower Avenue.

“I see this is zoned for Tucker and hammond, and then Alexandria Public High School,” Jackson said. “As we move forward and build on Eisenhower, I hope we’re taking into consideration that while much of the units provided may be smaller, two-bedroom units, that there may be children living here: not just singles or early unmarried couples.”

The staff report estimated an average of 17 new children added to the school system by the new development — fairly low figures staff said is consistent with the type of development being proposed. Jackson supported the new development, but said it was an issue the city should keep an eye on.

“I’m concerned about over-enrollment and not having school capacity needed to support density,” Jackson said.

No affordable housing is planned for the site, but the developer will contribute $1.2 million as part of a proffer.

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It was a cold and news-filled week in Alexandria.

It all started with the report of two public safety incidents over the weekend — a serious car crash in Old Town and another shooting in the West End.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 104 fatalities and 9,342 cases. Mayor Justin Wilson said that there is a vaccine shortage in the city, as the waitlist to get inoculated is at more than 25,000. The Alexandria Health Department reported to the Alexandria Times that about 2,000 doses are being distributed weekly.

Our top story this week was on the body that was found last Friday in the water at Holmes Run Trail by Cameron Run Regional Park. In an update, police told us that the death was not suspicious in nature.

Additionally, 630 people responded to our weekly poll. This week, we asked about the proposed Heritage development in Old Town. About 67% of respondents don’t think it’s appropriate for the neighborhood and 33% don’t have a problem with it.

In case you missed it, here are some important stories:

  1. New Flood Warning Signs Installed in Del Ray
  2. Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims Go Down in Alexandria
  3. Despite COVID-19 Contractor Impacts, Potomac Yard Metro Station on Track for Spring 2022 Opening
  4. City Council Accepts Plan to Double Stormwater Utility Fees
  5. Victory Center’s Condominium Redevelopment Headed to Planning Commission

Here are our top stories of the week:

  1. BREAKING: Body Found in the Water Near Cameron Station
  2. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
  3. Citizens Group Vilifies Heritage High Rise Project in Old Town
  4. Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
  5. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  6. Police: Shots Fired in West End, Car Crash in Old Town Over Weekend
  7. Snow in Alexandria: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until 9 A.M. Tuesday
  8. BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
  9. Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
  10. Alexandria Mayor Formally Requests Dominion Energy Step Their Game Up
  11. JUST IN: ACPS Announces No In-Person Schooling For Week of Feb. 1

Have a safe weekend!

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(Updated 1/28) The Victory Center on Eisenhower has long stood over a vast, mostly empty parking lot at 4901 Eisenhower Avenue, but a proposal headed to city review in March could replace the eastern portion of that lot with 139 new townhouse condominiums.

The condominium project by Winchester Homes will pack the townhome units, some of them back-to-back, into a section of the Victory Center lot. The developer purchased the property last April and the property was subdivided by the city last year. Retail is anticipated for the southwestern portion of the lot.

The project is slated to have 214 parking spaces and 64 tandem spaces, requiring it to seek special city approval given the city’s requirement of 252 spaces.

The project is scheduled for review at the Planning Commission’s March 2 meeting.

Images via City of Alexandria

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On Friday, a government contractor is finally moving into the Victory Center.

The first Jason Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity, is the featured screening at The Victory Center (5001 Eisenhower Avenue). Drive-in movies have been popular this year, with movie theaters remaining closed.

The event is sponsored by The Garden and ALX Community. Tickets are $35 per car and benefit local non-profit Athena Rapid Response.

The program is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.

Food trucks are also scheduled to be on-site providing savory and sweet concessions with online ordering.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Big changes are coming to the Eisenhower corridor, with two new developments approved at the City Council meeting last Saturday that put some of the final puzzle pieces together.

One of the more visible changes will be the approved development of Block P in Carlyle — referred to by staff as the last block in Carlyle. The project was originally approved in 2007 as a pair of office towers, but the project was recently redesigned with the northern tower becoming a hotel while the southern tower would be residential.

Changes included a slight increase in height to the project and an increase to the total square footage permitted for Block P.

The proposal was unanimously approved and praised as locationally appropriate for the growing Carlyle neighborhood.

“This is a really tall building, which is what we always envisioned for Eisenhower Avenue,” said Councilwoman Del Pepper. “We do not want buildings of this size in historic Alexandria or some other places, but here in Eisenhower Valley it’s most important. I always like to think about people who are driving east or west on the highway there that they are looking over that will see that Alexandria is on the move… that we’re happening.”

The City Council also approved a new addition to the Victory Center lot — the first of several changes ahead for the large lot. The new building will be a one-story retail development in the southwest corner of the lot. The location would include outdoor seating and a drive-thru window.

The proposal was unanimously approved with little discussion.

Images via City of Alexandria

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The Victory Center has been an anchor along Eisenhower Avenue for years; a towering, empty complex on a massive, vacant parking lot. But that could change this week as plans move forward to subdivide the lot and prepare for future development.

The first part of plans to reshape the Victory Center will be a subdivision going to the Planning Commission on Thursday, Nov. 5.

“The applicants propose to subdivide the one existing lot into two lots,” staff said in a report. “Proposed Lot 601 would measure 267,459 square feet (6.1 acres) and have lot frontage/width of 704.2 feet. Proposed Lot 602 would measure 33,055 square feet and have a lot frontage/width of 91.8 feet. The purpose of the subdivision is to ensure continued land ownership over the area (Proposed Lot 602) immediately east of the Victory Center office building, through which that office building is accessed, given the siting of the future Winchester Homes townhouse project on the majority of the existing lot.”

A staff report on the proposed subdivision expressed support for the change, saying the change would allow the Victory Center to continue being marketed to federal tenants while other development can proceed on other parts of the lot.

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