Major development proposed for Food Star site in Bailey's Crossroads – Annandale Blog

A comprehensive plan amendment is in the works for a section of the Town Center District in the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Business Center.
George Hong, the owner of the Food Star property at 5521 Leesburg Pike, told the Bailey’s Crossroads/7 Corners Revitalization Corporation (BC7RC) Sept. 29 about a proposal to develop four apartment buildings in that location (subunit B-5 of the Town Center District).
Sub-unit B-5 is located west of Skyline Towers between Leesburg Pike, Carlin Springs Road, Gorham Street, and Seminary Road. Food Star opened in February 2020 in the former Toys R Us building.
Hong is proposing three 14 or 15-story towers along Leesburg Pike and a midrise apartment building in the middle of the block. The buildings would have a total of 1,120 units and retail on the ground floor.
The floor-to-area ratio (FAR), a measure of density, would be increased from the current level of 1.5 to about 2.8.
Related story: Food Star supermarket opens
The Board of Supervisors authorized the consideration of a comprehensive plan amendment for sub-unit B-5 on May 10. The Carousel Apartments on the other side of Seminary Road are in sub-unit B-5 but would not be covered by the proposed plan amendment.
The current comprehensive plan for that area allows up to 500 units in sub-unit B-5 and buildings with up to four to six stories – with an option for seven stories if all the land in B-4 and B-5 is consolidated.
Hong says the owner of the Bank of America building at the rear of the block on Seminary Road is amenable to consolidation. That building also houses the Somali Fashion Center, Tobacco Mart, and Crown Lounge.
Fairfax County planning staff would also like to see the other properties on the block – occupied by a Shell Station, Seminary Corner Auto, and Haifa Grill – also consolidated. Staff hasn’t yet determined whether the project could move forward without including those parcels.
Public hearings on a plan amendment would be scheduled sometime in spring 2023. The planning staff would release a staff report after a community engagement process and about a month before the Planning Commission hearing. If a plan amendment is approved, the proposed project would go through a rezoning process.
BC7RC President Mike Van Atta suggested Hong contact the businesses in the retail strip on the other side of Gorham Street to gauge their interest in the project. That retail center includes Denny’s, Auto Zone, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Oven Fresh pizza shop, Mint Tobacco, Filipino Global Supermarket, a pawn shop, and Malisa Beauty Salon.
No commentary on how transportation would be improved before adding 1000+ cars to the rt 7 corridor?
Cars don’t need to be added, let’s build better public transit and make it more walkable and bikeable.
How many years will that take.? The Silver Line still isn’t open. Metro has major safety and financial problems. You are dreaming if you think there won’t be more cars. I agree, to get people out of cars there needs to be regular bus runs and maybe make them free so there are fewer obstacles. But that will not happen in this state. The locals (in Fairfax County) don’t have control of thier own roads. And what about people with disabilities or who have some issue that prevents them from walking or biking. There isn’t a one size fits all answer to these problems.
Cars would be added. People who live and shop in this area do not rely on public transport alone. And I wouldn’t want to walk anywhere over there – too much crime.
There is not an above average amount of crime in that area, untrue..
With how hard it is to get any development headway in Mason district and and Bailey’s crossroads, unfortunately waiting for the perfect conditions before allowing potential investment just isn’t practical. I think transportation and density studies should be performed, but maybe some of that has to be conditional.
The problem is that there is no good public transportation in that area right now. And ten years ago when there was a push, they punted. It is a highly congested area and you are adding more apartments to an area with a ton of apartments. It will impact traffic.
Valid point but is it really more traffic or that much more compared the amount of traffic generated by current businesses located there, some of which are very busy. I actual studies can flesh that out.
It’s great to see this project especially after losing out on Mill Creek project close by. More of this.
“BC7RC President Mike Van Atta suggested Hong contact the businesses in the retail strip on the other side of Gorham Street to gauge their interest in the project. That retail center includes Denny’s, Auto Zone, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Oven Fresh pizza shop, Mint Tobacco, Filipino Global Supermarket, a pawn shop, and Malisa Beauty Salon.”
Excellent point. Any development on this intersection and Bailey’s as whole can hopefully bring other business along or at least be mindful of related future redevelopment in the area and possible upgrades to roads, intersections and sidewalks and such. Carlin Springs Road for example from Seminary to Columbia Pike needs serious attention in terms expanding to two lanes, significantly upgrading all the intersections and sidewalks and possibly realigning and straightening the road. Its busy roads with lots pedestrian traffic.
Where is VDOT’s input on how to handle 5,000 cars. School buses, delivery trucks ad nauseiam? The area is already overpopulated. Why not require the developer to include the East Taj Mahal government center? This will be named the Penny Gross memorial white elephant As for the comment that it wii not be car concentric, and pushing for better public transportation well that streetcar has long rumbled by. I commented when Skyline was built that FFC should be pressing for a Columbia Pike line but was told it would cost too much because of the density? Yet METRO has plans for another tunnel at Rosslyn with a line running through Georgetown? Dah and Georgetown isn’t densely populated?
You need density to support public transportation. There’s actually quite good transit in the area already compared to most parts of Fairfax County that are not close to a subway station.
So I lose my grocery store, my bank, my chicken place and all those people get to lose their jobs for apartments that nobody around here can afford to live in? This stinks.
Daisy, you should consider community college. The NOVA counselors make dreams come true. In 2-8 years, you’ll have an AA degree which will make you highly competitive in this booming economy. Then you could afford one of those beautiful apartments, and you’ll have the skills and know-how to open your own chicken place!
Edie, all I can says is I hope you actually know Daisy and her life situation well enough to make the numerous assumptions that are inherent in your response. I don’t know her, but I can only imagine she didn’t exactly welcome your comments, even though you may (?) have actually meant them to be constructive.
That’s unfair and presumptive
I would like to see the affordable housing component to this proposal.
Those were kind of my thoughts, daisy! Who here can afford all these “luxury” apartments they keep building? Seems like they’re pushing folks out of their neighborhoods. Buildings with retail seem nice…until you experience the traffic, parking, noise, pollution, etc that come with all that. Not as lovely for residents, and building managers seem to care more about the retailers than residents…but maybe that was just my experience.
In my humble opinion, anyone that pays a premium to live in that area is out of their friggin mind. I would rather rent a bedroom for $500 in Woodbridge than live in a “luxury apartment” in BAILEYS CROSSROADS. Might as well build a McMansion next to a landfill.
Someone please help me. I read the above article and another article describing the proposed development several times, and was unable to find any reference to “luxury apartments.”
I would greatly appreciate it if SCG, Trunt, or anyone else could point out the references to “luxury apartment buildings” as opposed to just “apartment buildings” in the description of the proposed development.
Because to be completely honest, I think that if the assumption is these proposed apartments are going to be any more “luxury” than other recent apartment buildings built near this location — such as Bailey’s Crossing Apartments near the intersection of Leesburg Pike and George Mason Drive — I think that assumption is incorrect.
Luxury was in reference to another recent AT article discussing luxury apartments in the same area. That’s why SCG said “all the luxury apartments they keep building”
I would hope the existing retail businesses would be offered special rates to be included in the new building’s retail. Apartment dwellers would be added patrons.
Don’t worry folks, it will never happen for that is Mason’s history. Big open lots on Columbia Pike remain vacant after the big rush to build the grand dame of homeless shelters.
Edie, I live in the West End because it suits me. I actually like my Ethiopian, Korean and Latino neighbors. If I wanted to live in a soulness, artificially pretty mono income, mono culture suburb I would have moved there.
Soulness? I think you meant soulless. That’s a pretty presumptuous and bigoted statement!
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