Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Well, I guess it’s a more reasonable plan than the desire we felt last week to level the whole area with asphalt while stuck in traffic.... Long the bane of commuters and those who appreciate smart urban planning, the strip-retail loaded, pedestrian-unfriendly areas in Fairfax County known as Baileys Crossroads (where Columbia Pike and Route 7 meet) and Seven Corners (where Routes 7 and 50, and Wilson Boulevard cross) – totaling 400 acres in all - might soon experience bright makeovers, if the county’s dreams for them come to fruition. Fairfax County and the Baileys Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization Corp. are eagerly anticipating a major study from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) that is expected to present a roadmap for economically revitalizing these aging but vital intersections, located less than 15 minutes from DC. Fairfax County is already working to get a jump on things, having rezoned some of this land to permit and encourage new residential, retail, and office projects, and developers aren’t far behind. Local builder Weissberg Corp. has already filed plans to construct a mixed residential, retail, and office project on Columbia Pike, and another developer is hoping to put a 2.2 million sf mixed-use residential complex on Route 7 where the Burlington Plaza now sits. With plans like these, there may soon come a day when people again remember Baileys Crossroads for the ringmaster who once set up shop there, and not the circus of garish retail and roads it had become.