Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Alexandria "Gateway" to Start in '09



Following January approvals from the Alexandria Zoning Commission and City Council, Bethesda's Green City Development (alternatively known as Tall Cedars Development) is moving forward with their plans to add another landmark to Alexandria, at least in name. The so-named Landmark Gateway project is the Northern Virginian city's bid to redevelop an area primarily known for strip malls and warehouses and, for many local officials and community members, the work can't start soon enough.

"The Landmark Gateway proposal has been reviewed in numerous community meetings over the past two years as well as by the Landmark-Van Dorn Corridor Small Area Plan Advisory Group," said Department of Planning and Zoning Director, Faroll Hamer. "This project will be an important catalyst for an area that is struggling to turn itself into a vibrant revitalized community, and with the current economic downturn and difficulty in securing loans, it may be the only chance in quite some time.”

Located on a six-acre parcel at South Van Dorn and Pickett Streets, the Gateway will replace the industrial structures on site with a three building “Art Moderne”- style development that will include 431 rental apartments (with an unspecified mix of affordable and market-rate units), 35,000 square feet of retail space and a 544 space underground parking garage. The designers behind the 550,000 square foot project, Architects Collaborative Inc., are currently working with landscape architects, The FAUX Group, to create “a series of urban…lively streetscapes, public plazas [and] promenades linking storefronts to the retail parking areas, public art elements as well as private courtyards…for area residents.”

Green City is currently projecting a December 2009 start for the first two, five-story buildings in the $100 million project. Both are aiming for a LEED silver certification. Rappaport Retail Brokerage is currently soliciting inquiries from potential retail tenants at the development, which could be open by 2013.

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