After over four years of jumping through bureaucratic hoops, Lane Development, LLC's sizeable four-tower, mixed-use project in the Eisenhower Avenue section of Alexandria, Virginia, is nearing the home stretch for city approval. After giving initial approval June 13th, Alexandria government planning staff lauded the architecture and landscape design destined for the intersection of Mill Road and Eisenhower Avenue, saying the project has the makings of a "landmark building" for Alexandria. Now comes the largely administrative process of final site plan review, when developers incorporate requested changes into their plan and resubmit it to the Planning Commission and City Council for the final word.
One of the conditions for final approval requires the developer to work with the City and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) to consider providing 16 public housing replacement units, rather than the proposed affordable units. Additionally, Lane will have to create a Transportation Management Plan (TMP) fund, based on the goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicles by 45%. The TMP translates into a built-in fee per unit and is meant to act as a disincentive for driving; if the building occupants are able to reduce single-occupancy vehicles by more than 45%, the fee will be reduced. The idea behind the TMP is to encourage the use of public transportation, given the proximity of the Metro station.
The entire development is being designed by James Wright of Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects. The buildings will weigh in at 22 stories and 19 stories for the residential towers, and at 15 stories and 13 stories for the office towers, the combination of which will include a 515-space parking garage, 5,700 square feet of ground floor retail and 485 residential units. Not small beans for a DC area project.
Construction dates depend on how quickly (or not) Lane works to push through their final site plan. According to Natalie Sun, an Urban Planner for the City of Alexandria, even with final site plan approval, if there is no "substantial construction" the new approval would not expire until June 13, 2012. Which may, just possibly, allow enough time for the commercial and residential markets to correct.