It's a fabulous condo project: the citizens' associations have supported it, the city heartily endorsed it and even gave it a special zoning exemption, and at a meeting to present their plans the developers reportedly even got a standing ovation for turning an outmoded printing plant into an attractive "gateway" into Alexandria. The only glitch is that it will never be built.
In fatter times, the Nordic Press condominium development would have been a no-brainer, bringing 28 residential units to the 800 block of Slaters Lane in Alexandria. But the developer, Diamond Property Co., bought at the wrong time, and now the 16,000 s.f. property has gone back to lender Cardinal Bank, which has leased the property to another printer, ending hopes for a transformation of the site into something less industrial.
The developer has had plans since 2005 to demolish the warehouse, just off the GW Parkway on the northern tip of Alexandria, in favor of 28 one- and two-bedroom units designed by Rust Orling Architects. The project was intended to be green enough to meet the USGBC's Silver certification, and would have required the developer to undertake streetscape improvements. The city had even approved a rezoning from commercial-industrial to residential, no easy feat, noting that the area had undergone a thorough transformation, with even more residential planned for next-door Potomac Yards. "Everything was good except the economy," lamented architect John Rust, who would have overseen the design.
The last tenant, Nordic Press, closed its doors last year, raising hope that the building would be readied for demolition, but with construction financing nil, the bank took control of the property in December of last year. Sources familiar with the project say Cardinal Bank has now leased the property to ABC Printers, ending the possibility of another developer picking up the designs and approvals. County records show the property traded for $2.2m in December, less than the $2.7m that Diamond Slater LLC paid for the land in 2005.
Alexandria Virginia real estate development news