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Virginia Newsletters, LLC, The Fairfax Newsletter

Friday, February 15, 2013

Penn Daw Plaza Rezoning Filed

The final and largest piece of property in the 17-acre Penn Daw Community Business Center (CBC) area at the intersection of North Kings Highway and Richmond Highway poised for redevelopment is the subject a recently filed rezoning.

Combined Properties’ Penn-Daw Associates L.P. is seeking to rezone 10.45 acres dominated by the 132,203-square foot Penn Daw Shopping Center, built in 1959, to allow a mix of multi-family apartments with ground-floor retail and new townhomes.

“Saddled with an aging and largely vacant shopping center, the Property is currently under-utilized and long overdue for redevelopment,” according to the statement filed in February on behalf of Combined Properties by attorney Mark Looney (Cooley LLP).

The Washington, D.C.-headquartered company, founded by Ronald Haft, is proposing to develop approximately 397 multi-family units with a variety of bedroom types, 34 townhomes, and approximately 31,000-square feet of ground floor retail uses, including a drive-through pharmacy, a junior anchor, and a variety of other in-line retail tenants, the rezoning statement says. The project is proposed at an overall 1.15 FAR.

In April of 2012, the county board updated the long-range land use plans for the site, designated as Land Unit H-2 of Planning Area IV of the Mount Vernon Planning District, as well as for two adjacent sites (Land Units H-1 and F-2).

The rezoning proposal filed by Combined Properties notes that the applicant closely monitored the 17-month review process leading up to adoption of the plan amendment in the spring of last year. The reinvestment project planned for Land Unit H-2 closely adheres to the plan recommendations for building siting, landscaping and open space, and parking. The project outlined in the application specifically provides for:

  •  Buildings configured to align with Poag Street and North/South Kings Highway, with those facing the highway oriented around a plaza “to create a significant and inviting urban space.” The tallest, 5-story buildings (four stories of apartments above the ground-floor retail uses) will be concentrated along Kings Highway, then taper down to four stories of multi-family units, and finally to the 3-story townhomes proposed next to the existing residential community.

  • The publicly-accessible “landscaped and hardscaped” public plaza will be sited at the eastern end of the property. Amenities for the residents of the multi-family community will include a pool and fitness center.

  • Parking will be provided in a structured garage that is wrapped by residential uses, with a small amount of surface parking provided for the convenience of the retail customers. The townhomes will each have 2-car garages, along with surface parking for visitors and guests.

  • With regard to transportation improvements, the company will be making the necessary on-site and frontage improvements and right-of-way dedication, as well as working with staff, the Lee District Land Use Committee, and others “on identifying the most pressing transportation needs in the immediate vicinity and making contributions to those larger improvements,” according to the application.

Neighboring Rezonings at Penn Dawg. In July the board approved another key revitalization project proposed by Insight Property Group for the 3.38-acre area in Land Unit H-1 located between School and Poag Streets. The rezoning (RZ 2011-LE-016) to the PRM – Planned Residential Mixed-Use) district paved the way for development of a new 256,000-square foot, 245-unit multi-family building that steps down from four stories at North Kings Highway to three stories adjacent to the existing single family neighborhood on the west.


As part of the developer’s proffer package, off-site improvements to the adjacent 9,500-square foot School Street shopping center – under separate ownership – will be made, with the center serving as the retail complement to the new residential project.

A month after the approval of Insight’s project, Capital Investment Advisors filed an application to rezone the triangular-shaped, 4.7 acre parcel within Land Units F-1 and F-2 located across North Kings Highway from the Penn Daw Shopping Center and Insight properties intersection from the C-5, C-8, and R-4 zones to PRM.

The Alexandria-based company is asking to rezone 12 parcels south of Jamaica Drive and north of the North Kings and Richmond highways – which includes the Fast Eddies billiard bar – to make way for development of “The Grande at Huntington,” a new 4-building multi-family project that includes underground parking and 30,000-square feet of ground floor retail.

The Fairfax Newsletter, Volume 58, Number 3, February 15, 2013 - pages 2-3