ALEXANDRIA, VA – It will be a while before bulldozers start ripping up asphalt making room for plant-filled medians with bike and scooter lanes, but change is finally coming to Alexandria’s West End.
In a four-hour community discussion Saturday, January 26, planners at last laid out some concrete specifics for the future, thanks to the parcel, including Sears, finally being under the ownership of one entity, the Howard Hughes Corporation. As City Manager Mark Jinks remarked, “Negative market forces and the divided ownership of the 51-acre Landmark Mall site have prevented the City’s adopted plans from being implemented over the last two decades, [but] the timing is now right for re-planning so that the mall site can be redeveloped.”
And Howard Hughes and the City want to get moving. In the recent proposal filed with the City on January 18, planners request clearance to build up to 250 feet for selective special use, one of which might be a 25-story INOVA Health medical building.
The two main drags Duke and Van Dorn are slated for facelifts, and the elevated Duke Street ramp that currently flies into the Landmark parking area will be demolished. The new surrounding streets will be designed to support walkers, bikes, cars and buses. 3.5 acres will be set aside for open space, and the plan includes affordable housing alongside retail and office space.
There is another public meeting scheduled for February 27th, from 7 to 9 pm(location to be announced).