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VA's Route 1 Corridor Still Waiting For Revitalization

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Route 1 Corridor
Jonathan Wilson
Route 1 Corridor

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, ongoing revitalization projects in places like Columbia Pike and Tysons Corner seem to be progressing, despite economic hard times. But over in the southeastern part of Fairfax County, some residents and businesses in the Route 1 corridor are wondering if their turn will ever come.

Look south from Beacon Hill on Route 1 in Fairfax, and you're field of vision is dominated by traffic, low-slung retail buildings, and lots of parking lots.

Stewart Schwartz, with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, puts it this way:

"It looks like Anyplace, Stripmall America, and unfortunately it's a place that's been forgotten as a priority by regional leaders," says Schwartz.

Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay, whose district borders Route 1, says progress has been made.

"I think if you look at it by and large, we've gotten rid of most of the blighted properties, there's a handful left," says McKay.

Debi Sandlin, with the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation blames the slow progress on the economy.

"Unfortunately right now, we're dealing with a tough economic climate," says Sandlin, "so things we want to see immediately aren't going to happen immediately. We'll have to be a little more patient."

For now Sandlin says residents hoping for more mixed-use development and better public transportation in the area, will just have to hurry up and wait.

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