WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fairfax County Construction Brings Hope Of Revitalization

Play associated audio
High-end residential apartments will open next month on Beacon Hill in southeast Fairfax County.
Michael Pope
High-end residential apartments will open next month on Beacon Hill in southeast Fairfax County.

Construction vehicles trundle through the dirt along Beacon Hill, the highest point of Fairfax County. For many years, this hill was home to an aircraft beacon that helped pilots navigate up and down the East Coast. But next month, this area will look very different.

"It's a beacon of development," says David Ben, a spokesman for the Southeast Fairfax County Development Corporation. This project represents a sea change for Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1) as the first mixed-use urban development along a road now known for big box stores and vast parking lots.

"We've got developers pounding down our doors saying, 'We're willing to go once we see how this project does,'" Ben says. "And I think that you are going to see in the next year or two several new projects that are more similar to this."

Local businessman Kahan Dhillon is excited about the project because development in this part of Fairfax County has been sluggish for far too long, he says.

"The pace at which development and revitalization have taken place along this corridor has lagged behind other similar places, whether it be Tysons, whether it be Merrifield, whether it be Springfield as well," Dhillon says.

The Beacon of Groveton, made up of almost 300 luxury apartments and ground-level stores, is the first rental property that's come to Richmond Highway in the past decade.

Virginia Del. Scott Surovell (D), who represents this part of Fairfax County, has been pushing for an extension into the area of Metro's Yellow line for years. The Huntington station was built with the expectation that the rail line would eventually expand to the south, according to Surovell.

Even though the population density does not yet exist to finance a new Metro line, Surovell says, developments such as the one now atop Beacon Hill are exactly what's needed to create the environment for an expanded Yellow line along Richmond Highway

"It's not a crazy pipe dream," he says. "Commercial real-estate one mile from here leases for $5 more per square foot than it does in Tysons Corner."

"It's not a crazy pipe dream," he says. "Commercial real estate one mile from here ... leases for $5 more per square foot than it does in Tysons Corner."

Until then, the Beacon will stand alone as a first-of-its-kind urban construction along suburban Richmond Highway.

--

Michael Pope is also a reporter with the Connection Newspapers who provides special coverage of Northern Virginia for WAMU 88.5. His story for the Connection can be found at ArlingtonConnection.com

NPR

When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet

"It's a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing," says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Password Security Is So Bad, President Obama Weighs In

In unveiling a sweeping plan to fund and revamp cybersecurity, the president asks citizens to consider using extra layers of security besides the password.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.