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County board OKs housing in Annandale’s Eastgate Shopping Center

Redevelopment of Eastgate Shopping Center is planned (via Fairfax County)

Annandale’s Eastgate Shopping Center is closer to getting an apartment building.

During a meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 24), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a plan from developer Eastgate JV LLC to allow residential development on the 11.8-acre property at the corner of Little River Turnpike and John Marr Drive.

The new building will be six stories tall and include 280 multifamily units, along with 11,220 square feet of commercial retail on the ground floor. The application also proposed adding 23,858 square feet of new, on-site urban park spaces.

There were no public comments on the plan, but Scott Adams, a lawyer representing the project developer, told the Board of Supervisors they think the development will be an asset to the community.

“It’s also something where we think it’s going to spur additional revitalization in the area,” he said.

The construction will take over the space currently occupied by The Block, a popular food hall. Adams said at an Oct. 11 planning commission public hearing that there are plans to retain The Block in some form.

The Board of Supervisors also approved the developer’s request to reduce parking requirements to 1.34 spaces per apartment unit — a 16% reduction from the county’s current requirement of 1.6 spaces per unit.

Adams said the redevelopment has a focus on creating “a safe and inviting pedestrian environment.”

“So we’ve removed a turn lane on John Marr Drive [and] provided wildlife landscape amenity panels on both sides of the 10-foot mixed-use trail,” he said.

A nearby bus stop on John Marr Drive will also be upgraded with a bus shelter and ADA-accessible pad.

Anchored until 2018 by K-Mart, which got replaced by K Market International, the Eastgate Shopping Center is home to several restaurants and grocery stores. Although the planning commission recommended the board approve the plan earlier this month, some members warned against the gentrification of the area’s retail and restaurants.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said she was happy to see the plans becoming a reality.

“The original idea was a mixed-use town center in phases and now, 15 years later, the first phase is coming to fruition,” Gross said.

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