Old Town Fairfax buildings to be razed soon for mixed-use condo development

City Centre West will replace commercial buildings on Main Street with a mixed-use condominium complex (courtesy Ox Hill Companies)

Fences have gone up around three commercial buildings at the corner of Main Street and West Street in Old Town Fairfax, signaling their impending demise in favor of a planned mixed-use development known as City Centre West.

Developer Ox Hill Companies anticipates demolishing the vacant Wells Fargo bank, a restaurant last occupied by OudResto & Hall and the office building with its headquarters (10501, 10515 and 10523 Main Street) by the end of this year, Managing Principal Christopher Smith recently told FFXnow.

The restaurant, which was partially burned down by a fire in 2020, will be knocked down first, followed by the bank and then the offices. Ox Hill and Infinite Technologies Orthotics and Prosthetics, the low-rise office building’s other tenant, will temporarily relocate to 4031 University Drive, a five-story office building that the developer acquired last month.

Construction on City Centre West — a six-story condominium complex with office and retail space — is on track to break ground between April and July of 2024, according to Ox Hill.

“It has been a very, very, very tough economy to work in for the last couple of years, and [I’m looking forward to] the fact that we’ve made really good headway and are getting things done and moving toward actually breaking ground and starting the construction process of these buildings,” Smith said.

Approved by the Fairfax City Council in July, City Centre West will have about 79 condos, over 18,000 square feet of general and medical office space and 7,731 square feet of restaurant or retail space, which will be joined at the Main and West street corner by a publicly accessible, 0.31-acre urban park.

Features of the plaza will include cafe seating, benches, an event lawn, a pergola, paved paths and bicycle racks, according to the development plan.

Currently in design, the condos will consist of one, two and three-bedroom units and a penthouse. Residents will have access to a gym, a rooftop pool, a private dining room and an underground parking garage with dedicated spaces, electric vehicle chargers and a security gate.

The real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman announced on Nov. 2 that it will handle sales and marketing for the residential portion of the development, which has been branded Ten501 at City Centre West. Pre-sales will launch this winter, with prices starting at $1 million.

“This project will create a versatile mixed-use space for the community to experience for years to come,” Howard Lorber, Douglas Elliman’s executive chairman, said in a press release. “Our expertise in new development projects, coupled with our recent expansion into the region, makes this a truly exceptional opportunity for us.”

Under Fairfax City’s relatively new Affordable Dwelling Units (ADU) program, the development is required to designate 6% of its units as affordable to households earning 70% of the area median income or less, but in its application, Ox Hill requested the option to instead provide those five units in a separate, all-ADU development that it’s “actively pursuing” in Old Town.

The developer says it’s “working closely with the city” to address the ADU requirement.

“Our concern is placing an undue burden on the occupant, but we do look to provide these ADUs in the Old Town area,” Smith said. “We have identified an ideal location that works in conjunction with another of our development projects. This will be made public at the appropriate time.”

While no application for the ADU project has been submitted yet, Ox Hill has proposed redeveloping office buildings at the southeast corner of Chain Bridge Road and Sager Avenue with a concert hall and a hotel that was once envisioned for the City Centre West site.

The developer filed a formal application for The Ox on June 20 and held a public meeting on it at the Sherwood Community Center on Oct. 18.

“It went very, very well,” Smith said of the meeting. “We got a lot of support from the local community in favor of what it is that we’re doing there.”

According to Smith, City Centre West has been percolating since 2017, predating the Old Town Fairfax Small Area Plan adopted in 2020. But both of Ox Hill’s projects reflect the city’s vision of its downtown area as a walkable, mixed-use destination for both residents and visitors.

“We’re redeveloping Main Street, among other parcels in the City of Fairfax, because we believe in the future of the city,” Smith said. “We think that the town, the Old Town particularly, needs to be reimagined, and we’re doing that. So, we decided to go all in and do…luxury condos on Main Street to bring in people to this market that want to be here. They want to live here, but the product hasn’t been available to them here.”

Some community members worried at the city council’s public hearing on City Centre West in July that the development was out of step with Old Town’s quaint, historic character. One resident lamented that it “rings in the death knell of the old town feel that used to be Fairfax.”

When asked about those concerns, Smith noted that the buildings set to be demolished don’t have any unique historical value, dating back to the 1960s and ’70s. In fact, the former Mainstreet Bank building at 4029 Chain Bridge Road will be preserved and restored as part of The Ox project.

“We’re replacing ugly buildings that don’t currently fit in with the City of Fairfax, and we’re replacing them with new, vibrant buildings that are…environmentally more friendly, that provide a much better place for people to live and be entertained,” Smith said. “…So, I would argue that we’re building things that are making the City of Fairfax better.”

Construction on City Centre West is currently expected to finish in the second quarter of 2026.