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Upgrades are planned for a prominent gas station in Springfield (via Google Maps)

A Springfield gas station that has been owned by the same family since 1955 is getting a big makeover.

After sorting through several hiccups, the Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project to upgrade the Ravensworth Shell station (8011 Braddock Road) at a Sept. 21 meeting.

Applicant Capital Services, Inc. plans to convert four service bays into a two-story convenience store — an expansion predicted to result in roughly 900 additional trips in the area. An outdoor seating area, landscaping and stormwater management enhancements are also planned.

The increase in traffic, the gas station’s close proximity to a high-traffic area, and a planned pedestrian improvement project in the Braddock District prompted several amendments to the proposal.

“In what seemed to be a very straightforward application to exchange one accessory for another was complicated by the site’s location,” Braddock District Planning Commissioner Mary Cortina said.

The county and the applicant worked through a number of issues — including managing traffic from the gas station onto Braddock Road.

Cortina noted that traffic is already challenging in the Ravensworth Shopping Center where the station is located.

Braddock Road — which has expanded significantly since the gas station first opened — is also very close to the gas station.

The applicant’s representative, David Gill of Wire Gill, said the family is looking forward to expanding the “next phase of evolution for this family business.” The project was previously deferred after a July 27 public hearing.

Cortina said Capital Services agreed to restrict one entrance to be one-way-only and provide a pedestrian crossing in the area, a new landscape island, a dedicated loading space, a roof that could support solar equipment, and a parking space for electric vehicles.

Still, she noted that there is “very little room left” between Braddock Road and the gas station. County planners anticipate that the future Braddock Road multimodal project will continue despite space challenges.

That project will include a number of upgrades, like a pedestrian overpass west of Burke Lake Road and shared-use paths on both sides of Braddock Road. Design approval is anticipated in the spring.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

McLean Central Park gazebo (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Recent Gun Violence Leaves D.C. Area on Edge — “In the D.C. area in recent days, two shootings in crowded public spaces — at the festival on U Street and at a Fairfax County mall — reinforced that no one is immune from violence. As a result, some area residents have begun to pull back. People have started to think twice before going to concerts and the mall.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Software Company Lays Off 54 Workers — “ID.me Inc. has laid off dozens of employees following a period of rapid growth and just months after the Internal Revenue Service halted use of ID.me’s facial recognition technology…The company had expanded rapidly during the pandemic to keep up with growing demand at the time” [Washington Business Journal]

Man Charged in Fairfax City Assault — “A Maryland man was charged in connection with an assault that took place Saturday afternoon on Main Street, Fairfax City police said in a news release. Ronaldo Thomas, 41, of Capital Heights, Maryland, was charged with one count each of strangulation and assault and battery in connection with the choking of a woman outside the Main Street Marketplace, police said.” [Patch]

Annandale Dollar Tree to Reopen — Construction appears to be underway to repair the entrance to the Dollar Tree in the Bradlick Shopping Center. The store has been closed since a car crashed through the glass doors in October, but signs posted on the new doors indicate the shop will reopen “soon” and is now hiring. [Annandale Today]

Still Crickets on Downtown Herndon Project — “It appears unlikely, virtually impossible, that Comstock could break ground on the Herndon Redevelopment Project before summer starts. A groundbreaking date was first anticipated in late 2019 with project completion possibly in 2021.” [The Connection]

Fairfax City Welcomes New Nail Salon — “Sure, it’s easy to find a nail salon in nearly every city. But one look inside Raizun Nail Spa in Fairfax City lets customers know this spacious and upscale business is different from the rest. ‘Their salon is absolutely gorgeous,’ said Danette Nguyen, the City’s assistant economic development director.” [The Connection]

Tropical Storm Ida Relief Still Available — “The Washington Metropolitan Area District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reminds eligible business owners in Fairfax…to apply for working capital loans before the July 18 deadline. This disaster loan program is available to small businesses…and most private nonprofit organizations that were affected by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida that occurred from Aug. 31 through Sept 4, 2021.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Benches Dedicated to Former County Leaders — “Former Board Chairman and Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova and former Braddock District Supervisor John Cook had benches dedicated in their honor at the Braddock District Office, which is also home to the Kings Park Library.” [Patch]

It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 75 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The Little River Glen IV project includes 60 new affordable housing units for seniors (via Fairfax County)

An affordable housing option for seniors will soon be available in an area of Braddock District where housing stock has been limited.

At a board meeting on Tuesday (May 10), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a financing plan to rehabilitate 120 senior affordable housing units and construct 60 new units at a project known as Little River Glen.

Financing on the project is expected to close in October. The county will likely begin once financing is secured following a two-year schedule. 

“Accordingly, current projections would have completion in the fall 2024,” said Benjamin Boxer, spokesperson for FCHRA.

The project is spearheaded by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which owns Little River Glen I, a 120-unit building built in the 1990s and a senior center. FCHRA also owns an adjacent property that’s approved for 60 new senior affordable housing units, known in planning jargon as Little River Glen IV.

Both options will be restricted to seniors age 62 and above with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.

FCHRA is seeking multiple funding options for the project to move forward, including $7 million as a loan from the authority’s funding resources, $1.5 million from its operating fund, and $1.4 million in a loan from the county’s affordable housing development and investment fund.

Overall, the project requires up to $40 million in bonds to be authorized.

“Historically, the competing requirements tied to various funding sources have made it difficult to apply multiple resources to a project,” FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna wrote in a statement. “We’re proud of the fact that, over the last several years, we have led the way in rewriting the affordable housing playbook when it comes to the strategic investment of public resources to make it possible for projects like these to come alive.”

Both projects will be conveyed to LRG Apartments Limited Partnership, a limited partnership created and controlled by FCHRA as the sole controlling member.

Once completed, Little River Glen’s campus will see a boost in affordable housing options. It already includes Olley Glen, a 90-unit senior independent living building, and Braddock Glen, which includes 60 beds.

The existing community will get new cabinetry, upgraded kitchen appliances, new toilets, light fixtures, HVAC systems and bathtubs, and upgrades to the existing senior center.

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Wellness Center for Older Adults (courtesy ServiceSource)

A unique facility giving an array of services for older adults has opened at Braddock Glen.

The Wellness Center for Older Adults offers in-person and virtual services for people 50 and older as well as individuals with disabilities, similar to 14 other senior centers in Fairfax County. It offers exercise equipment; music, dance and art therapy; preventative health screenings; and other free resources, including access to computers.

Although it has a Fairfax mailing address, the center is located in Long Branch, just outside city limits at 4027B Olley Lane.

“At the WCOA, ServiceSource is working alongside committed community partners to create a hub for wrap-around support, including recreation activities, technology access, educational presentations and programs and health screenings,” ServiceSource spokesperson Kendra Hand said in an email.

Opened in March, the center gives Fairfax County a new facility to support its growing senior population.

According to the county’s most recent demographic report, 22% of county residents were 55 or older in 2010. That increased to 26.8% in 2020 and is projected to peak at 28.3% in 2030.

The wellness center is scheduled to get a grand opening on May 19, with Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw and Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event will be livestreamed on the Fairfax County government’s Channel 16.

“The WCOA is unique in that it offers very inclusive services that are integrated into the center itself, so every individual is supported,” Hand wrote. “The programs at the center are adapted and modified to support every individual’s participation.”

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