Alexandria to weigh new development for a Route 1 site that hasn’t changed since 1945

Original article by Bisnow, Michal Neibauer, August 31, 2018

A big change is coming to a triangular piece of land in Alexandria that hasn’t changed much at all in more than 70 years.

The 0.8-acre site at 1200 N. Henry St., less than a half mile north of the Braddock Road Metro station, was built up with one- and two-story industrial buildings in 1945, according to an Alexandria staff report. The proposal slated for review by the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday would replace those uses with a 115-unit multifamily building — including 11 affordable units — a 10,000-square-foot day care center, ground-floor retail and 137 underground parking spaces.

The applicant, 1200 N. Henry Street LLC, is an entity of Avanti Holdings Group. Alexandria-based Avanti, led by principals Teddy Kim (he of The People’s Drug and Chop Shop Taco), Keinan Ashkenaziand Greg Salvaggio, has largely tackled smaller warehouse-to-office conversions and retail projects to this point. This will be its largest endeavor to date.

Designed by Davis Carter Scott Ltd., the seven-story building has a triangular footprint and rises to a maximum height of 85 feet along the western edge, where it is closest to the Braddock Gateway campus and a planned extension of North Fayette Street. A 20-foot high retail podium would front Route 1.

The site, where North Henry and North Patrick streets begin, is just south of the Route 1 bridge carrying traffic toward Potomac Yard. It is really the first thing drivers see as they come south toward Old Town. City planners, who recommend approval, say the proposed development offers “high-quality architectural design with a signature gateway element” at its northern entrance, a publicly accessible plaza, underground utilities and a $20,000 contribution to Alexandria’s Capital Bike Share Fund.

Cathy Puskar with Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC is the LLC’s land use attorney.

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