Indoor farmers markets, community meetings and film festivals—the sky is the limit for the Four Mile Run community building. After nearly a year of renovation, the former Duron Paint Store at 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue was opened to the public on Sunday.
The building is located next door to the site of the weekly Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market.
“What used to be a paint store has been converted into a vibrant space to be used by the public,” said Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, adding that the city will be setting aside $200,000 in contingent reserves to complete work at the site. “It is hopefully going to be symbolic as the gateway from Arlandria into Del Ray, which has been missing for such a long time.”
The city acquired the land at 4109-4125 Mount Vernon Avenue in 2007 as part of its open space program. A special use permit was approved for the property last summer. Local architects from Architects Anonymous then developed a plan to feature a new, large entrance and stage area on the north side, accessible restrooms and a small workroom.
The process took some time, said Councilwoman Del Pepper.
“It’s like watching grass grow to go through all of the processes, but we do have the building and it’s going to be a wonderful asset to the community,” she said.
The north wall will be knocked down in a couple of weeks.
“This is a different project than we’ve ever done in the city before,” said Judy Noritake, Alexandria Parks and Recreation commission chair and Architects Anonymous member.
The Alexandria Arts Commission has applied for a $40,000 grant for a stage and awning.
“Hopefully the state arts commission will approve that,” said Alexandria Arts Commission Chair Pat Miller. “This is a wonderful place because it has been built by the community. They came and painted it, ripped up all the old tile on the walls and cleaned up all the pigeon droppings.”