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Judge: Severance Must Return to Virginia

Construction of Monroe Avenue Development to Begin in November

New 276-unit luxury apartment building with some retail space expected to be completed in late 2014.

Construction of a five-story, 276-unit luxury apartment building near the corner of Monroe Avenue and Main Line Boulevard will begin in November.

The complex, which is referred to as Monroe Square at Del Ray East by developer Woodfield Investments, will include a six-level (one level below grade), 368-space parking garage and 3,500 square feet of retail space. Seventy percent of the units will be one-bedroom apartments.

The retail space is not expected to house a restaurant.

“We’ll take all-comers, but we want an amenity [for our residents],” Todd Jacobus of Woodfield Investments said at a meeting with neighbors on Monday at the Reingold office on Monroe Avenue.

Jacobus said there is the potential to split the retail space into two storefronts.

The parking garage will be built first and is expected to take six to seven months to complete. The apartments will be constructed around the garage, shielding it from view from the street.

Construction work will be performed between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and holidays. Work is not permitted on Sundays.  

The construction process will include some drilling work and the use of a tower crane.

Construction workers will park on the unfinished portion of S. Main Line Boulevard to the south of the site. Workers are not permitted to park on Monroe or Leslie avenues.

Jacobus anticipated that construction would be completed in about 22 months.

The building will have some art-deco design elements similar to George Washington Middle School and the former Gold Crust building that will soon house Swing’s Coffee.

The complex received approval from Alexandria City Council in January.

Woodfield Investments completed the Siena Park apartment complex on Columbia Pike in Arlington County in 2009.

McBrinn October 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Can't wait!
G Hudgins October 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Too bad no images were shared with article. The billboard is hard to see but it looks like typical Alexandria buildings - brick and more brick. Can't we have some contemporary architecture in these new areas?
Drew Hansen (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
The renderings with the city documents are in black and white and equally hard to see. I will attach another photo with a closer view of the rendering. Jacobus said a website for the development would come on line at some point. I'll pass that along once it goes live.
Nate McKenzie October 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Does anyone have a link to the plans?
Joseph M. October 25, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Here is a link to the Development Special Use Permit. Note that the City Council modified a few conditions (dealing with parking mostly) when they approved it in Jan 2012. There was a vocal group of neighbors that petitioned against the parking reduction. If I recall correctly, the residents will not be able to apply for a Residential Parking Permit (if a district is instituted) to help prevent new tenants from parking on the street to avoid garage fees. Also, not positive about this, but I think the visitor parking is supposed to be available to the general public (like soccer parents). http://dockets.alexandriava.gov/fy11/012112ph/di9.pdf
Drew Hansen (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Thanks, Joseph. I was just digging that link up when you posted it. I was out of the country when it was approved. I just attached a photo to the story that has a closer view of the rendering of the development.
Nate McKenzie October 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Great - thanks! Drew - by the way in poking around the city website on a previous discussion, I was made aware of the Braddock Gateway project which should be starting soon and hasn't gotten much discussion that I've seen. It might be worth a separate poke. Drawings are at https://www.google.com/url?q=http://dockets.alexandriava.gov/icons/pz/pc/CY11/090811/di12b.pdf&sa=U&ei=WFCJUNiNE5GF0QHJoYCgDg&ved=0CAcQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNHGTBJhWnvjqC5uKoJHimO8wuClXQ
Brett G. October 25, 2012 at 04:13 PM
348 of the 363 spaces, if I'm reading it correctly, are reserved for residents of the building. That means there are only 25 spaces in reality. I don't see that resolving problems in the area. Monroe Avenue is like the Wild West on the weekends when there are baseball games/soccer tournaments (parking is needed for the parents of 4 baseball teams, and up to 6 soccer teams at one time, not to mention overlap when one set of games begins/ends). It's hundreds of cars. The YMCA lot (a private lot) is full of folks for soccer games, meaning Y members no longer have parking available. Same goes for Giant/CVS/Rhinegold lots. It's likely the Y will have to start enforcing the lot so its members can park. Cars parking on crosswalks, right up to corners (limiting driver and pedestrian visibility), etc. Head over to Monroe Ave. 10 a.m. to noon-ish any Saturday and see the chaos. Living on the 500 block of E. Nelson, overflow soccer parking reaches us. Several times on Saturdays, no parking available for residents for most of the block, cars parked illegally around corners, etc. Not to mention, what happens when Swings Coffee Roaster opens its cafe? The development is here, I understand that, but the City is behind on addressing these issues already. The soccer fields have been open for quite some time now--I've seen no plan for parking/pedestrian safety. It's already bad, and the major development is just beginning, let's hope these things get addressed soon.
McBrinn October 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Brett- I made the same points here over a year ago, before Reingold even opened. I called the city and let them know that someone was asleep at the wheel. Nothing has been done. You can search my posts and find them here. When some kid is run over and killed by one of these cars looking for parking I'll bet these posts will be used against the city in the subsequent lawsuits. Last weekend I counted three cars parked in the grass by the new development- just east of Swings. The only way they could have gotten there is if they'd DRIVEN OVER THE CURB AND ACROSS THE SIDEWALK. Yes, across the sidewalk full of kids heading to and from the Soccer/ Baseball games. Perhaps Drew could figure out just what idiot alllowed this to happen?
Drew Hansen (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 05:02 PM
There was a lot of discussion between council members and city staff of the parking issues in this area when Swing's received approval. Here's my story from that: http://delray.patch.com/articles/swing-s-coffee-set-to-make-move-to-del-ray Traffic calming funds were just placed back into the city's budget after a several year absence. There's a backlog of projects across the city. I'll see if I can find a prioritized list. That will probably have to wait until after the election.
Brett G. October 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I must have missed the cars driving over the sidewalk. My favorite so far has been cars parked on the North side of Monroe Ave., just south of the actual soccer fields and East of Leslie. There are no spots on the North side of the street--people were just creating them. This created enough room for only 1 lane of traffic for a while on Monroe. That was a mess. A few weeks ago, walking to the YMCA, I saw a Parking Officer out and was overjoyed. Unfortunately, she was not ticketing anybody (?!?!). She said b/c the City has failed to put up "No Parking" signs or otherwise make clear where people can/cannot park, that she was unable to ticket people, even those parked on a crosswalk. Complete insanity. I have also questioned why the Police have set speed traps on Potomac Avenue, where almost no one lives yet, but they do not enforce speeding on Monroe Avenue (people speed down the Hill from the bridge quite often), where there are actual people and businesses and unregulated crosswalks. I wrote the City regarding these types of concerns back in 2009, when the Monroe Ave. development was just a twinkle in the eye, and I'm sure you and I are not the only ones to do so. I can't believe nothing has been done. As I said previously, the development is here, it's the lack of preparation/planning that astounds me. We have a toddler and often walk to the Y/Park, and I completely share your concerns about the dangers this all poses to kids.
Joseph M. October 25, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Cars parked on the street actually paradoxically increase safety by narrowing the line of sight and slowing down cars. "Last weekend I counted three cars parked in the grass by the new development- just east of Swings". Could they have been construction worker cars that entered through the under-construction portion of Main Line Blvd? Even if not construction workers but soccer parents, is it possible that they entered off of Main Line? As someone that also lives in the immediate vicinity, I'm just not seeing the capacity issues, even on Saturday mornings. I see vibrancy, not congestion. For example, you can street park on the portion underneath the bridge but I've never seen anyone park there (sidewalk being temporarily closed obviously doesn't help). And it's worth repeating, once Main Line Blvd opens, there will be hundreds of new street parking spaces stretching all the way down to near Braddock Road.
Brett G. October 25, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Thanks for the link to the parking article, Drew. I'd missed that one. Though the City didn't provide much in the way of solutions in there either.
amy lu October 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
fyi, the YMCA parking lot is on private property but - in 1994 the Y verbally agreed to share their lot with City sponsored athletic uses in exchange for creating consolidated driveway, receiving a parking reduction, and allowing Y users to park in the Simpson Field parking lot. So feel free to park in the Y's underutilized lot. (I get a kick out of watching folks going to the Y to work out, as they park as close to the Y's front door as possible. Somewhat counterproductive.)

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