Planning commission approves Kings Crossing development

Future Kings Crossing location

The site of the planned Kings Crossing multifamily residential development is currently occupied by a Wendy’s, a martial arts school and two vacant buildings.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve a new residential development south of the Kings Crossing Walmart in the Penn Daw area.

The proposed 350-unit multifamily building will be built on the east side of Richmond Highway, just north of Fairview Drive. A Wendy’s, two vacant buildings, a martial arts school and undeveloped land currently occupy the site.

Last week the planning commission deferred a vote on approval after a planning and zoning staff report issued in late June had recommended that the development not be approved.

The staff report had cited a number of issues with the original proposal, including the location of a loading dock on a new street that would be built behind the building, and a parks contribution.

Mount Vernon Planning Commissioner Earl Flanagan said Wednesday that those issues had been worked out to his satisfaction, and recommended that the proposal move forward.

Flanagan also emphasized the “overwhelming support” that the neighboring community has for the project. Multiple residents from the Spring Bank neighborhood testified at last week’s public hearing that they had been involved with the developer during the process and supported their plans.

It’s going to be a model for redevelopment on Richmond Highway, I hope,” Flanagan said in remarks after the vote. “It should be the domino that gets a lot of development started.”

The next step for Kings Crossing will come at next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, where the board is scheduled to take a vote on the project. Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck supports Kings Crossing, and was involved in a meeting last week between the developer, residents and Flanagan to work out issues cited in the staff report.

Changing landscape

Once constructed, Kings Crossing will be the latest large-scale development to radically alter the northern section of the Route 1 corridor. High-density properties like the Beacon of Groveton mixed-use development on Richmond Highway, the Shelby Apartments on North Kings Highway and The Parker on Huntington Avenue have all been completed in the last five years.

The proposed Kings Crossing development, seen from the north. Illustration by Michael Winstanley Architects & Planners
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Additionally, South Alex, a new mixed-use development on Kings Highway in Penn Daw, is expected to begin construction in the near future. A new high-density residential development has been approved for the North Hill property on Richmond Highway, and a mixed-use development known as The Grande at Huntington has been approved for the Penn Daw area, although there is no timetable for construction.

North Hill and Kings Crossing were each designed and approved after the county had adopted the Embark Richmond Highway initiative. Embark, which emphasizes more high-density development in various business centers between Huntington and Fort Belvoir, calls for a multi-modal transportation infrastructure along Richmond Highway that features bus rapid transit, the extension of the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley and more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly roads.

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