McKay, Storck form new group to spur investment in corridor

Team sitting around table in conference room

The kickoff meeting for the Strategic Economic Development Team on Monday. (Courtesy of Supervisor Dan Storck)

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck and Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay have formed a group that will work toward a goal of attracting the economic development envisioned in the Embark Richmond Highway plan.

The new group, dubbed the Strategic Economic Development Team, will be tasked with bringing private and public investments to the corridor, according to a press release issued after the team’s first meeting Monday.

“Over the coming year, the Team will work together toward a common goal — the successful implementation of Embark”, the press release said. “The Supervisors and County staff will work closely with this group to utilize their varied expertise to drive new quality businesses and investment to the Richmond Highway corridor.”

The Economic Development Team will be comprised of members of the County Economic Development Authority, Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC), Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, Office of Community Revitalization, Office of Public Private Partnerships, County Planning and Zoning, County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), and the County Executive’s Office.

Specific individual members were not named.

The team will focus on the following missions, per the release:

  • General marketing of our communities and the Richmond Highway corridor
  • Targeted marketing to specific industries that would be a good fit for the corridor
  • Recruitment and head-hunting by sector to drive the most economic development
  • Package revitalization opportunities within a Community Business Center (CBC) or specific location
  • Enhance community engagement, education and outreach
  • Engage the business community, including property and business owners, to gain support
  • Encourage additional County investment, coordination and advocacy

The Embark plan, approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in March after years of planning, seeks to transform the Richmond Highway corridor through expanded transportation options and the development of six distinct and interconnected community business centers (CBCs). These CBCs — located in North Gateway, Penn Daw, Beacon/Groveton, Hybla Valley/Gum Springs, South County and Woodlawn — would be home to bus rapid transit (BRT) stations, and feature high-density, mixed-use developments. An extension of Metro’s Yellow Line to Hybla Valley is also envisioned.

By improving infrastructure and making zoning changes — certain CBCs will allow for significantly taller buildings than previously allowed — Embark is also intended to attract businesses that have previously avoided the Richmond Highway corridor.

“Identifying and attracting the best businesses and developers to bring the Embark vision to life will energize revitalization along the Richmond Highway corridor,” Storck said in the release. “It is important that we work together strategically as a region to make this vision a reality, while preserving the traditional communities that surround the corridor.”

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