Jimmy John’s coming to Fort Belvoir area, not to Huntington

Front view of Belvoir Square Apartments

Belvoir Square — future home to Jimmy John’s

When a large Jimmy John’s sign appeared on a fence surrounding the boarded-up Sunoco at the corner of Huntington Avenue and Richmond Highway this week, residents wondered if the sub shop was primed to replace the longtime eyesore.

It turns out the sign is unrelated to any plan to build a sub shop where the gas station once stood. But Jimmy John’s is indeed opening a second restaurant along the highway — in the ground-floor retail space at Belvoir Square Apartments.

A spokeswoman for Jimmy John’s would only confirm that a new location is expected to open near Fort Belvoir by late fall. However a Belvoir Square employee confirmed that a new Jimmy John’s would be opening there before year’s end.

The new Jimmy John’s will be Belvoir Square’s first retail tenant since the five-story luxury property opened its doors just over one year ago. The building is located across from Fort Belvoir’s Tulley Gate, close to the intersection of Richmond Highway and the Fairfax County Parkway.

As for the Sunoco, it’s still unclear what the future holds for the dilapidated structure. Originally built in 1973, the building hasn’t been used as a service station since 2003, when the land was purchased by the state and used as a staging ground for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project. The state sold the property back to Sunoco in 2011 for $1 million, according to Fairfax County property records.

Sunoco had wanted to reopen the location as a convenience store and six-pump service station, but that plan was blocked by the county. In early 2017, the property was put up for sale by Sunoco as part of an auction of nearly 100 of the companies properties. However no purchase was made, and the land continues to be owned by Sunoco, according to county records.

If a fast-food style restaurant did want to open on the site, it would face challenges. Because the land falls in a “highway corridor overlay district,” it is subject to rules that allow the county more discretion for what kind of businesses can operate on the site.

Erika Christ contributed reporting from Fort Belvoir.