Landmark/Van Dorn Planning
Landmark Mall Redevelopment
The Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns the central section of the Landmark Mall site, has submitted plans to the City of Alexandria for redevelopment of the portion of Landmark Mall between the existing Sears and Macy’s stores. The City has begun holding public meetings and is encourging citizen feedback. For more information about the redevelopment proposal and public meetings, or to comment on the plan, click here.
Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan
The Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted ordinance 4598 incorporating the Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan into the City's Master Plan as an amendment to the Landmark/Van Dorn Small Area Plan on June 13, 2009.
The plan envisions the redevelopment of Landmark Mall and the major parcels to the south as a lively, mixed-use town center for Alexandria's West End. Incorporating retail, residential, office and hotel development and a number of urban parks and plazas, the town center would be organized in a walkable grid of urban blocks. A new bridge over Duke Street is proposed to connect Landmark Mall to the rest of the town center and to other neighborhoods to the south.
South on Van Dorn Street from Landmark Mall, the area between Edsall Road and Pickett Street would also be revitalized with new mixed-use development.
A new transit system in dedicated lanes, as proposed in the City's Transportation Master Plan, would provide connections to the Van Dorn Metro and to other locations in the region.
The details of the plan and its implementation concepts are outlined in the plan documents below:
Related Technical Documents
Related Images, Maps & Plans
For further information on the Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan and current activities in the Landmark/Van Dorn area, please call Pat Mann at 703.746.3857, e-mail or mail to Planning and Zoning, 301 King Street Suite 2100 Alexandria, VA 22314.
Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan Archive
The links below document the history of the development of the Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan and provide additional background on the issues addressed and how policies were developed. These documents include presentations made at each of the community meetings during the planning process and notes on participation at key community workshops.
- February 21, 2009. City Council Public Hearing
- January 21, 2009. Public Information Meeting with Landmark/Van Dorn Advisory Group
- January 6, 2009 Planning Commission Public Hearing
- December 15, 2008
- November 17, 2008
- October 28, 2008 City Council Worksession
- October 20, 2008
- October 7, 2008
- September 22, 2008
- September 15, 2008
- July 21, 2008
- July 17, 2008
- June 30, 2008
- June 16, 2008
- May 31, 2008 Planning and Design Workshop focusing on Landmark Mall and adjacent areas
- May 19, 2008
- May 3, 2008 Planning and Design Workshop focusing on transportation and urban design
- April 21, 2008
- March 17, 2008
- January 28, 2008 Advisory Group Meeting
- Dec. 17, 2007 Advisory Group Meeting
- Jan. 26, 2007 - Transportation Element Technical Report
- Jan. 26, 2007 - Transportation Technical Report Appendix
- Jan. 4, 2007 - Affordable Housing Analysis Summary, Economics Research Associates
- Jan. 4, 2007 - Plan Overview with Transportation Technical Analysis Summary
- June 29, 2006 - Community Meeting Presentation
- March 28, 2006 - Update Presentation to City Council and Planning Commission on Vision for the Landmark/Van Dorn Plan
- Oct. 27, 2005 - Community Meeting Presentation
- June 15, 2005 - Alternatives Workshop Presentation
- June 15, 2005 - Meeting Notes
- May 2005 - Background Report
- Oct. 21, 2004 - Meeting Notes
- Sep. 2004 - Urban Land Institute Washington Technical Assistance Panel Report
Landmark/Van Dorn Advisory Group
The Landmark/Van Dorn Advisory Group was established by the City Council on November 19, 2007. The members of the group were appointed by the Mayor. A list of the members is at the link below. The resolution establishing the panel outlines its mission.
Advisory Group Draft Review
The Advisory Group raised a number of issues regarding the draft plan at the meeting of November 17, and additional issues were raised in e-mails to staff. The document linked below provides a list of these issues and staff responses to them.
Documents Posted at the Request of Advisory Group Members:
Staff Comments on West End Citizen Principles
The West End Citizen Principles paper characterizes the 2006 concept plan (presented in the June, 2006 and January, 2007 presentations above) in a way that does not reflect the plan's concepts for development of Landmark Mall or of affordable housing.
With respect to Landmark Mall, the Principles imply that Landmark Mall would have less commercial development under the plan than it has today. In fact, the plan provided for a 2.0 FAR for the site, for a total of 4.5 million square feet, compared to the current floor area of approximately 1.0 million square feet. The assumed development included approximately the same retail floor area as currently exists on the site, with the addition of approximately 1400 residential units, a hotel, and approximately 250,000 square feet of office use, for a total FAR of 1.4 to 1.5. Approximately one million square feet of additional floor area with unspecified use would be permitted in the long term. Slide 8 of the plan summary presentation from January 4, 2007 shows nearly a doubling of retail and hotel use in the planning area, and an increase in office use from nearly none to approximately 500,000 square feet.
With respect to affordable housing, the Principles imply that affordable housing was the justification for proposing mixed-use redevelopment of existing commercial properties. Mixed-use retail plus residential use as the land use mix for redeveloped sites was assumed for two reasons. First, residential use as a component of mixed-use projects is a requirement for lively, active mixed-use centers. Mixed-use developments that include only commercial uses (retail and office) are often empty of activity at night. Second, residential demand was seen by the market study conducted for the plan as the primary driving force behind redevelopment demand for these sites. By comparison, the market study saw little office demand in the Van Dorn Street corridor until an active mixed-use environment could be created that would attract certain office users. The affordable housing program for the plan was intended to ensure long-term sustainable affordability in the planning area in the face of rapid loss of market-rate affordable housing citywide by (1) not encouraging redevelopment of existing garden apartment areas and (2) requiring that a significantly greater share of affordable and workforce housing be included in all mixed-use and residential projects resulting from rezoning than is typically provided in density bonus projects or with voluntary affordable housing contributions. The affordable housing analysis conducted for the project used 15% affordable and workforce housing units as a target for new mixed-use and residential projects (January 4, 2007 presentation on affordable housing). The information in the background report for the project (page 13 of the May, 2005 Understanding the Place Report) indicates that in 2000, approximately 71% of the housing in the context area for the plan was rental housing, compared to approximately 60% citywide. The citywide share of rental housing units as a percentage of all occupied housing units has fallen to approximately 52% according to the 2006 American Community Survey (slide 13 from December 17, 2007 staff presentation), and it is likely that the share of rentals in the Landmark/Van Dorn Plan Context Area has also fallen substantially since that time.
These concepts will be re-evaluated as part of the current program for development of the plan for the Landmark/Van Dorn area.