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Old 06-03-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,640,334 times
Reputation: 1495

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As long as you don't take away my banh mi at Eden I am ok with this :P

I actually think if any single intersection in Fairfax could look like dupont circle, it would be seven corners. Get 2 or 3 developers in place, you already have the tunnel for Route 50 in place, and turn the traffic signal nightmare into a decked over, pedestrian friendly, mixed use center with a roundabout. It doesnt even need to be super density, just better designed. A nice 6 or 7 stories, provided tighter in on the intersection should be enough density incentive for a couple of private developers to help pay for the re-alignment. The key would be for them to START with residential, since there is already a lot of office and definitely some great retail in that region. Close to East Falls Church metro, etc, definitely could be a boom for anyone who can acquire the property, county approval, and capital. Get that residential in place, then expand out the mixed use to include retail
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
448 posts, read 739,462 times
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^^^ Excellent idea. However, on top of being extremely expensive, the red tape with the all the jurisdictions (Fairfax County, VDOT, City of Falls Church) involved would be extremely difficult to navigate. But I repeat, that would be a great idea

Later this summer, a hotel and some town homes are scheduled to begin construction at the south end of Seven Corners (just south of the towers). So expect the nightmare to get even worse.

There is a group of residents in the seven corners area that likes to ride bikes, but they lament that they must go up to Arlington to get decent trails. The thing they complain about the most is the nightmare in trying to get through seven corners on a bike. Then the Fairfax side of Wilson Blvd is better, but not ideal. But they say that crossing into Arlington County is like night and day.

The good news about this group is that they are making a lot of noise and agitating for change. When that happens, people in high places eventually begin to listen. I will mention your roundabout idea to them, just to put it out there and see where it goes. Hey, never hurts to ask does it?
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,640,334 times
Reputation: 1495
Are they associated with FABB (Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking?)

Quick estimate on decking 7 corners over for a roundabout, about 8-15 million, which in terms of decking projects is actually not much. The good news is the structure is already there, its just really badly laid out. Change out the surface features, add a bit on the edges which can be done by extending structural tunnel components and it can definitely happen.

The red tape is the bigger issue, VDOT would never allow it. Order of magnitude, those 6-8 story midrises usually run about 20 million per 100 units, again another estimate, I would say cost to construct the actual buildings around the new circle would be about 240 million at close out for about 1200 units. So decking assistance would be definitely under 10%, which is a good number to get public infrastructure assistance to when it comes to density concessions to get developers to play ball.

It would take finding the right developer obviously, and I would think that the wise thing to do would be to wait for the LRT to trigger when this would be allowed so that there would be the transportation infrastructure to make it make sense. Definitely COULD happen, who knows if it will happen though. If it did I would consider living there, quicker access to Pho than from Tysons

The reason why a developer would be interested is if that plan actually occurred, rental rates at the circle if properly connected by light rail to Arlington and near East FC metro would easily draw 1700 for 1brs, and up to 2500 for 2brs. 1200 units averaging a half half mix could bring in 2.5 million in revenue (minus about 20% for maintenance/staffing/taxes) so 2 million per month. Hell even at 1.5 million per month (18 million a year) that pays back around 15-20 years on most financing scenarios. Which in terms of midrise/highrise construction is a really good return period.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:14 PM
 
518 posts, read 1,292,688 times
Reputation: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Kingstowne is a bit more controlled, and as you said suburban. Shirlington is a lot more dense, a lot more family shops, some more cultural diversity which is a good thing for some, and a scary thing for others. I personally love the little korean BBQs, vietnamese pho shops, and the overall busyness of it. I think its major draw back is it has experienced very little attention from the region as far as improving some of its long standing transportation and land use needs, something I think over the next 10 years that the county will double up on as far as trying to correct. I really like the things happening on closer to columbia pike than the 395 region of shirlington (personally)
I disagree with your description of Shirlington. It's an urban shopping/residential village along the lines of Pentagon Row or Bethesda Row. FRIT was in fact the developer of all three projects. Shirlington is not up and coming as you said in a previous post. The whole shopping district was redeveloped in the mid 80s and was recently expanded when the Best & Co dept store closed. Within the past five years, numerous upscale condos and apartments have been built, and in the historically African American Green Valley neighborhood on the other side of the W&OD bike trail, expensive town homes have replaced low income housing. Shirlington is not that urban, it's more of an island of density, disconnected from the other areas of the county. But there is a decent transit station there, where buses depart for the Pentagon and other local destinations. The newest part of Shirlington is anchored by the Signature Theater (performing arts space), the local branch library, a Harris Teeter, and the old movie theater. The entire commercial district is within walking distance of the new condos and apartments.

In terms of cultural diversity, I'd say that Kingstown is far more diverse than Shirlington. South Arlington as a whole, however, is one of the most culturally diverse areas in the region.

To the OP, also consider Fairlington up the hill from Shirlington. It is a beautiful, historic community of 1930s era row houses built in the style of the English garden suburbs.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:49 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,400,674 times
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Shirlington is one of my favorite places in the entire DC Metro area. I still have to pinch myself when I realize I can now ride my bike there from home in about 15-20 minutes. *sigh* I haven't actually seen Kingstowne proper, but I've been in the vicinity thereof (I know, I know, not the same thing) and wasn't impressed. As far as actual Kingstowne, my roommate says I wouldn't like it, and he knows my tastes well. His suspicion that I wouldn't care for Fairfax Co.'s Kingstowne does not surprise me, given what a large portion of the former looks like it must've been a really, really naughty county at some point and earned a few extra licks from the ugly stick.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:16 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
448 posts, read 739,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Are they associated with FABB (Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking?)
Not sure, but I will find out
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:17 AM
 
1,326 posts, read 2,686,683 times
Reputation: 992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
Shirlington is one of my favorite places in the entire DC Metro area. I still have to pinch myself when I realize I can now ride my bike there from home in about 15-20 minutes. *sigh* I haven't actually seen Kingstowne proper, but I've been in the vicinity thereof (I know, I know, not the same thing) and wasn't impressed. As far as actual Kingstowne, my roommate says I wouldn't like it, and he knows my tastes well. His suspicion that I wouldn't care for Fairfax Co.'s Kingstowne does not surprise me, given what a large portion of the former looks like it must've been a really, really naughty county at some point and earned a few extra licks from the ugly stick.
Not sure what that last sentence means - the whole county is ugly? I find it to be a rather pretty county.

Anyway Kingstowne is just a suburb- The shopping center that most people think of as Kingstowne is really just a shopping center near a suburb. It wasn't built to be a "town center" like Reston or even like Shirlington, which I love btw, aside from the crappy parking. It is all part of the development - and as someone mentioned governed highly, this includes the shopping center. Which has it's good points and bad points. The good part is that the area has maintained it's property values..due to location, and mandatory upkeep on your property. It has older sections and newer sections, SFH, TH, Apts and Condos. Access to the pools and fitness centers, safe wooded trails, wide sidewalks and relatively little traffic. All of the main roads connecting Kingstowne (not counting Kingstowne Parkway or Van Dorn) are 4 laned, and there are multiple ways in and out, which relieves congestion. It does have a very diverse ethnic population - but not the ethnic flavor in the restaurants and shopping. And from what I have observed that population is slightly older with families, rather than young single people. There are plenty of younger single people, who live there most likely for the commuting options, rather than the urban nightlife, which just isn't there.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:16 AM
 
765 posts, read 848,290 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by slduvall View Post
All of the main roads connecting Kingstowne (not counting Kingstowne Parkway or Van Dorn) are 4 laned, and there are multiple ways in and out, which relieves congestion.
You may not be counting Van Dorn, but since I currently live in Kingstowne, I have a lot of concerns regarding Van Dorn street (all the way to the City of Alexandria). It is very congested during rush hour, and I don't see any relief coming soon.

Edit: by the way, I love it here, just not Van Dorn st
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:21 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,400,674 times
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I think of Shirlington as a smaller, less architecturally interesting (but still architecturally interesting to me - I love mid-century architecture and my appreciation for it grows daily), 1940s version of Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, the country's first planned shopping center (though it looks absolutely nothing like one in the contemporary sense of that term.. more like a miniature downtown with 1920s American 'Moorish' architecture):

Country Club Plaza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As for Fairfax Co., I'm well aware that there are numerous pockets (residential and parkland, in most cases) that are perfectly lovely; they apparently somehow avoided the wrath of the ugly stick visited on the county's commercial areas.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:33 AM
 
1,326 posts, read 2,686,683 times
Reputation: 992
Quote:
Originally Posted by tongyang View Post
You may not be counting Van Dorn, but since I currently live in Kingstowne, I have a lot of concerns regarding Van Dorn street (all the way to the City of Alexandria). It is very congested during rush hour, and I don't see any relief coming soon.

Edit: by the way, I love it here, just not Van Dorn st
Van Dorn is a misery I wouldn't inflict on my worst enemy. I was mainly referring to Kingstowne Village parkway and Hayfield, the roads that bisect Kingstowne. There are other options to getting out of Kingstowne towards various areas (Beulah, Hayfield, Telegraph, Manchester to the Parkway) - expect of course getting to where you need to be...
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