Major Development Proposed for Food Star Site in Bailey’s Crossroads

Major Development Proposed for Food Star Site in Bailey's Crossroads
For this location on Route 7, apartment towers are proposed.

A comprehensive plan change is underway for a portion of the Town Center District into Bailey’s Crossroads Community Business Center.

George Hong, the owner of the Food Star property at 5521 Leesburg Pike, told the Bailey’s Crossroads/7 Corners Revitalization Corporation (BC7RC) September 29 on a proposal to develop four apartment buildings on that site (subunit B-5 of the city center).

Subunit B-5 is located west of Skyline Towers between Leesburg Pike, Carlin Springs Road, Gorham Street and Seminary Road. Food Star opened in February 2020 in the former Toys R Us building.

Hong proposes three 14 or 15-storey towers along Leesburg Pike and a mid-rise block of flats in the middle of the block. The buildings would contain a total of 1,120 units and shops on the ground floor.

The floor-to-area ratio (FAR), a measure of density, would be increased from its current level of 1.5 to about 2.8.

Related story: Food Star supermarket opens

The Supervisory Board has given permission for the treatment of a: comprehensive plan change for subunit B-5 on May 10. The carousel apartments on the other side of Seminary Road are located in sub-unit B-5, but are not covered by the proposed change to the plan.

The current comprehensive plan for that area allows up to 500 units in sub-unit B-5 and buildings up to four to six floors – with a seven-story option if all land is consolidated into B-4 and B-5.

The Bank of America building is on the corner of Seminary Road and Gorham Street.

Hong says the owner of the Bank of America building at the back of the block on Seminary Road is open to consolidation. That building also houses the Somali Fashion Centre, Tobacco Mart and Crown Lounge.

Fairfax County planning staff would also like to see the other properties on the block — occupied by a Shell Station, Seminary Corner Auto, and Haifa Grill — also consolidated. The staff has not yet determined whether the project could proceed without including those packages.

Public hearings on a plan change would be scheduled sometime in the spring of 2023. The planning staff would release a personnel report after a community engagement process and about a month before the planning committee hearing. If a plan change is approved, the proposed project will go through a repurposing process.

BC7RC President Mike Van Atta suggested that Hong contact the businesses on the high street across Gorham Street to gauge their interest in the project. That mall includes Denny’s, Auto Zone, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Oven Fresh Pizza Shop, Mint Tobacco, Filipino Global Supermarket, a pawn shop, and Malisa Beauty Salon.