Owners of Vienna shopping center propose a makeover

Brian Trompeter Around Town

Via Inside Nova 

Owners of Cedar Park Shopping Center in southeast Vienna are planning a series of upgrades to spruce up the commercial area’s appearance and improve prospects for its tenants.

The Vienna Board of Architectural Review (BAR) will review the proposals during a work session Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. at Town Hall. The applicant subsequently will seek approval of the proposal at a future regular BAR meeting.

According to a report prepared by John W. Lister Architects, the project is intended to upgrade customers’ experiences both from the street and parking area; address accessibility issues; improve visibility for the center’s tenants; and offer better signage to enhance curb appeal.

The 80,673-square-foot shopping center, located at 131 Patrick St., S.E., is owned by GRI Cedar Park LLC. According to Fairfax County tax records, the company bought the 7.21-acre property from Sydney Albrittain for $13,766,000 in 2007. County officials this year assessed the site’s building and land at nearly $12.35 million, and its total tax bill, including a special-tax district levy, was $161,565.

The building features about 55,000 square feet of retail space, 10,000 square feet of second-floor office space and a 10,000-square-foot basement with storage areas.

The project is designed to overcome several of the site’s limitations, including the shopping area’s location steep down a hill from Cedar Lane; its large parking lot with minimal landscaping; tenant spaces with low ceilings; some tenant areas that are not readily visible; the building’s second-floor office areas; and unlighted signage done in the town’s previously common style of white lettering on a brown background.

According to project backers, the upgrades would produce in improved “small-town” feel at the shopping center, build upon its existing construction materials and architectural style, use classic design elements and enhance the site’s accessibility.

The project would relocate Americans with Disabilities Act parking spaces so as to improve visitors’ path of travel; provide landscaped parking islands in the drive-access lane and along the parking lot’s perimeter; introduce more trees and plantings, as well as bio-retention islands; renovate the pylon sign at Cedar Lane and Park Street, S.E.; and improve the visibility of tenant signage, including enhanced signs for the center’s second-floor offices, the company’s proposal read.

Image courtesy of Inside Nova