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New Apartment Building Proposed for Downtown McLean

Newest proposal for Elm Street parking lot

The owners of a parking lot in downtown McLean are talking to McLean officials and residents about a proposal to build a seven-nine story apartment building on the site.

The proposal is the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of what to do with the large parking lot behind 6862 Elm St. that is owned by JBG, a development company.

This is the same site where two years ago JBG and townhouse developer EYA proposed building 49 townhouses and a large garage along Elm Street.

The McLean Planning Committee, a citizens advisory committee on downtown development, truly disliked that idea. Several members of Planning Committee kept asking for a larger development like an apartment building.

Representatives of JBG briefed Supervisor John Foust and a small committee from the Planning Committee on their initial concepts at a recent meeting.

The proposal calls for a "Baroque" looking building containing 200-250 apartments. Apparently it is a striking design. JBG refused to share drawings or details of the project saying it was in its initial stages.

The new JBG proposal also calls for a separate three-story building along Elm Street that would contain a mix of stores.

Foust said: "The JBG proposal is at a very preliminary stage. It needs to be vetted by the McLean Planning Committee, the MCA, the community, county staff, the Planning Commission and me. Traffic generation and transportation demand management options will need to be studied and may be a limiting factor on the size of the project. I think the proposal has good potential and converting a large parking lot into an attractive apartment complex could be a significant step toward revitalizing downtown McLean."

McLean has two other high-rise residential buildings in downtown -- The Ashby and The McLean House.

The five acre tract is zoned for commercial uses.

Locally Involved March 02, 2012 at 11:18 PM
This is a much better idea (than the ill-conceived storage facility on Beverly/Chain Bridge) use of space. Providing additional residential property provides (1) competition for rental that should keep rising rents in check, (2) more consumers for local businesses, foot traffic, etc., and (3) more living options for government workers. All of which contribute to a livable, walkable community without the high rise overbuilding that is going on in Tysons and is seen in Bethesda. The questions that come to mind is if our roads can handle the additional traffic loads (200-250 apartments may equate to at least an additional 500 folks commuting), can our local schools absorb additional populations, and of course, hopefully onsite parking is provided to deal with parking issues with additional residents. At first blush, sounds good.

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