FCEDA presents market assessment study of Richmond Highway corridor

(Image courtesy of: RHI)

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) presented a market assessment study of the Richmond Highway corridor to the county’s Economic Advisory Commission on Tuesday, February 16. The market study reviewed and analyzed the pipeline for retail, office, hotel and residential development and long-term land-use plans for the busy and populous corridor, including the effects of the Embark Richmond Highway initiative and major employment announcements on residential and commercial development.

The FCEDA engaged Washington, D.C.-based Partners in Economic Solutions (PES) in April 2020 to study the corridor, which spans 10 miles between the Capital Beltway and Fort Belvoir in southeastern Fairfax County. The study outlines possible next steps including additional branding of communities on the corridor, finding new uses for public spaces, providing technical and financial assistance to corridor businesses, and additional marketing of the corridor to real estate investors.

Click here to see the study and a PowerPoint presentation.

“Richmond Highway is one of the oldest and most important business corridors in Fairfax County,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “This market assessment will help county officials, businesses, residents, stakeholders and partners along the corridor build on the important work already done by the county and understand what kind of redevelopment and revitalization opportunities will bring the most benefits for the community and value to the county.”

The $1 billion Embark Richmond Highway initiative, approved in 2018, includes multi-modal transportation improvements construction of a bus rapid transit line with nine stops at Community Business Centers along the corridor. An updated comprehensive plan also reimagines development options within the Community Business Centers.

Important nearby developments include construction of Amazon’s HQ2 in the Crystal City area of Arlington County and the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria, as well as growth at Fort Belvoir and the opening of the National Museum of the United States Army on the post.

The study outlines possible next steps including additional branding of communities on the corridor, finding new uses for public spaces, providing technical and financial assistance to corridor businesses, and additional marketing of the corridor to real estate investors.

Fairfax County supervisors Daniel G. Storck (Mount Vernon District) and Rodney L. Lusk (Lee District) said the study provides a strong foundation for future action.

“The future is very bright for all our current and future residents. Our vision is to leave no one behind as we reimagine and equitably develop into a 21st-century urban community, and this is reinforced by the PES study,” Storck said. “While Embark created the framework and infrastructure to transform the corridor, the study provides the analysis and data we need to activate and secure additional investment to amplify the more than $1 billion in county, state and federal investments. I appreciate our strong partnership with the FCEDA and their commitment to our community.”

Lusk called the market study “an important and necessary first step” as the county sets future changes for this area into motion.

“I want to commend Partners for Economic Solutions for the extensive analysis, thought and specific recommendations that are contained in this final report.” Lusk said. “It provides us a framework for understanding where the historic Richmond Highway is today and a possible path forward in the specific market areas of retail, hotel and office. This study and its findings are the first step in plotting our course and I look forward to working with the community to develop an implementation plan.”

Partners for Economic Solutions is an urban economics consulting firm dedicated to fostering sustainable economic vitality and growth in America’s neighborhoods, cities and regions.


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Are you an entrepreneur on or near the Richmond Highway corridor? The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, a non-profit partner of Fairfax County, wants your input about the needs of area entrepreneurs.

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February 18, 2021