Annandale is located in the Mason District of Fairfax County, approximately 30 miles southwest of Washington, DC. Annandale is a unique community with a multicultural population; many longtime residents in the surrounding neighborhoods; a strong community spirit, which is exemplified by year-round community events; and a well-known Korean restaurant scene.
Technical Assistance Panels, or TAPs, provide expert, multidisciplinary advice to public agencies facing complex land use and real estate issues in the Metropolitan Washington Region. Over the course of two days, a team of seven ULI members endeavored to understand Annandale’s land use challenges. The Panel then developed recommendations to assist the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization in the following areas:
- Propose evidence-based catalytic project ideas, exploring new and other identified ideas
- Identify ideal parcels for consolidation, particularly for catalytic project ideas or ideal assembly for redevelopment
- Evaluate potential infrastructure investments, incentives and/or partnerships to spur revitalization in Annandale
- Identify other creative ideas or tools to spur or facilitate revitalization in Annandale
Panelists found that while Annandale’s assets are numerous, these assets are coupled with several challenges, including a fragmented pedestrian environment, fractured land ownership, large privately-owned surface parking lots, a dearth of gathering spaces, and high traffic volumes moving at high speeds. Furthermore, based on the Panel’s analysis, development over the short-term is unjustifiable, and should therefore not be relied upon as the catalyst for revitalization.
Panelists formulated strategic short- and medium-term recommendations with a specific goal: to help move Annandale towards achieving the vision set forth in the existing Comprehensive Plan. Recommendations included operational and organizational strategies – such as establishing either a Main Street Program or Business Improvement District that could coordinate efforts for branding the area, programming community events, engaging local businesses, and enhancement and maintenance of the public realm.
Panelists also recommended several short- and medium-term improvements to the public realm and built environment that aim to reduce traffic volume throughout the area while also enhancing the pedestrian experience, as well as designating temporary space that can accommodate street festivals and other community-serving programming.
The TAP was chaired by Nat Bottigheimer, the DC Regional Market Lead for Fehr & Peers. Members of the Panel included: Connie Fan, LSG Landscape Architecture Inc.; Kaushambi Shah; Josh Olsen, Monument Realty; Jeff Saxe, Kimley-Horn and Associates; Robert Goodill, Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc.; and Tanya Stern, DC Office of Planning.
A final version of the report may be found here.