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FairfaxBusinessMajor facelift proposed for shopping center in McLean

Major facelift proposed for shopping center in McLean

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A proposal to redevelop Chain Bridge Shopping Center in McLean – home of a Giant Food grocery store, CVS drugstore and numerous retailers – is wending its way through Fairfax County’s development process.

McLean Properties in July 2021 submitted a by-right development proposal for the shopping center, which is located on about 10.6 acres bounded by Chain Bridge Road, Ingleside Avenue, Beverly Road and Redmond Drive.

The proposal, which Fairfax County staff members currently are reviewing, calls for razing the Giant, retail stores and Verizon warehouse and constructing a new single-story building for Giant that would be set back more on the site and located on the former warehouse’s spot, according to information supplied by the Dranesville District supervisor’s office.

The Sun Gazette reached out to a McLean Properties representative multiple times for comment, but received no response.


Under the plan, the Giant grocery store would increase from 66,000 square feet to 77,000, and the developer would build a string of 14 one-story retail stores along Ingleside Avenue. A new, stand-alone CVS building, which would occupy about the same square footage as the existing store, would be built at Ingleside Avenue and Chain Bridge Road.

The existing Giant store would remain open during construction of the new building, but close for a short period for demolition, county officials said.

The resulting total gross floor area of the redeveloped site would be 119,000 square feet, or 16,000 less than the current amount. The shopping center now has 606 parking spaces; the proposed development would have 551 surface-parking spaces, which would exceed the 476 required by county code.

The site, which is a key piece of property in McLean’s Community Business Center (CBC), was slated for mixed-use development in 2008, but McLean Properties scrubbed those plans after a major economic recession struck.

County officials and the community also went through a process for a similar redevelopment in 2017, but McLean Properties withdrew its application for unexplained reasons.

The county’s new comprehensive plan for the 230-acre McLean CBC, which the Board of Supervisors approved last June, features three concentric zones of with increasing development toward the center. The highest-density development would occur near Beverly Road and Elm Street, visible from – but not connected with – the Chain Bridge Shopping Center.

Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) during his annual “State of McLean” speech to the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 24 mentioned the Chain Bridge Shopping Center’s planned redevelopment, but was less than enthusiastic because of what might have been.

“It’s certainly not the type of development we’re looking for to create a sense of place,” Foust said.

But given Virginia’s strong property-rights policies, unless a developer needs approval for zoning changes, by-right developments generally leave little room for input by local governments.

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