The owners of Tall Oaks Village Center set up in the center’s empty anchor space on Tuesday to present both a market analysis of why no grocery store will be returning to Tall Oaks and what owners Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) have planned instead.
JAG has been planning mostly residential development at the nearly empty center since it purchased it in 2015. Community input to JAG’s plans was not well received in spring 2015, when it showed renderings of residential developments with limited retail (first 3,000 square feet, then 7,000 square feet) to citizens. Citizens also criticized lack of green space for the site.
What JAG plans now is essentially the same amount of housing — about 150 residences, which will be a mix of condos and townhouses.
However, an independent Fairfax County review of the retail analysis says the neighborhood could support up to 8,500 square feet of service and retail. JAG says it will acquire an additional existing office building to develop into service/retail.
Meanwhile, Bignell Watkins Hasser Architects have prepared a pretty cool animated 3D flyover tour of new Tall Oaks. Check it out below.
JAG also envisions well-planned outdoor space to give Tall Oaks a community feel, which was the original goal when Reston’s village center’s were planned. The plans include grassy areas, an outdoor terraced amphitheater area, benches, a children’s play area, and outdoor exercise stations.
The plans do not include an anchor store. The study presented Tuesday showed nearby competition and poor visibility means a grocery store — even a speciality one such as MOM’s Organic Market or Trader Joe’s — would not thrive on the site.
The 25,000-square-foot anchor site, which was the home of Giant Foods from 1974 to 2007, has been empty since Compare Foods (an international grocery) left in 2011. It has led to further vacancies at the 70,000-square-foot center.