Possible redevelopment at Cityside Huntington Metro — formerly Belle Haven Towers — has some residents in the Huntington and Belle Haven areas concerned about parking and traffic. A representative for the Carlyle Group, property owners of the apartments, said they have been meeting with the community to hear their concerns and take suggestions before moving forward.
Mark Viani, a partner at McGuire Woods, LLP and attorney for the Carlyle Group, said if the project is approved, they’ll work out parking issues as part of the process of completing the project.
“One thing that we’re very sensitive to is access along Mount Eagle Drive. The main thing we’ve been doing is going around meeting with the surrounding communities and trying to find out what are their concerns, what are their issues, what they like and what they do not like,” Viani said. “That, frankly, incorporating that feedback and we’ve been doing that pretty religiously, is one of the reasons we’re kind of taking our time.”
According to the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation the Carlyle Group is proposing the addition of a five-story, 145-unit infill apartment building on the site of the existing Cityside property. The development would replace a surface parking lot with an underground parking structure for the whole property. The new building would also be constructed on top of the parking deck.
Carlyle presented its preliminary plans to the Mount Vernon Council this past July and to the SFDC Board of Directors in September. The company plans to submit a rezoning application in the near future.
SFDC’s David Ben, director of marketing and communications, said the area surrounding the Huntington Metro station and North Gateway CBC is being studied by Fairfax County to determine what impacts new development would have on traffic. However, the study hasn’t been completed.
As of Monday, Viani said they haven’t submitted the rezoning application because they want to make sure the project will operate smoothly including parking and traffic along Route 1. The main focus with the project will also include working with communities next door to make sure construction activities won’t interfere with residents’ quality of life, Viani explained.