The long-awaited redevelopment of Alexandria’s Landmark Mall is moving forward with a new development partner and plans for a large new hospital.
Howard Hughes Corp. and Seritage Growth Properties, the owners of the 52-acre mall site, brought on Foulger-Pratt as a joint venture partner and announced an agreement Tuesday with Inova Health System to include a hospital campus as part of a 4M SF mixed-use development.
The team also reached an agreement with the Alexandria government. The city plans to use $54M in public bond financing to acquire a portion of the site for the hospital and lease it to Inova. It also plans to use $76M in public bond financing for site preparation and infrastructure, and it plans to bring a new fire and emergency medical services station to the property.
Inova plans to relocate its Alexandria Hospital, currently located at 4320 Seminary Road, to the site. The health system said it plans to rezone the Seminary Road site to allow for residential development and sell the property ahead of its relocation.
The health system plans to invest $1B to relocate and expand the hospital campus. The expanded hospital would bring 2,000 health care workers to the site, helping catalyze activity for the overall mixed-use development.
The development plans also include residential, retail, commercial and entertainment offerings. The team said construction on the project could begin as soon as 2023, with the first buildings delivering in 2025.
“This plan for the future of the Landmark site is exciting, long-awaited news for our community,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said in a statement. “The project would be a catalyst for the West End, providing significant benefits for Alexandria and the region at a time when focus on our long-term future is critical.”
he majority of the mall closed in January 2017 after Howard Hughes acquired the Macy’s portion of the site and shuttered other retailers in preparation for redevelopment. The Sears department store, owned by Seritage, remained open until this year, but the retailer announced in July it would close.
The vacant mall has featured interim uses over the last three years, including providing a temporary homeless shelter and serving as a set for the filming of Wonder Woman 1984, which premieres Friday.
In May 2019, the Alexandria City Council adopted a new, long-term land-use plan for the area that envisions 5.6M SF of development for the Landmark Mall site. The plan allows buildings reaching up to 250 feet on the portions of the site along I-395.
The future of the project appeared uncertain as recently as April, when multiple city officials said they believed that Howard Hughes no longer had interest in the redevelopment and would likely sell the site. Howard Hughes didn’t respond at the time, but the developer has now announced it will keep its ownership of the site and bring on a JV partner.
Foulger-Pratt Chief Operating Officer Brigg Bunker told Bisnow Tuesday that the Potomac-based development firm began working with the parties about a year ago to bring the deal together. He said the firm will be making an equity investment in the project and bringing its local development expertise.
“Because of our relationship with Seritage and Howard Hughes, we felt like we were uniquely positioned to bring this together,” Bunker said. “It’s our local expertise and knowledge, the confidence Inova has in us, the confidence the city has in us, the confidence that someone could get in and execute and bring all the parties together.”
The development team plans to submit its first plans, a Coordinated Development District framework, to the city by Wednesday, Bunker said. He said the proposal aligns with the Small Area Plan, so he hopes the CDD process will take about six months. It then must submit detailed site plans for each parcel within the development.
Bunker said the exact plans for the site will be established during the process, but he expects the team will demolish the entire mall structure and retain only the above-ground parking garage along I-395.
“We intend on this being a community gathering spot for the entire west end of Alexandria,” Bunker said. “It’s going to be focused on the external spaces, with a large park and open space anchoring the project.”