Post #326: Marco …. Polo …. Marco …. Polo …

Posted on July 25, 2019

Ah, summertime.  Relaxing by the pool.  Listening to kids play that inane game.  Which reminds me to keep an eye on what’s not happening with regard to the Marco Polo development.

For those who have not been following this issue, you can get up to speed by reading posts #245, #249, #253, #283.   Briefly, the builder is raring to go, but is waiting for final approval from the Board of Architectural Review (BAR).  Things were progressing smoothly toward what the builder hoped would be a July 18 final approval.  The BAR seemed pleased with the progress the builder made in eliminating the worst aspects of the plain-brown-brick-building that, in the end, appears to be what the Town Council approved for that site.

But at the end of June, this happened.   That BAR work session on Marco Polo did not take place.

A bit of an aside:  Then the 7/12/2019 BAR work session dealt with the Mill Street building that was once going to be mostly a garage, but will now be just a self-storage facility.  (Oddly, either a second CubeSmart, or a replacement for the one up the street, not sure which.)

(To get further off-topic for a moment, that redevelopment, right there, is a lesson in the likely impact of MAC redevelopment on small and locally-owned businesses in Vienna.  But that’s a topic for a different blog post.)

Getting back on topic:  The July 18 BAR meeting came and went with no mention of Marco Polo.  The BAR now has some work session scheduled for Friday 8/2/2019, but not details have been posted.

The bottom line is that Marco Polo is in limbo, for now.

The owners have worked to clear the site and have done a bit of preparation (e.g., there are now piles of crushed stone at the site).  But they really can’t go full steam ahead until the BAR passes the final design.  So it will be interesting to keep an eye on this and see how quickly it does or does not proceed.

Why do I care?  Well, this one has been legally approved by Town Council.  Looks like BAR is (going to be) satisfied with the fix-ups the builder has done to patch up the bait-and-switch mess (see four posts referenced at start of blog).  If it’s a done deal, then the only consideration is that time is money, and there’s no point in raising the builder’s costs unnecessarily.   Let’s let the world see the second great prize that MAC has brought to our town.