Post #417: Community meeting re 380 Maple West

Posted on October 15, 2019

This is an update of Post #406, a community meeting to introduce the new owner and developer of 380 Maple Avenue West.

Courtesy of Vienna Citizens for Responsible Development, we now know that the meeting will be Tuesday October 29, 7:30 PM at the Vienna Community Center, Northside room.

Based on the current owner’s statement at a recent Town Council meeting, the building is probably going to be an assisted living facility.

Beyond that there are only rumors, but the rumor that makes the most sense to me is that it will be Sunrise Assisted Living.  That would presumably result in Sunrise withdrawing its $30M lawsuit against the Town of Vienna (Post #342).  It might plausibly account for the recent postponement of the initial hearing (Post #405).  But, to be completely clear, that’s rumor.

My guess is that the building will have to be changed enough, to be used as an assisted-living facility, that this is going to have to go back through all of the Town’s various processes — BZA, BAR, PC, TC.  So, you’ll likely have plenty of other opportunities to hear about what they are going to do.

The picture at the top of this posting illustrates another odd twist to this deal, beyond the lawsuit.  Sunrise’s local rival, Kensington assisted living, had already expressed an interest in building at the site of the former BB&T bank, which is more-or-less directly across the street from 380 Maple West. They had, for example, surveyed residents of the adjacent neighborhood and had asked Town Council to vacate an alleyway right-of-way at the back of that lot.

It’s not clear that they will be able to pursue that, given the possible changes in MAC zoning.  But if they can, and still want to, that would lead to the oddity of these competing assisted living facilities being almost directly across the street from one another.  Alternatively, with Sunrise taking over the 380 Maple West property, this might preclude Kensington from using that site.  (For exactly that reason — it would look odd to have two assisted living facilities facing off across Maple Avenue.)

A final and disturbing oddity of this particular street corner is that a restaurant that has long been a fixture of Vienna appears to be deeply in arrears on its property taxes.  That may put yet another large lot into play for redevelopment in my neighborhood.

All of that pretty much mangles up any idea of Vienna having a center of town, or a central business district.  And, along with the new Wawa, brings yet more traffic and bustle to my neighborhood.