With the Vienna Town Council set to decide the fate Oct. 29 of a proposed mixed-use development at 430-444 Maple Ave. W., the developer has offered a raft of changes to make the project more palatable to local residents.
Vienna Development Associates Inc. hopes to build multi-family residential units, commercial space and amenities at the 2.76-acre site, now occupied by the Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel and Tequila Grande restaurant.
The project would be built under the town’s Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) ordinance, which gives developers participating on a voluntary basis incentives on building height and density in exchange for architectural features and amenities sought by the town.
Vienna residents vociferously opposed the project this summer, saying it was too large and would overtax the town’s infrastructure. The developer since then has offered to decrease the project’s gross floor area by about 12,000 square feet and reduce the number of residential units from 160 to 151.
Regarding the project’s Maple Avenue façade, the developer would reduce the building’s size to establish a visual break and introduce a two-building configuration.
Vienna Development Associates Inc. also would combine the two covered plazas into one large, 30-by-68-foot central plaza that would be open to the sky; add mansards roofs, dormers, horizontal banding and other architectural details to reduce the façade’s scale; and accentuate the fourth floor’s step-back.
In addition, the builder would add awnings and more variations to the retail façade along the streetscape and provide a decorative screen between the central plaza and parking area.
Regarding the corner façade at Maple Avenue, W., and Nutley Street, S.W., the builder would step back the top floor to lower the scale of the façade and create a terrace. The substantially reworked façade would feature three horizontal parts to reduce scale.
The builder would open the Nutley Street façade’s plaza to the sky and provide a 30-foot step-back of the façade, which would create a two-building appearance along Nutley Street.
Vienna Development Associates would provide stronger horizontal detailing to reduce the façade’s scale, change the roof edge and add detail, and enlarge the corner step-back at the vehicular entrance with a larger terrace.
On the rear façade, the developer would increase the length of the step-back at the fourth floor to go around the corner at Nutley Street. The builder also would provide new step-backs and dormers in several areas, increase the step-back at the fourth floor at the building break in the rear façade’s middle and soften the site’s southeast corner with additional detailing and a building step-back.
The applicant would increase the amount of open space from the 20,000 square feet to 24,000.
Regarding the Maple Avenue streetscape, the developer would widen the pedestrian clear zone from 5 feet to 6 and install all-brick paving for a more cohesive, larger-looking streetscape. The applicant also would remove paving and seating cut-outs to increase room for the lawn and plantings, and would adjust the bike-share’s location.
The corner plaza’s planting area would wrap around the full corner, creating more buffer and a greener look. Ornamental trees would be added to create interest and a visual barrier, the paving would be all-brick and the sidewalk would be curved to create smoother pedestrian flow and more planting areas.
The developer’s new combined plaza space would offer a lawn a with flexible space for passive activities, events and informal gatherings. A flexible seating platform/bench would anchor the plaza and offer a visual focal point.
The plaza also would have overhead lighting for added nighttime ambiance and a wooden deck with soft seating would be placed under the building’s cover to create a comfortable space for lounging and relaxing. The revised design also would recess the building to create an open plaza with dining areas along the edges.
Finally, at the site’s Nutley Street plaza, the building would be recessed to create a more open space, a central planter visually would anchor the space and additional seating in the arched bump-out could provide an inviting space to sit and linger.
Vienna Development Associates waived the Town Council’s statutory Aug. 31 decision deadline in order to make changes to the redevelopment plans.
In response to heavy criticism of the development, the Council on Sept. 17 agreed to a temporary suspension of MAC applications until June 17 next year so the town could modify the MAC ordinance.
But before the freeze began Sept. 30, the town received these two applications, which will be reviewed under existing MAC rules:
• Red Investment LLC and MJW Maple Ave LLC wish to construct a four-story building with about 7,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and about 40 multi-family residential condominiums at 374-380 Maple Ave., W.
• Sunrise Senior Living wishes to build an 85-unit senior-living facility at 100-112 Maple Ave., E., featuring about 8,400 square feet of ground-floor commercial or retail space.