Del Ray Hyundai Redesign Heads to Planning Board This Fall | ALXnow

Alexandria Hyundai at 1605-1611 Mount Vernon Ave. (Picture via Google Maps)

Alexandria Hyundai’s plans to upgrade its Del Ray dealership (1707 Mt Vernon Avenue) – long considered to conflict with city leaders’ vision for the neighborhood – are heading to the Planning Commission later this year.

Alexandria Hyundai, LLC is requesting an amendment to its Special Use Permit to add a 1,730 square foot addition to the building and a new 770 square foot canopy for covered drop-off and pick-up.

“These additions are associated with the overall upgrades necessary to modernize the existing building and comply with manufacturer requirements,” the application states. “The total of the proposed improvements represents less than one-third of the square footage of the existing building and less than 3,000 square feet in total, and therefore does not trigger major site development plan approval.”

The application says the proposed changes are part of updating the dealership with changes in the industry and bringing greater electric vehicle infrastructure to the site.

“The proposed changes to ownership are a result of the evolving nature of dealership operations and as such are necessary for the Applicant’s continued operation of the Hyundai Dealership,” the application states. “There is a paradigm shift underway within the automotive industry that affects how dealerships operate and how their usage is perceived. Much of this paradigm shift comes from the electrification of automotive fleets.

Hyundai Alexandria has proposed a new building (image via City of Alexandria)

The app says the upgrades are needed to accommodate sales and service changes in an EV-centric environment.

In a nod to the city’s goal of a pedestrian-centric Del Ray, the app says the upgrades will also modernize the building’s exterior and create a more pedestrian-friendly space.

“In addition, the improvements to the property will modernize the existing structure by increasing the amount of glass storefronts and updating exterior building materials,” the application states. “The modernized building designs will create more visual interest and pedestrian activation along Mount Vernon Avenue.”

Concessionaires have long been seen as not fitting the city’s business vision along Mount Vernon Avenue. The Mount Vernon Avenue Commercial Area Plan 2005 specifically calls Alexandria Hyundai as incompatible with the zoning of the area:

Two car dealerships, Alexandria Hyundai and Audi of Alexandria, currently operate in the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Mt. Vernon Avenue. These uses are inconsistent with the Potomac West Small Area Plan and with existing zoning which does not permit automotive-oriented uses such as car dealerships. While it is unlikely that any of the concession properties will re-develop in the foreseeable future, mixed-use buildings, with ground-floor retail and residences or offices above, would be compatible with adjacent residences and complement the historic center and commercial area near Mt. Vernon and Monroe Avenues.

The application must be considered on October 6 Planning commission meeting.

Picture via Google Maps

Aurora J. William