Banquet Hall & Elder Care Center
Ravensworth Road will be the site of this new dual use building.
Recently, a plan to convert the Kids Choice center on Ravensworth Road to a dual use occupancy was endorsed by county officials. This is an interesting concept in maximizing the use of a single structure. Together a banquet hall with the capacity limited to no more than 150 individuals and an elder day care center has been initially approved for a capacity of 200. In two years time, if traffic circulation and parking problems have not arisen, the owners can apply to increase that elder care capacity to 275 individuals.
The property is owned by Helen and Young Bae who also own the Han Gang restaurant next door. They intend to hire elder care professionals or even lease to a chain care service who will run the facility.
Many difficult issues had to be overcome before any approvals were granted. Annandale’s Revitalization Committee voted not to approve the application until these issues were resolved. Both the Mason District Land Use Committee and the County Planning Commission echoed concerns over traffic circulation, lack of parking, and the building’s initial and first revised exterior that did not attune in anyway to the Annandale Design Guidelines. Instead, the original proposal showed a building constructed almost entirely of a stucco like cladding, and resembling a light industrial warehouse.
Since this structure is in the middle of a county revitalization and commercial zone, a more refined building was required. The agreed building will be largely constructed of limestone and brick rather than an insulation stucco cladding with brick veneer. The property owners and their attorney, Ilryong Moon, eventually agreed to make these changes following a number of hearings, and to reduce the capacity of both uses to a number that can be serviced by the relatively small parking lot.
The foundation of the current building, footings and the steel portal frame is to remain, providing all meet county inspection upon deconstruction. The southern most portion of the current building will be removed and replaced with an outdoor space for the elder center. The gas station adjacent to the current Kid’s Choice structure, will be razed to allow for urgently needed parking.
The county emphasized that elder care clients would arrive by shuttle buses and not be dropped off by car, although that can not be absolutely mandated. When exiting the facility, vehicles will be prohibited from turning left onto Ravensworth Road and in the mornings, buses are to turn onto Backlick Road, then John Marr, arriving at Ravensworth from the south to avoid placing the intersection of Ravensworth and Little River into gridlock. Significant landscaping, acorn street and parking lot lights, bike racks, wide sidewalks and benches are to be installed as part of the revitalization requirements.
Between the two uses, there will be a two-hour window (4-6 pm) so that parking can turn over and the banquet facility can transition to evening use. Those planning banquets will hire outside caterers to provide food and apply for a one day liquor license for bar service. The facility itself will not carry a liquor license or prepare banquet meals, although a vast commercial kitchen, far more extensively built-out than the normal catering kitchen is planned to the rear of the banquet facility.
During the Planning Commission hearing a number of adjacent property owners complained vehemently about overflow parking from the current and past occupants swamping their parking lots and preventing their clients and tenants from access. If the banquet numbers are kept to no more than the numbers approved, the other property owners should see some relief. They can also employ private tow trucks to enforce parking violations. People soon get the message.
Elder care clients are anticipated from all over the county, not just Annandale. With a fleet of private buses, clients will be transported from as far away as Herndon and Centreville. In addition to interior activity rooms, a small outdoor space is being provided on the south side of the building with a gazebo, plantings, benches and walkways. Unfortunately, it is a small space so there will not be open access to all clients throughout the day. Instead, groups will be permitted use for periods of time much like a recess period.
The banquet side of the building (left side in above photo) will also act as a luncheon space for the elder care program. Cost of attending has not been published. The banquet facility will operate from 6:00 pm to midnight on weekdays and from 11:00 am to midnight on both Saturday and Sunday. The elder care center will operate from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
The Chamber looks forward to seeing the finished project and welcoming these new businesses to Annandale. The fine detail design phase, permitting and construction generally requires two and a half to three years. More if problems arise.