MRP Realty is taking over a mixed-use redevelopment effort in Arlandria, aiming to succeed where other developers have struggled and turn an aging shopping center into apartments over retail.

The D.C. developer filed new plans for the Mount Vernon Village project late last month, about a year and a half after Madison Marquette tried to revive the stalled effort without much progress. The new plans call for 593 apartments to be built above 23,300 square feet of retail, with space set aside for the MOM’s Organic Market currently on the property — currently branded as Del Ray North — to return to the project once it’s completed.

The proposal is a bit smaller than the 624 apartments and 44,500 square feet of retail Madison Marquette, one of the co-developers of The Wharf on the Southwest waterfront, pitched back in January 2020. But the company never managed to steer those plans through the rest of the entitlement process. A spokesperson for the developer didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether the company is still involved in some capacity, or whether it dropped out entirely.

The new plans present MRP as the lead developer, which would make it at least the third company to take on the project after PMI walked away in 2016. The developer secured its zoning approvals for a similar project back in 2011, only to run into trouble financing the effort.

Since then, the area has become much more desirable, given the impending arrival of Amazon’s new headquarters and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus nearby. It also happens to be in a federal opportunity zone, giving investors added perks for investing in an underserved area. All of the real estate activity nearby has spurred fears from the area’s large population of Salvadoran immigrants about rising rents and displacement.

MRP’s new seven-story proposal does include some affordable housing, as the city wrestles with those concerns. The 30 planned affordable units are less than the 50 Madison Marquette was pitching.

An underground parking garage would provide more than 700 spaces for new residents and MOM’s patrons. The grocer is set to take up about 16,700 square feet of the retail space, with another 6,600 set aside for a to-be-determined tenant.

SK+I Architecture is working as the architect on the project, a holdover from Madison Marquette’s proposal, while Bohler has stepped in as civil engineer.

The city plans to hold a July 12 community meeting to discuss the updated proposal. The plans still require additional scrutiny from city staff before heading to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval.


(As published on WBJ)