City maps out an altered Arlandria

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City maps out an altered Arlandria
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Arlandria looks to be the next neighborhood to receive a major makeover judging from a presentation given to the Alexandria City Council Tuesday night.

Sandwiched between Del Ray and the Arlington border, the area also known as Chirilagua is primed for opportunity, Mayor Bill Euille said.

City staff, stakeholders and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership presented the Arlandria Action Plan, a roadmap to redevelopment in an diverse neighborhood with a high Spanish-speaking population. 

The plan has been in the works for several years, with Tuesdays presentation focused on a survey of most of the 89 storefronts in the neighborhood. Business owners like the diversity and convenient location of Arlandria but loathe its aesthetic upkeep and high crime rate, according to the survey results.

Businesses often complained about frequent crime, attempted break-ins, and insufficient police presence, the report states.

Several businesses also reported feeling neglected by the city, according to the report.

Part of the AEDPs job is to improving Chirilaguas business environment, priming the area for redevelopment. But affordable housing is dwindling and redevelopment can mean gentrification.

One of the goals of the Arlandria redevelopment plan is to maintain diversity of all types, and certainly as redevelopment takes place demographics will change, said Stephanie Landrum of the AEDP. And as much as these businesses serve the existing community, theyre going to need to stay ahead of these changes to adopt business models to stay viable.

An arts and cultural district is also in the works, according to the plan.

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