Arlington developer Preston C. Caruthers is planning to renovate the shopping center anchored by an Evans retail store at Rte. 50 and Glebe Road, remodeling the shops and razing a gas station to build a three-story office-commercial building.
Caruthers said it will probably be late March before he submits formal plans to the county for the project on the 2.5-acre site at the southwestern corner of the intersection, next to the Army's Arlington Hall Station.
"I'm going to try and retain the local shopping center concept there," said Caruthers, who also is developing a major office building in the county's Clarendon area.
He said tentative plans at the South Arlington site call for constructing a three-story building on the site of a defunct Texaco station, with the first floor for retail use and the upper stories for offices.
Next door, the four small adjoining stores, which run the gamut from a pizza shop to a car-radio outlet, would be remodeled, Caruthers said. Negotiations are continuing with the store owners, most of whom have long-term leases, he said.
"I'm going to try to keep them if I can," he said. "I'm not trying to throw anybody out. I'd like to try to maintain the local shopping center and supplement it."
Caruthers said he also hopes to keep and remodel the Evans Co. store, a free-standing outlet next to the tiny shopping center. Negotiations are under way with the Evans store, which has a lease until 1988, and the others, which also have unexpired leases, Caruthers said.
An Evans spokesman said he could not comment because officials familiar with the proposed project were out of town.
The shopping center is adjacent to Arlington Hall, an 87-acre intelligence compound. The Army is scheduled soon to turn over all but 15 acres of it to the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. The FSI plans to build a school at the site to train its nearly 10,000 employes, who now study foreign languages and cultures at scattered locations throughout Arlington.
"We're going to be talking to FSI to try to work with them and complement their plans," Caruthers said.
A portion of the site is also being considered by the county for a police station and park land.
Caruthers said that the existing zoning automatically allows construction of the office building, but that he expects to submit his plan for the building and shopping center to the County Board for approval.