Huntington: The End of the Line…or the Start?

Aerial view of the Huntington (left side) and Eisenhower (right side) neighborhoods of Alexandria, divided by Capital Beltway/I-495
Image credit: Albert Herring (Wikimedia)

Those looking to buy their own home in Northern Virginia are having an increasingly difficult time. With Amazon’s decision to open a second headquarters in Arlington, home prices along the region’s Metro lines are even less affordable, especially for first-time homebuyers who are most reliant on using Metro. Real estate prices in close-in suburbs including the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, McLean, and Falls Church are insurmountable for young professionals. Still, these areas have historically proven real estate market health, causing cautious buyers to seek out over-priced opportunities. The best available real estate investments are in peripheral neighborhoods, those near the already popular Northern Virginia submarkets.

Areas towards the southern end of Metro’s Yellow line in the Fairfax County portion of Alexandria are ripe opportunities for real estate investment. The Yellow line provides direct access to National Landing, the location of Amazon’s soon-to-be second headquarters. With anticipation of Amazon’s economic contribution to the area, developers are already proposing long-term plans for residential, retail, and office development in Huntington and Groveton—neighborhoods located at the end of the Yellow line.

Newer apartment development along Huntington Ave.
Image credit: Google Street View

Although relatively underdeveloped neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, Huntington and Groveton are likely to see significant growth over the next 10 years. The Huntington Metro Joint Development and Embark Richmond Highway are two comprehensive plans that, once implemented, will cause a dramatic transformation of the area. The approved plan for the Huntington Metro will have a 14-story residential tower, as well as a 10-story office/retail building. Embark Richmond Highway aims to add close to 11,500 housing units, 6.8 million square feet of non-residential development, and over 14,800 new jobs to the area.

A critical factor for these developments involves expanding public transportation along the U.S. Route 1 (Richmond Highway) corridor. New land use plans support walking, biking, and rapid transit on Richmond Highway. The new system expects buses to run every 10 minutes, with most routes traveling from the Huntington Metro station to Fort Belvoir. A newer long-term development plan proposes two additional Metro stations being added to the Yellow line—extending the line’s reach to Hybla Valley—though these stations’ inceptions are unlikely within the next decade (or two).

Huntington Yellow Line Metro Station
Image credit: Ser Amantio di Nicolao (Wikimedia)

Ambitious expansion of public transportation throughout Huntington, Groveton, and Belle Haven is going to encourage further retail and residential development. As it stands, the densest parts of the Embark Richmond Highway land-use development plan revolve around Huntington and Groveton, where over 6,000 residential units and 1.9 million square feet of non-residential development are expected. Huntington and Groveton are close to the Huntington Metro station, but the introduction of rapid bus transit over the next 10 years will improve Metro accessibility—making it an increasingly attractive real estate market for young buyers and developers alike.