About Arlandria

Arlandria’s multicultural business community runs primarily along Mt. Vernon Avenue and encompasses a variety of national brands and independent retailers. The area is popularly known as Chirilagua, named after a village in El Salvador, a place where many residents and business owners have strong family ties. Arlandria is home to a popular regional entertainment destination— the legendary Birchmere Music Hall.

Many changes have been taking place in the Arlandria-Chirilagua community in recent years. In 2003, Alexandria City Council adopted the Arlandria Action Plan, which includes recommendations for intersection improvements, zoning changes, support for local businesses, streetscape and gateway improvements, and the expansion of Four Mile Run Park. The plan identifies a few specific areas where redevelopment would be appropriate, and aims to build on the strength of Arlandria as a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use community by encouraging the redevelopment of underutilized sites. One of the goals of the plan is to maintain Arlandria’s multicultural and authentic character, and to embrace the diversity of residents and business owners.

In order to provide focus and resources to the area, the City Council established the Arlandria Advisory Group to oversee implementation of the 2003 plan. This group is made up of a variety of stakeholders in the community, including representatives from civic, business, cultural, faith-based and social service organizations. A team of city staff also meets regularly to coordinate projects and initiatives ongoing in Arlandria.

In 2007 the City purchased four properties along the 4100 block of Mt. Vernon Avenue, with the intent of expanding Four Mile Run Park, which serves as a gateway to Alexandria from Arlington. In June 2011, the City continued its investment by converting the former Duron Paint Store at 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue into a community building that now serves as a public facility for meetings, events and activities. Demolition of the building was considered, but a group of local architects, known as Architects Anonymous, volunteered their services to design a fair-weather, multi-purpose community building. The redesign of the landscape surrounding the community building includes a performance stage and a roll up door, creating a welcoming and dynamic public space for markets, concerts, and other cultural events.

During the same time period, a separate group of local citizens transformed the parcel at Commonwealth and Reed Avenue into a landscaped garden and organized The Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans market in 2010. The Market is open Sundays from 8am-1pm during the warmer months.

The first major private redevelopment project was approved in December 2011— the redevelopment of the Mount Vernon Village Shopping Center. This exciting development will add to and further diversify the types of residential units available in the area and provide new retail space for the growing business community, as well as improve access to Four Mile Run Park.

Source: Alexandria Economic Development Partnership