For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.

With a handful of holdouts in place, commercial property negotiations are heating up along the Route 1 widening project corridor

WOODBRIDGE — The K Tigers Taekwondo dojo dates back to 1979.

The sign hung in the parking lot showing a man doing a high karate kick, though faded over time, is a roadside staple in Woodbridge. Now Prince William County wants to condemn the building at 14230 Jefferson Davis Highway to further the Route 1 Widening Project between Featherstone and Mary’s Way.

The building stands in the way of efforts to relocate utility lines along the road, which must be completed by March 2019 if the project is to stay on schedule. When completed in 2022, Route 1, from Featherstone Road to Marys Way will have six lanes, a sidewalk on one side and a mixed-use trail on the other.

In the early 1990s, Ho An became the fourth owner of the business. He’s looking now to relocate in light of the construction, but the $25,000 relocation costs he said he was offered, on top of the $825,000 offered when the building during a building appraisal, is not enough.

“I don’t’ think its necessary to take certain buildings for the project,” said An, who questions if the county is using the road widening as an opportunity to remove older buildings. “Maybe because it doesn’t look as good as new a new building because the building has been there forever.”

The offer comes after an independent appraisal conducted by a third party, said Prince William County Transportation Director Rick Canizales.

An says he’s looking at two nearby shopping centers in which to move his shop, but the relocation offer won’t cover the cost to install drywall, or a new ceiling at a would-be new location.

On Tuesday, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors executed “quick-take” powers on An’s building, and three other properties in the corridor.

The old OWL VFD Fire Station on Route 1 at 14500 Jefferson Davis Highway which, until recently had been home to an indoor skating park, a Merchants Tire and Auto at 13980 Jefferson Davis Highway, and a 7-Eleven at 13940 Jefferson Davis Highway are all on the county’s condemnation list.

The total sums of cash the county offered for the properties — $600,000, $1.3 million, and $840,000, respectively. The sums equal about four percent of the project’s $88.6 million budget.

So far, no agreement has been made with any of the property owners.

Canizales says the county follows a strict formula when it comes to determining the value of a condemned property. The county is not using the road widening project to remove old or blighted buildings.

“There are 76 properties being affected by this project, and there is only 16 total [property] ‘takes,'” said Canizales. “By federal and state law, we only take what is necessary for the project.”

The direction from the Board of Supervisors means Canizales and his team will continue to try to reach an agreement with the property owners, which could mean offering more money for their properties.

Post Your Email Notices, Press Releases, Event Fliers, and Photos

Readers also enjoyed...
A word from our sponsors...