The land that the Lyon Village Shopping Center sits on was originally part of the overall Lyon Village development that was built at the beginning of the 20th century. This leftover piece of land was the last one to be developed, as it had a ravine running through it and was difficult to build on. There were various businesses on the property at different points in time, including Bernie’s Pony Ring. However, in 1960, the property owner decided that the site would make a good location for a modern strip mall. The owners filled up the ravine and shored up the land to make it more stable.
They then endeavored to build a modern shopping center to be able to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood, including the residents of Lyon Village. The property owner was able to attract one of the first Giant Food locations to the site, and the grocery store was supplemented by a drug store, a High’s Dairy Store, a Chinese restaurant, a bank, a dry cleaners and a barbershop.
The shopping center has been renovated three times—in the 1970’s, in the mid-1980’s and most recently, in 2010. The Lyon Village Shopping Center has always strove to have a mix of chain stores and local businesses. Therefore, while there is a Starbucks on the site, there is also the original location of The Italian Store, a legacy business. Today, this neighborhood shopping center not only serves local residents, but residents of Washington, D.C., who frequent the center because of its easy parking!
3004 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22201
“Originally it was park of the overall Lyon Village land development. It was the left-over piece of undevelopable land- it was part of a ravine. In 1960, my father, nobody told him he couldn’t build on it and so he decided to build a shopping center. He was the original developer.”
“This was a chance to put in a cutting-edge grocery store. We were the 79th store in the Giant chain… You would have a pharmacy on one end, a grocery store on the other and local merchants in the middle. Those have evolved greatly over time.”
“I think right now we are a vibrant, thriving center that is an asset to the community. I think they see it as an asset, we see it as an asset, so I don’t think any of us have any immediate sense of urgency to rebuild.”
Full Interview on Arlington’s WERA 96.7