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From the Ground Up - February 15, 2022

From the Ground Up

written by Josh Veverka, Government Affairs Director

A look at economic development, rezoning, and residential and commercial projects happening in Northern Virginia. 


ParcView II Development Approved by City Council 

Despite controversy, an affordable housing project will move forward in Alexandria’s Holmes Run neighborhood. At Saturday’s City Council meeting, council members voted to approve Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone a 3-acre lot to allow the construction a multifamily apartment building with an underground parking garage next to the existing ParcView apartment building at 5380 Holmes Run Pkwy. The existing ParcView will be renovated and connected to the new building. 

Another office-to-residential conversion is in the works in Old Town North. Three empty office buildings in Old Town North moved a step closer to becoming luxury residential and mixed-use buildings. On Saturday, City Council members voted to give final approval to the necessary zoning changes for move forward with the project, named Tide Lock after the nearby park. Situated directly along the Potomac River, with full panoramic views of the Washington, DC skyline, three existing commercial buildings will be repositioned into 223 residential units atop a 217-space parking garage. 

Arlington County 

The Arlington County Board adopted a new vision for a vibrant and livable Pentagon City, following an 18-month planning process.  The Board voted 5-0 to approve the Pentagon City Sector Plan (PCSP) and its associated Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments. The adopted plan creates certainty for the community in the future while allowing flexibility for property owners that will help diversify housing options, prioritize multi-modal transportation, and embrace biophilic design. In addition to establishing clear performance standards for development, the plan includes three linear miles of a Green Ribbon pedestrian network to connect existing and future public spaces, five acres of new public parks and plazas, a one-acre expansion of Virginia Highlands Park, strategies for locating public facilities, and minimum standards for onsite affordable housing.  

On February 3 the Planning Commission recommended approval of SP #463 on an 8-0 vote.  The application is for a new Site Plan to redevelop a portion of the Marbella Apartments site with two new affordable multifamily residential buildings with 555 total units. Marbella Development proposes construction of two 12-story multi-family residential buildings. The property is approximately 92,863 square feet; located at 1300 and 1305 N. Pierce St. Modifications of zoning ordinance requirements include: additional building height, additional density, density exclusions, required parking, and other modifications as necessary to achieve the proposed development plan. 

The applicant is requesting use permit approval of a mixed-use project that includes 247 multi-family dwelling units and approximately 51,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space. The subject property, located at 2601 Columbia Pike, is within the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District, making the site eligible for development pursuant to the Columbia Pike Form Based Code (FBC). The subject site is currently occupied by a number of commercial establishments and a surface parking lot. The applicant is proposing redevelopment of the site including a new six-story structure with an underground, three-level parking garage that would replace the existing retail and surface parking.  

PenPlace, the 3.2 million-square-foot second phase of Inc.’s second headquarters, has earned the key support of Arlington County staff as it heads into its final stretch of reviews. During the last Site Plan Review Committee meeting, Peter Schulz, a staffer with the Arlington planning division, said “staff has no major outstanding issues” with regard to PenPlace’s architecture and landscape design. [Subscription Required - Washington Business Journal] 

Fairfax County 

On February 16 the Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a decision-only session to consider application by LMC Alexandria Crossing Holdings, LLC to rezone On February 16 the Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a decision-only session to consider application by LMC Alexandria Crossing Holdings, LLC to rezone a 7.3 acre property located on the south side of Richmond Highway between Shields Avenue and Quander Road. The property is currently improved with several existing structures that will be demolished with the construction of the proposed improvements. A multi-family building will contain a maximum of 385 units in a building that is six and seven stories. Parking will be provided in a seven-story garage located behind the building and wrapped on two sides by residential units to minimize its visibility. The multi-family building transitions from Richmond Highway to 23 four-story stacked townhomes, each with two units, then to 35 traditional townhomes that are proximate to existing residential development to the south. The stacked townhomes and traditional townhomes will all have two car garages and amenities such as rooftop decks. The Applicant proposes a total of 466 residential dwelling units or a proposed 2.5 FAR. The Applicant will likely phase the construction of the proposed residential community.  

At the March 2 public hearing, the Fairfax Planning Commission will consider a rezoning and proffer application for 5.42 acres located on Richmond Highway at the intersection with Buckman Road. The Plan states that the area fronting on the west side of Richmond Highway is planned for townhouse-style office and neighborhood-serving retail uses. The Plan further states that redevelopment would consist of a multi-family residential building and 150 to 225 townhome units with flexibility in the unit type mix. The multi-family building will contain a maximum of 280 market and workforce dwelling units in a building that is planned to be up to five stories.  The Subject Property is currently improved with eight non-conforming residential homes that will be demolished with the construction of the proposed improvements. 

Rockville, Maryland-based Lerner Enterprises will add a 21-story office building to its Tysons II master-planned development in Fairfax County, Virginia. The 490,000-square-foot building, designed by Gensler, will be at 1725 Tysons Blvd. in The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II. It will include space for a fine dining restaurant, a reflecting pool at the motor court, a lobby level outdoor terrace, conference center, fitness center, rooftop skydeck, and social, business and gaming lounges. 

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) has filed plans to redevelop the site formerly known as Scotts Run North adjacent to its Tysons headquarters. The banking giant has proposed a new park to replace what is largely a 7.3-acre parking lot north of the intersection of Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) and Scotts Crossing Road. A baseball field would consume the northern half of the site with a smaller park feature on the western corner. [Subscription Required - Washington Business Journal] 

After bringing major office tenants to three buildings at its Reston Station development, Comstock Partners is using the proceeds from a refinancing deal to kick off the next phases of its mixed-use community. The most immediate result will be a new high-rise across Reston Station Boulevard from the office complex, which is planned to include a 250-room J.W. Marriott hotel and approximately 90 condos. The developer also has two additional office buildings planned next to the Marriott totaling 525K SF. That phase, branded as Reston Row, began construction last year and will begin delivering in 2024.  

Fairfax City 

Fairfax, Virginia, developer Ox Hill Companies has submitted plans for a mixed-use development in downtown Fairfax City, across from the historic Fairfax City courthouse. The project, called City Center West, will be at Main and West streets and replace three existing buildings. Two are vacant; one currently serves as offices for Ox Hill Companies. The 268,000-square-foot, six-story development, as planned, will include 88 luxury condos with large balconies, a rooftop pool, underground parking, a bank with enclosed bank drive-through lanes, a restaurant with outdoor seating, space for retail and a community plaza. The developer hopes to receive approval from the city this year, with construction and completion of the building by the summer of 2024. 

Falls Church City 

Coming to the City of Falls Church are two new developments that are set to make the West Falls Church Metrorail Station area a hub for foot traffic. The metro site itself will undergo redevelopment to transform the surrounding parking lots into a space with retail, office buildings, and housing. This intended rezoning of the site will connect to an additional development, the West Falls project, through new bike lanes, sidewalks, publicly accessible parking spaces, and a secondary grid of streets to help alleviate traffic congestion in the area. The 9.45-acre West Falls development intends to serve as a gateway to the city, with pedestrian-oriented streets providing easy access to the site—and it lies within a 10-minute walk from the metro station. 

Loudoun County 

The purpose of the item is to convert commercial use to residential use on 7.61 acres of land in order to develop up to 189 multifamily dwelling units. The applicant is also seeking modifications to reduce building setbacks along Potomac View Road and Cascades Parkway, permit vehicular access to Potomac View Road via a private road, and reduce required yard setbacks. The subject property is located at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Cascades Parkway (VA Route 1794) and Potomac View Road (VA Route 637) in the Sterling Election District.  Staff recommends denial. The proposal does not conform with the Suburban Mixed Use Place Type or Suburban Compact Neighborhood Place Type recommendations envisioned by the Loudoun County 2019 General Plan (2019 GP). Staff also does not support the requested modifications to reduce building setbacks and yard requirements along Potomac View Road and Cascades Parkway. The County Attorney’s Office has approved the Proffer Statement and Conditions of Approval to legal form. 

Vice Chair Saines moved that the Board of Supervisors approve the Cascades Parkway Subdivision;Seconded by Supervisor Briskman. The motion passed 6-3: Supervisors Buffington, Kershner, and Umstattd opposed.

ZMAP-2020-0012-Mountain View Residential would rezone approximately 6.33 acres from the CR-1 (Countryside Residential - 1) zoning district to the R-8 ADU (Single Family Residential - 8, ADU Development Regulations) zoning district in order to develop 41 Single Family Attached residential units. The applicant is also requesting a Special Exception (SPEX) to permit the modification of the minimum yard requirements for ADU developments in the R-8 ADU zoning district. The property is located at 43474 – 43500 Mountain View Drive in Chantilly. Staff has received 20 comments on the Loudoun Online Land Applications System (LOLA). A majority of comments received are not in support of the proposal, citing traffic, density, and compatibility with surrounding properties, while others in support cite the need for more workforce housing in the County. Forwarded to a future Planning Commission Work Session for further discussion to address concerns raised by substantial community opposition.

ZMAP-2021-0004-Colonnade proposes to rezone a 4.15-acre property from commercial use to residential use in order to permit development of up to 61 single-family attached (SFA) dwelling units. The applicant also requests to reduce the minimum required front yard from 15 to 10 feet for rear-loaded units. The property is located off City Center Boulevard near Dules Town Center. Forwarded to a future Planning Commission Work Session for further discussion to address concerns.

County supervisors have approved a plan to limit development around the historic and historically Black Village of St. Louis following outcry from residents about plans for a townhouse development nearby. A task force will advise land use policy changes around the village with an eye toward limiting future development. The work plan is meant to produce a village plan for St. Louis, revisions in the comprehensive plan and local zoning, and new information in the county’s mapping system. 

County supervisors are considering giving away the Old Arcola School to be used for a 74-home affordable housing development despite protests from neighbors. Supervisors on February 9 held a public hearing on a proposal from Capretti Land Inc. to take five to six acres including the Arcola School to develop 10 price-controlled units inside the school, and another 64 units in a new building attached to the school from behind. Those would stay price-controlled for at least 75 years. Supervisors voted 7-2 to send the land transfer to their meeting March 1 for a vote. They would be joined by another estimated 226 for-sale units on a 20-acre parcel across the street, including single-family houses, townhouses, some also price-controlled. 

Chair Randall moved that the Board of Supervisors approve the Conveyance of County-owned property-Portion of Arcola School Site; Seconded by Supervisor Briskman. The motion passed 7-1-1: Supervisors Umstattd opposed and Supervisor Buffington not present.

Amazon is working on plans to build a last-mile distribution center in Ashburn that may produce benefits but also raises some concerns for nearby residents. Amazon’s planned last-mile distribution center is proposed to be 142,796 square feet. It would be at the northwest corner of Russell Branch Parkway and Ashburn Village Boulevard.  The center would be one of many the online retailer has opened across the country in recent years to shorten delivery times and improve storage operations.  

Prince William County 

Prince William County planners have revealed their long-awaited comprehensive plan land use update – a draft document that, if adopted by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, will provide a blueprint for local land-use decisions for the next two decades. Among the most significant changes outlined in the draft: the elimination of the county’s rural area designation from the map, known to many as the “rural crescent.” The county’s land use chapter update is expected to reach the Prince William County Planning Commission and the Board of County Supervisors as soon as May. 

Developers are hoping to soon receive approval for the proposed Quartz District, a large mixed-use project in Woodbridge that will include a major road upgrade as well as Prince William County’s first Whole Foods Market. The Quartz District is planned on 145 acres at the intersection of Minnieville Road and the Prince William Parkway. Current plans call for 235,000 square feet of office space, more than 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space, 1,015 residential units and a dedicated destination adventure park site. Its estimated that commercial tenants would open in late 2024 or early 2025 because the interchange needs to be built first. The company plans to start constructing some residential units while the interchange work is conducted, pending county approval—county officials haven’t scheduled a public hearing on the project. 

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