Developers Seek To Accelerate Residential Construction At Dulles World - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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Developers Seek To Accelerate Residential Construction At Dulles World

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:31 am

The owners of the property that will anchor the southern portion of Rt. 28 in Loudoun are looking to make some changes to the timing of their development.

If approved, the developers of Dulles World would be allowed to accelerate the construction on multi-family residential units approved in their plan and reduce the minimum required amount of “pedestrian-oriented businesses” in the planned Town Center from 70 percent to 60 percent.

Dulles World was approved by the previous Board of Supervisors for more than 3 million square feet of office space; a hotel; more than 400,000 square feet of retail; and 1,265 multi-family units.

The changes would not alter those totals—only the order and timing of construction.

County planners are opposing the changes, saying the project is intended to be a primarily non-residential development and that maintaining that emphasis is important to the growth of businesses in the Rt. 28 corridor.

Attorney Colleen Gillis Snow, who represented the developer before the Planning Commission last week, said the current requirement for the project to begin with 1.4 million square feet of non-residential development is not feasible in today’s market. She said the changes would best position Dulles World—and Loudoun—to be able to capitalize on the Rt. 28 Metro rail station opening.

“We made a bad bet,” Snow said before the commission. “We thought we were going to get 1.4 million [square feet] worth of office on this site…it is not going to happen in two years without us making a change. I think if we can make this change we will be able to leverage off the arrival of Metro and really make this an office environment.”

This week, she said the goal for the development remains the same, but that to market commercial space other attractions are needed for potential tenants.

“One hundred percent non-residential is not doable in the market right now, especially at that high a level,” Snow said. “I think you have to unlock some portion of residential upfront before we can get to non-residential. So you create the space, the feel, of the development.”

Under the new request, Dulles World is seeking to break the first phase of development into three parts. Under each portion of the first phase, the ultimate development for office space would be 837,000 square feet along with 135,000 square feet of commercial development. Phase 1A would allow for up to 500 multi-family residences; Phase 1B would allow for an additional 275 units; and Phase 1C would allow for the remainder of the 1,265 permitted units. The second and third phase of development would focus on commercial and office development, ending with an ultimate square footage of almost 3.28 million in office and 350,000 in commercial.

The Planning Commission will take up the application at its work session March 5.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • norges55 posted at 9:16 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    Screwed again? It has never stopped. If they want to change put them at the bottom of the pile just like the stadium at One Loudoun should have been. Let the whole process of public input, proffers and planning begin anew, no more special developer treatments by the Board of Supervisors.

  • LoCo Wonders posted at 9:03 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    LoCo Wonders Posts: 95

    I msut have missed the part where the developers lawyers said the dfeveloper was going to kick in another 10% for schools, parks, etc. sincethey want to change the mix of commercial to residential.

    Oh, wait. This is standard operating procedure in Loudoun! Looks like Loudoun taxpayers get screwed again.

    Where is our Economic Develoment Commission? What's their opinion?

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 8:41 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 621

    Well the developer for "Stonewall Secure" off Sycolin claimed there was a government tenant already lined up for the data center development during rezoning. So he gets his rezoning, and now it has had a big "For Sale" sign up for the last year. Wonder if that "tenant" was like how the Loudoun Hounds are apparently a real baseball team.

  • gbay926 posted at 6:57 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    gbay926 Posts: 129

    One of the selling points the representatives of Dulles World made in their SPEX was that they could offer a secure site for a tenant like the FBI. This would help attract other tenants. From the companion article in Leesburg Today, it appears that the anticipated site is probably too small for the FB's needs. More reason to suspect that they will try to increase residential. Ms. Snow is running this ploy both here and at One closely.

  • Frank Reynolds posted at 4:38 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Frank Reynolds Posts: 621

    “We made a bad bet,” Snow said before the commission.

    It is called risk. It is a part of business.

    I'm sure our lovely Republican BoS will find a way to let government intervene to save this project. Always looking out for us residents.

    What happens when I make a "bad bet"? I'm guessing I'll have to face the music, not go cry to some government folks to fix it.

  • PissedCommuter posted at 3:54 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    PissedCommuter Posts: 140

    We don't have any traffic issues on Routes 28 and 7. They can easily handle all the new flow of traffic that will be seen both east and west bound with all the new pfojects going in. Ohhh boyyyyyyy......can't wait! [beam]

  • The Operative posted at 1:55 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    The Operative Posts: 207

    Loudoun Parent - you do know Loudoun and several areas in Loudoun are by-right? Which means the developer has zero obligation to set aside land for schools or make any road improvements, much less fund them. The current BoS is so beholden to their development Over Lords, they just can't say no.

  • gbay926 posted at 1:15 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    gbay926 Posts: 129

    @Loudoun parent...that's a big part of the issue. There is no school for kids there. They will bus to Park View and an elementary in Sterling park. Bus will travel thru Herndon to get there.

  • loudoun parent posted at 12:42 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    loudoun parent Posts: 141

    Let them make the changes, provided that THEY build the school required to service them, first.

  • gbay926 posted at 11:56 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    gbay926 Posts: 129

    This is one of the reasons I voted against this project when I was on the planning commission. It will be no surprise to have this applicant ask for additional residential next. This corridor is ill-suited for residential and this location is particularly poor. Sadly, this BOS seems unable to say "no" to any developer request.

  • norges55 posted at 11:20 am on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    No one ever wants to accelerate office space or commercial projects. Typical bait and switch ala the Toll Brothers at Belmont Excutive Center or the travisty at Kincora and LoudounOne. I know lets but some overpriced property from Dulles World and put in a Sheriffs substation that will enhance their property. If it works for the 660 thousand dollar per acre we bought from Miller and Smith why not here.