Trinity Centre is soaring skyward — its developer filed a plan last week with Fairfax County to ask for permission to construct two, 10-story buildings there.
Planned primarily for offices, they'll have parking structures and will frame the site's central lake. Attorney Keith Martin, representing developer KSI Services Inc., shared the details last week with the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.
"We've got some exciting news for you," he said. "Two years ago, Trinity Centre was scaled back from its original 1.9 million square feet [of commercial space] to 1,076,000. Now it's 1,612,000. The response to Trinity Centre has been really amazing, in terms of the quality tenants and the rent rates they're willing to pay there."
This mixed-used project is bounded by I-66 and Routes 28 and 29. The plan includes offices, some retail businesses and three restaurants to join the Marriott hotel and Life Time Fitness center already built there. Word has it that one restaurant would serve Tex-Mex food and the other would feature Italian cuisine. Martin said the "ink should be put to paper soon" on the contracts for two of the restaurants."
Now, if the county approves, two 268,000-square-foot buildings will arise there, as well. Said Martin: "It'll be the urban backdrop of the lake."
The site was also approved for a drive-in bank, but none expressed interest. "So we might add a business service/supply building, such as a Kinko's, or maybe a Starbucks," said Martin. "We're excited that Trinity Centre is evolving back to what it was designed as — Centreville's downtown."
WFCCA members Carol Hawn and Jim Hart both requested some community meeting-space there. But overall, they were pleased about the new office buildings.
"This site is extraordinarily important to us as a town center, so this could really be a focal point of the site," said Hart. "This application gives us an opportunity to improve on what we've got so far."
He noted a little peninsula along the lake that could be used for public, outdoor activities, since it would be near the parking and in such a scenic spot. Martin enthusiastically agreed.
"We've already talked to Supervisor [Michael R.] Frey [R-Sully] about a summer concert series there," he said. "For example, a high-school jazz band or the Fairfax Symphony could play, and people could be picnicking and strolling lakeside."
Hart said those buildings might also attract first-floor retail businesses — "maybe something serving the apartments or businesses, such as a dry cleaners or deli." Martin said the project includes 100,000 square feet of first-floor retail.
The WFCCA's Dick Frank remarked that what's at Trinity Centre now is "very sterile. People go to the [fitness center] or the buildings and leave. The key to making it something more is adding the restaurants [so people would stay there longer]."
He was concerned, though that the 10-story buildings don't block out the view of the mountains. As for their parking garages, they'll each be six stories, but only three stories would be visible because of the slope there.
Of the three existing office buildings, one is completely occupied and the other two are 80 percent and 70 percent leased. Said Martin: "We anticipate, three-four years from now, the office-space market here will be red hot."