Mixed-Use Project OK'd for Fair Lakes

Mixed-Use Project OK'd for Fair Lakes

Supervisors approve high-rise project.

The Peterson Cos. received Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' approval on July 25 to construct a 10-story, multi-family building, a six-story office building and a four-level parking garage in Fair Lakes.

Jeff Saxe, a senior vice president with Peterson, was delighted with the decision. "Now, it'll go through the site-plan process, and we hope to break ground in spring 2006," he said. "It should take about a year to construct."

Besides helping meet the tremendous demand for housing here, Saxe said the condo is special for another reason: "This will be the first high-rise residential building in Fair Lakes, so it'll be unique."

Fair Lakes was zoned in 1984 for some 7.2 million square feet of development. This project represents approximately the last 270,000 square feet of it. But first, Peterson needed the county's blessing to convert 150,000 square feet of planned office space in Fair Lakes to residential.

In pleading his case to the county, Saxe stressed that the variety of uses Peterson proposed there are projected to generate about 2,000 vehicles a day. He said that figure represents 37 percent less trips than if that site were developed only as office uses, as the county originally planned.

When the county adopted its Comprehensive Plan in 1982, it wanted that area to have a 2-1 ratio of residential to commercial. Since it now has 46 percent residential and 52 percent nonresidential, said Saxe, Peterson considers that constructing a large, multi-family building between the hotel and office building is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan to have a mixture of uses there.

The 10-story condominium building will be 150,000 square feet and contain about 125 residential units with parking underground. It will arise between the Hyatt Fair Lakes and an existing 10-story office building, and two-bedroom units are expected to sell for $350,000 to $450,000.

The condo building will overlook the Hyatt's retail and meeting-room area. With it being so close to the hotel, said Saxe, "We hope to have some services provided to the residents from the hotel, [on an optional basis]." He said these amenities could be things such as room service or, possibly, maid service.

The condo building is also slated to offer some treats of its own. Saxe said it will have a swimming pool on the roof, plus a health club and exercise room within the building.

The new office building will be 113,000 square feet on a spot that's now surface parking. The four-story parking deck will replace the existing parking and will also house the parking for the new office building.

This new office building is intended to be architecturally compatible with the existing office building. In addition, all the buildings are to be oriented in an urban configuration, near each other and the streets, to be as pedestrian-friendly as possible.

Peterson's plan also includes creating a plaza between the residential area and the existing office building by means of specialty paving and planting. Another plaza will go between the new and old office buildings and possibly accommodate outdoor dining.

In addition, Peterson has also proffered monetary contributions to the county, equal to half of 1 percent of the sales price of each home, for affordable dwelling units (ADUs). It will pay $780 per home toward public schools and $484 per home to be used in Popes Head Park.

Regarding transportation, as part of The Peterson Cos.' nearby East Market project, the developer will be changing the single left-turn lane from the Fair Lakes Parkway onto northbound West Ox Road into two left-turn lanes.

The lane turning right onto West Ox southbound from the Fair Lakes Parkway will be lengthened. And a stoplight will be installed between West Ox and Fair Lakes Circle.

A shuttle-bus system already connects all of Fair Lakes to the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station and other areas. New residents will be within walking distance of offices and retail.