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The Town Center Outside of Town

2.23 million square foot mixed-use development approved to go just south of Town of Herndon.

Town of Herndon residents will be saying ‘Hello’ to 868 new families after the completion of the Arrowbrook Centre. The Board of Supervisors approved the massive mixed-use development during its Dec. 5 meeting.

The 53.8-acre parcel runs along the west side of Route 28 south of the Dulles Toll Road, straddling Sunrise Valley Drive, near the proposed Route 28 metro station.

“This is … at a prime site,” said Elizabeth Baker, a representative of the developer, the trustees of the Launders trust.

The development will include office, retail, residential and hotel components. “It really is something of a town center type of concept,” Baker said. There will be 800,000 square feet of office space, 240,000 of hotel, 187,000 of retail and just over 1 million of residential.

Included in the residential component will be 44 “affordable dwelling units.” Because of the design of the development, it would have been largely exempt from the affordable housing laws — the developer would only be required to include seven.

THE DEVELOPER is dedicating 23 acres to the Fairfax County Park Authority. However, 11.7 of these acres are within a stream buffer and could not be developed, anyway.

On site, the developer will build a 6.8 acre park, including a lighted, turf field. This park is a portion of the dedication to the park authority.

The developer will be permitted to build in a floodplain, in order to install a stormwater mitigation pond, and to try to restore the stream. The area is currently degraded and the pond will retain water on a regional basis, said Barbara Byron of the Department of Planning and Zoning. “It’s sort of an abnormal circumstance,” she said.

Also included in the area, is a 0.85 acre portion of the property being kept in a “life estate.” The Meiselman family will continue to live in their existing house for the duration of their lives. After, that land will also go to the Park Authority.

IN ORDER TO REDUCE traffic impacts, the developer has agreed to a complex phasing schedule. No more then 300 of the housing units can be occupied until 200,000 square feet worth of non-residential buildings have been constructed or are under construction. No more than 550 can be occupied until an additional 150,000 square feet has been built and a shuttle service is provided to the Herndon Monroe Park and Ride. This would permit a total of up to 1.25 million square feet.

In order to build more, one of two things must happen. Either the Wiehle Metro station in Reston must be operational and a shuttle provided to it or the developer must provide access through the parcel to the west creating a second access point on Sunrise Valley Drive. Once one of those two things happens, the developer could build up to 1.875 million square feet.

In order to build the final portion of the development, Phase II of the Rail to Dulles project must be operational with a shuttle from the site to one of the nearby stations.

Phase I of the Rail to Dulles project is planned to end at Wiehle Avenue in Reston and to be operating by 2011. Phase II could be operating by 2015. One of the trustees of the Launders Trust, Jeff Fairfield, is vice-president of the Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles, a group of businesses and property owners working to ensure that Phase II is constructed.

Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) said that she is excited about the development.

“We look forward to this being an example of what can be done,” she said.