Located just east of Leesburg, Ashburn is one of the county’s favorite locations for new businesses, parks and neighborhoods.
Since 2005 Ashburn has seen an increase in population from 33,581 to 61,708 by the end of 2005, a growth of more than 83 percent. In the past few years, the number of businesses have also grown. From AOL’s headquarters and Verizon to the Lansdowne Resort and the W&OD Trail, Ashburn offers many opportunities for residents to both work and play.
<bt>One of the biggest communities on Ashburn’s horizon is One Loudoun. The Board of Supervisors approved the development, which mixes residential, civic and business uses on 358 acres at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Route 7. One of the main issues brought up by supervisors during its approval process was the number of residential houses included in the proposal.
"We need to keep as much of the site as possible as office and employment," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said at the time of the vote. "I think this site should be commercially driven, commercially oriented."
Many residents, however, supported the planned community because of the many services it will bring to the area, including shopping, restaurant and entertainment.
"I love the idea of having a community development that brings back that old main street feel," Kathryn Ciliberti, a Belmont resident, said. "I especially love the idea of having it down the road from where I live."
<sh>On the Road
<bt>As the area continues to grow, transportation and traffic continue to be the top concern of many Ashburn residents. In an attempt to improve traffic and get people to their destinations faster, the Board of Supervisors included a package of road improvement projects on the November 2006 referendum. Residents overwhelmingly approved the bond referendums, sending the board the message that immediate action needed to be taken to improve the county’s road system.
"People don’t want talk anymore; they want to see some action," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said before the vote.
The approved projects included a $38,000,000 bond for the construction of a Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway interchange and Russell Branch Parkway from the Loudoun County Parkway to Richfield Way. Two other Ashburn projects were also approved: the design for an interchange at Route 7 and Belmont Ridge Road and the design for the four laning of Belmont Ridge Road from Gloucester Parkway to the Dulles Greenway.
Several other transportation projects have been proffered as part of development projects approved by the Board of Supervisors, including an interchange at the entrance of Ashburn Village at Route 7.
<bt>After 12 years at its current Harrison Street location in Leesburg, the county is looking to move its government center to a new location. In May, the county chose five proposals to advance in the selection process, which began at the beginning of the year. Some of the proposals could bring the new government center into the Ashburn area.
"At this stage we are looking mostly at location and the development plan," Tina Borger, the county’s procurement manager, said. "The building design will come later."
The new center will include two buildings totaling 500,000 square feet developed into a destination complex with retail services and room for 300,000 square feet of expansion.
Two Leesburg locations were among the five selected, from developers Keane Enterprises and KSI Services Inc. The other three proposals would move the government center east. Along the Dulles Greenway, Comstock Partners would make the government center part of its Loudoun Station development and Loudoun Civic and Transit Center, LLC would make the government building part of the Moorefield Station development. The proposal from Miller and Smith, the developers of One Loudoun along Route 7 in Ashburn was also selected.
The county is looking at long-term solutions for its space problems, Kirby Bowers, the county's administrator, said, while still meeting the government's current needs.
Bowers said the county has completely outgrown the various buildings it owns and is now back to renting space to meet the needs of its departments, spending millions of dollars each year in rental costs and seeing its offices spread out around Leesburg.
"There are many departments that are feeling the pinch and have for quite some time," Bowers said. "You only need to walk up to the board offices or my office and see that we are short on space."