With the downturn in the office market, developers are looking at vacant parcels of land in the Westfields area of Chantilly as a place for residential and other uses, instead. Below are two of the proposals, plus plans for a memory-care facility off of Route 50 west.
Preserve at Westfields
There’s a plan to transform 50 acres of vacant land along Route 28 and Stonecroft and Westfields boulevards in Chantilly. Being proposed for what would be called The Preserve at Westfields are 155 townhouses, 650 apartments, plus retail and other amenities.
Fairfax County recently approved a rezoning for that site and also amended its Comprehensive Plan for that area so that high-density, residential uses may be built there. Akridge owns the land and would build the apartment and retail components; Elm Street Development would construct the townhouses.
Included would be an amenity area with walking paths, a pavilion/performing and gathering area, plus a lake that’s currently not accessible. Proffer highlights include almost $6 million in recreation improvements and more than $5.5 million in road improvements.
“If we do this right, we’re ultimately making the Route 28 Corridor stronger by providing amenities and a live, work and play environment,” said attorney Greg Riegle, representing the developer. “And that’s the philosophy the Westfields Business Owners Association has endorsed.”
The Commonwealth Centre is along Westfields Boulevard, across Route 28 and just northeast of the Akridge site. And there, plans are afoot to bring a Wegmans grocery store to Chantilly.
It would go inside the Newbrook Drive loop road and would be part of a commercial complex including shops and a restaurant. First, though, Fairfax County must approve a Comprehensive Plan amendment for that 21-acre site. Doing so would enable the developer, Regency Centers, to replace the currently approved 338,400 square feet of hotel, office and retail uses with 183,000 square feet of retail.
The centerpiece would be a 140,000-square-foot Wegmans similar to the one in Fair Oaks and containing the same amenities, but not the parking garage. It would, instead, have surface parking. Also planned are 32,500 square feet of retail shops, plus a 10,500-square-foot sit-down, full-service restaurant.
But that’s not all. It would come with walking trails, an exercise park near the Flatlick stream valley, outdoor seating outside the Wegmans café and a slew of proffered pedestrian and road improvements for safety plus better traffic flow.
Residences at Government Center
With an eye toward providing workforce housing in the local area, Fairfax County dignitaries broke ground May 5 on a 270-unit apartment complex in Fair Oaks. The apartments are being built on county-owned land off Monument Drive, on the Government Center’s perimeter, so they’re named Residences at the Government Center.
On some 9 acres across from the Fairfax Corner shopping center, they’ll offer a 5,800-square-foot amenity space including an outdoor pool, fenced playground, two courtyards and connections to walking trails. The apartments will be chocked full of green and energy-saving features and will be available to people making up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).
In addition, at least 20 percent of the units are geared for households at or below 50 percent AMI. Paradigm Construction Co. is the general contractor and will build studio, plus one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Site work began in April, and the first apartment is expected to be available for occupancy by October 2016.
Because the developer was able to lease land from the county, and federal low-income, tax credits were obtained, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, “This is being done at no cost to the county. By providing workforce housing, many young people, low-income families and those having long commutes to jobs here will be able to live here.”
Once envisioned as the heart of Centreville – a place where people would gather for various events and special occasions – Trinity Centre was originally planned for 1.8 million square feet of office space. Also there would be 250,000 square feet of retail uses, plus 336 homes.
But what’s actually been built there are three restaurants, a hotel, Life Time Fitness, the 336 homes and three office buildings totaling just 587,000 square feet – or one-third of the approved office space.
Now, though, JLB Partners would like to instead construct a residential project of 355 apartments there. Also included would be a six-story parking structure in the middle. The units would be within a building that’s four stories in front and five stories in back, because of the topography of the site.
The building would be constructed adjacent to the existing lake and would have two internal courtyards. There’d be an outdoor pool, and the lower-level units would be walk-outs. In addition, the builder would seek LEED certification, and the lake would be an integral part of the project.
Amenities by the lake would include a fenced-in, off-leash, dog area; benches, chairs and an area where young children could climb. Planned, as well, is an outdoor area for senior citizens to use for games such as chess and bocce ball. Trails would connect it to the office development, and the developer would also improve pedestrian connections to this area.
JLB’s rezoning application goes before the Planning Commission on Sept. 16.
Arbors of Chantilly
As the number of senior citizens in Fairfax County continues to rise, so does the need for assisted-living facilities – and especially those focusing on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Enter Artisan Land Group LLC.
It’s already received Fairfax County’s approval to build The Arbors of Chantilly at 13622 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, off Downs Drive. The six-and-one-half-acre site, zoned residential, is currently a vacant lot. Planned is a one-story, 37,000-square-foot, 48-unit, residential-looking building facing Route 50.
Considered a “memory-care home,” the 35,000-square-foot facility will be architecturally compatible with the surrounding land uses, plus the abutting residential area. It’ll also have a large rain garden and fencing all around the property. Groundbreaking is anticipated by this fall, with construction expected to take about 10 months.