Centreville As the area office market continues to stall, more and more land-use applications are proposing to replace planned office uses with residential communities. One of the latest proposals is at the Trinity Centre, off Route 29, in Centreville.
Representing JLB Partners, attorney Mark Looney presented details of the plan during the June 16 meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Assn. (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.
“Our rezoning application goes before the [Fairfax County] Planning Commission on Sept. 16,” he said. “So we’ll probably return here [to the WFCCA] in September.
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 so far are two office buildings totaling 576,000 square feet, three restaurants totaling about 19,000 square feet, a 75,000-square-foot hotel, the Life Time Fitness center (90,000 square feet), another office building of 11,000 square feet and the 336 homes.
“Since the area was rezoned in 1987, just one-third of the approved offices were developed,” said Looney. “It’s now approved for two office buildings of 536,000 square feet total — or one 120,000-square-foot office building and 10,000 square feet of retail services.”
So, he said, JLB would replace the two office buildings (within what’s called Land Unit J) with a residential project of 355 apartments. 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.
“The idea is to amenitize the lake and provide more opportunities for people in nearby communities to use the lake for fishing or passive recreation, without feeling like they were intruding on a private residential project,” said Looney. “And, of course, it’s also for the [enjoyment of] the people living there.”
He said the amenities by the lake would be a fenced-in, off-leash, dog area; benches, chairs and “climbable landscape installations” for young children. Planned, as well, is an outdoor area for senior citizens to use for games such as chess and bocce ball.
“There’ll be trails connecting it to the office development,” said Looney. “We’ll also be improving the trail and pedestrian connections to this area.”
Sully District Planning Commissioner John Litzenberger said the applicant met with him and Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), plus county staff, and “staff liked it.” Looney noted that some workforce-priced housing will be available, and there’ll be an electric charging station. He also said all the apartments will be rentals.
“I think it’s a great plan,” said WFCCA’s Chris Terpak-Malm. “There are already restaurants there and a shopping center [Centreville Square across Route 29] people can walk to.”
“This is significantly lower [density] than the two office buildings would have been, so that’s good,” said At-Large Planning Commissioner Jim Hart. “But is there school capacity, if we add all these units?”
Looney didn’t know, offhand, but said he’d look into it and get him the answer.