A proposal to reposition two, as-yet-unbuilt, office buildings on their site in Westfields recently got its first approvals. They were given during the July 26 joint meeting of the Western Fairfax County Citizens Assn. (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee and the Sully District Council (SDC) of Citizens Assns.
The property is owned by COPT in Westfields in an area called the Washington Tech Park 3. Representing COPT, land-use attorney Scott Adams explained the applicant’s request to Fairfax County for a proffer condition amendment to modify the site and development conditions there.
“We’d be rearranging some already-approved office buildings on the site to better address the office-building situation in Westfields now,” he said. “We’d be moving one building further south on the site and re-orienting the other building.”
The building in the center of the site would be turned sideways. The other building — which was originally planned to front on Conference Center Drive — would be moved more south to front on Parkstone Drive and better connect to the first building.
The site is 15 acres, and each COPT-owned building would have about 165,000 square feet of floor area. The land is bounded by Conference Center Drive to the north and Parkstone Drive to the east.
“There’s a large, green space in back for a 250-foot setback from Braddock Road,” said Adams. “But there’ll be no access from Braddock. An 8-foot-wide trail running along the site’s perimeter connects to a trail in the buffer area. There’ll be 38 percent open space, and just 15 percent is required.”
“What makes you think you’ll have more success with office uses there than others have had elsewhere?” asked SDC’s Jeff Parnes.
Bill Matarazzo, construction director for COPT, replied that the buildings are still being marketed. But, he added, “What would make this [set-up] more attractive to someone is the possibility of having two, adjacent buildings with upwards of 300,000 square feet between them.”
Adams said the site plan is currently approved for 245,000 square feet. And besides having even more office space, he said, “People coming here can take advantage of the nearby mixed uses and restaurants available in the area.”
“With the site’s proximity to Dulles Airport and its noise, things like this — office uses — are what should go there,” said the WFCCA’s Carol Hawn. “So this is great; this is what Westfields was meant to be.”
WFCCA colleague Chris Terpak-Malm agreed and then both land-use groups voted to recommend approval to the county Planning Commission. It’s slated to hear this matter on Oct. 19.