Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Approves Largest Residential Development in Tysons
June 4, 2013
With up to 2,571 apartments spread across seven high-rises, the largest new residential development in Tysons to date got a green light to move forward. The project is also the first that’s almost purely residential.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved developer LCOR’s plan to transform the almost 21-acre site that’s home to the Commons apartments now. When built out, the new development—which will continue to be called the Commons — will offer seven times more apartments than the 331-unit complex today. It also will provide more affordable housing units than exist currently.
At its June 4, meeting, the board also signed off on a final development plan for the project’s first building. At the corner of Anderson Road and Colshire Meadow Drive, this new 331-unit building will reach up to 15 stories.
About 80 percent of the development will be a quarter to a third of mile from the future McLean Metro Station, the eastern most Silver Line stop in Tysons. The Commons also will be near the recently approved Scotts Run South development.
Compared to the projects approved for Tysons so far, LCOR’s will build the most housing. To date, these developments will build up to the following number of residential units:
- Arbor Row: 1,179 units
- Capital One: 1,230 units
- Scotts Run South: 2,308 units
- Spring Hill Station: 2,035 units
LCOR is approved to build up to 2.62 million square feet. Of this total, LCOR may include 50,000 square feet of retail or commercial uses, although it has not committed to do so. The overall project will be 98 percent residential even if it includes any retail or commercial space.
Housing is key to the strategy to transform Tysons. To complete the make over from suburban office park to urban center, Tysons must be place where people live—as well as work, shop and play.
Today, the area is home to about 17,000 residents compared to about 105,000 jobs. The ratio of jobs per household is 11.3 to 1, and the county’s plans call for a more balanced jobs-to-housing ratio of 4 to 1 in the future.
The Commons includes many features that move forward Fairfax County’s goal to turn Tysons into a walkable, environmentally friendly, 24/7 urban center, including:
- Parks: The Commons will provide more than 9 acres of urban parks on site, including a full-size athletic field and park with recreational areas. Goodman Field will be a lighted, synthetic turf field, along with seating overlooking the field. This 3.43-acre facility is located along Colshire Drive between Andersen Road in the north and East Drive in the south. It will be completed by no later than December 2035. The second park will be 4.35-acre facility on the east side of Anderson Road. It will feature two asphalt basketball courts, two sand volleyball courts, play areas for smaller children and teenagers, and two fenced-in, off-leash dog parks (one for small dogs and one for larger dogs).
- Universal Design: At least 10 percent of the apartments will include Universal Design features, such as no-step entries.These features make homes fit everyone at every stage and situation in life.
- Green Building: LCOR will pursue LEED Certification for its residential buildings or certification under another green building rating system. In each parking garage, it will include at least one electric vehicle charging station that can serve two cars. LCOR also will look at incorporating bird-friendly design features into its buildings.
- Workforce Housing: Following the county’s goal for Tysons, 20 percent of the total units will be affordable for a total of up to 471 units.
- Bike Facilities: The Commons will include bike parking outside buildings and inside parking garages, and LCOR will build on-road bike lanes on Anderson Road, Colshire Meadow Drive, and Dartford Drive.
Except for the first building that the board approved, LCOR will construct its six other buildings over time based on market demand.
The first building will be composed of three segments in a “U” shape, and they will rise in height from 10 to 15 stories. Four of the existing garden-style apartments will be torn down, along with part of the parking lot, to make room for this first building. LCOR also will install a temporary 1.5-acre open space that will include a trail to the McLean Metro Station.
To honor the history of the Commons, LCOR will include interpretive signs throughout the new development about the site, its original design and architect Charles Goodman. Furthermore, LCOR will photograph and video the buildings and grounds, and this historical documentation will be given to the library’s Virginia Room.
Under the county’s transformation plan, Tysons will become a green, walkable urban center—Fairfax’s “downtown.” By 2050, Tysons will be home to up to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs.
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