On Thursday, September 15, the public hearing held by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) was a critical first step in an extensive community engagement effort to consider the addition of up to 350 units of affordable housing and a new replacement facility for the Reston Regional Library.
The purpose of the public hearing was to receive public comments on the proposed Interim Agreement between the FCRHA and developer Foulger-Pratt, LLC (Foulger-Pratt) which would allow the developer to initiate community outreach and collaboration on the proposed project; to begin working with Fairfax County staff on various elements of the proposed project; and to begin the zoning and land use approvals process. The interim agreement is not the final agreement regarding the project nor does it constitute an approval of the proposal by the FCRHA or Fairfax County.
“When the FCRHA presents an interim agreement for public input, it is a procedural way of saying ‘we’ve done our initial homework and we think this proposal has merit and should be considered by the community,’” said FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna. “The work is far from over and this agreement would grant the authority to continue working through every detail – with community participation – to ensure that the final proposal to be decided on has taken into account a variety of perspectives and considerations.”
The proposal is being considered under the provisions of the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA), which includes specific requirements and processes for receiving, evaluating, and competing unsolicited proposals similar to the one received for this project. There will be opportunities for substantive community input and participation in the coming months on a wide range of topics from the proposed design of the building to its integration into the fabric of the neighborhood.
The project proposed by Foulger-Pratt would include the redevelopment of 30 units of affordable housing at Bowman Court with up to 350 units of multifamily affordable housing, a new replacement facility for the Reston Regional Library, and designated structured parking for both the housing and library components. If ultimately approved, the FCRHA would lease the ground to Foulger-Pratt who would design, construct, and operate the affordable housing community. Fairfax County would own and operate the public library.
The proposed redevelopment of Bowman Towne Court would represent a significant step towards the joint goal of the FCRHA and Fairfax County to create 10,000 units of affordable housing by the year 2034. The proposal would also be the latest in a growing list of public-private partnership development projects currently under construction, including The Residences at North Hill, One University, and Oakwood Senior Living. All units would be affordable to households earning between 30 and 70 percent of area median income (AMI). The average income of all households served in the community would not exceed 60 percent AMI.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe, stable and affordable home, and the FCRHA has made significant strides in providing these opportunities through public-private partnerships,” McKenna added. “It’s a process we are well-acquainted with and have experienced great success as we work with residents and stakeholders in communities throughout the county to make it work. Tonight’s meeting was a critical first step.”
Information about the proposed Bowman Towne Court project can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/housing/projects. Details regarding additional public engagement opportunities will be published on this site as they become available. Questions about the proposed project can be directed to BowmanTowneCourt@fairfaxcounty.gov.