About a half mile from the McLean Metro Station, six, 1970s-era buildings will become another residential and retail hub in Tysons.
This latest project, called the Highland District, was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The board’s approval included the final development plans for the first two buildings.
The project will redevelop a portion of the former West*Gate office park, erecting up to 1.8 million square feet in residential, retail and possible office space. The almost 17-acre site spans both sides of Old Meadow Road, sitting directly east of the Beltway and south of Route 123.
The board’s approval grants the option to convert one of the residential buildings into 220,000 square feet of office space. The plans also call for up to 32,000 square feet in ground-floor shops and services.
“It really takes everyone’s effort to bring good retail because they want to cluster together,” said Matthew Robinson, a principal with the developer MRP Realty. “And that’s what makes a community, and now all of a sudden you have a town center, a little village, a little node where people want to go to spend time.”
The first two buildings to be developed sit to the east and west of Old Meadow Road. Both will be up to eight stories with ground floor shops. Known as Building A, the 420,000 square foot mid-rise west of Old Meadow will have up to 410 units with 5,000 square feet of retail. The residence on the east, called Building B, will offer up to 210 units, plus 7,000-square feet of retail.
Eight public parks will be spread across the Highland District, and developer MRP will build out an athletic field at the development’s western most edge, closest to the Beltway.
“It’s an interesting combination of some more urban plazas, some pocket parks, and some more natural settings,” said MRP’s Robinson. “Next to our site, we’re expanding the athletic field to build a full athletic field, and next to that building a sport court, child play area and dog park. All of a sudden you have recreation areas at the end of our street that ties together a lot of recreational activities for use not just our residents but the county as a whole.”
The field will be a lit, synthetic turf field that will be owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Overall, the project will offer close to five acres in parks, and the developer will make a $100,000 contribution towards restoring the adjacent Scotts Run Stream Valley Park.
The Highland District sits next to a future, new fire station, and the project will contribute toward this new public facility. Developer CityLine pledged to build this station by 2020 as part of its Scotts Run South development, but the Highland District will help pay for the station’s furnishings and equipment.
The developers also will make a $10,000 contribution towards one preemptive traffic signal. This technology allows first responders to change a light to green to allow fire trucks and ambulances to get through heavy traffic more quickly.