The Fairfax County Planning Commission has voted unanimously to remove a condition allowing construction to start on the town center at MetroWest.
The proposed buildings would bring up to 900 residential units and retail amenities south of I-66 and the Vienna Metro Station.
In 2006, the original MetroWest plans were approved with a condition, also known as a proffer, limiting how much the housing developer could build without providing 300,000 square feet of office space. The condition was put into place to ensure mixed uses for the area.
In January, developer CRC Companies submitted an application asking the commission to remove that condition, arguing that the real estate market has changed since the plans were approved in 2006, making office space less viable. The developer said the condition also delayed the development of open space and retail for existing residents.
During a Planning Commission meeting last month, McGuireWoods Managing Partner Gregory Riegle said construction on the first phase of the town center is set to begin soon and that the reason for the requested change in the proffer was self-evident -- "given well-documented realities about an objective oversupply of office space combined with decreasing demand.”
Riegle also said certain aspects like amenities, design, size and scale would not change.
Planning Commissioner Philip Niedzielski said the overall development would continue to propose a mix of uses in housing types, apartments, senior housing and townhouses.
“Overall, the amended proffers would remove a significant barrier preventing the applicant to deliver approximately 900 market-rate units,” he said.
Also in the application from the developers is a condition to improve pedestrian connections with landscaping and screening between buildings.
“This application is another welcome catalyst for action and will help realize the Comprehensive Plan's [vision] for mixed-use transit-oriented development,” Niedzielski said.
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