Prince William County has approved an expansive multiuse development near Manassas, calling it a transformative project for the western portion of the county.
During its meeting Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors voted 7-1 to approve proposals by Castle Rock Partners LLC and Stanley Martin Homes LLC to bring nearly 3,000 homes and more than 2 million square feet of commercial space to roughly 150 acres along Prince William County Parkway. The land is next to George Mason University’s Manassas campus.
“The vision here really is to create pedestrian-centered places and really create a town center with shopping, dining and entertainment,” said county planner Meika Daus.
Coles District Supervisor Yesli Vega cast the sole dissenting vote, but did not comment on either proposal during the meeting. Only one person spoke in opposition during three public hearings.
Castle Rock and Stanley Martin are working together to bring the Innovation Town Center to the property next to GMU’s Science and Technology Campus.
Castle Rock wanted to rezone 23.74 acres at the intersection of University Parkway and Prince William Parkway, or Va. 234, from planned business district to planned mixed-use district. The company has agreed to buy the property from the county for $4.86 million.
The developer plans an $849 million mixed-use complex called University Village with 1,480 student-housing units, 150 multifamily units and more than 1.6 million square feet of nonresidential space, including a hotel and conference center, retail areas and office space.
Stanley Martin Homes had two requests on adjoining land northwest toward Wellington Road. The company wanted to rezone 107.4 acres from agricultural and planned business district to mixed-use district for Innovation Town Center. It also requested a special-use permit on 25.1 acres for a town center and residential units.
The company is planning to construct up to 1,396 housing units and more than 778,000 square feet of nonresidential uses. Stanley Martin is under contract to purchase the property from Prince William County, MJV Associates LLC and PWC - Parcel A LLC.
The projects tie into the county’s 1,700-acre small-area plan for Innovation Park. Officials want the area to become a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use town center with student housing and office space, as well as a shuttle to and from the Broad Run Virginia Railway Express station.
The plan also proposes a pedestrian bridge crossing Prince William Parkway on University Boulevard and an elementary school in the town center.
“Tonight’s applications … fit so well into our vision here,” said Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.
To guarantee the housing is used for college students and to minimize any effects on the county’s public school system, Castle Rock pledged to pay the school division $10,300 per student generated in public schools by the development.
The company will evaluate how many students it produces as each building is constructed. The buildings will be reevaluated twice at five-year intervals, and the payment would be given for each confirmed student.
County staff estimate the final product will generate $8.9 million annually in real estate tax revenue, although the company estimated it would produce $13.36 million.
“This will allow folks to create a walkable community and walk from their dorms to campus and create a real walkable space,” said Occoquan District Supervisor Kenny Boddye. “This is one of those gamechangers for this area of the county”
Under the sale agreement, the county will reimburse Innovation Development LLC its purchase price as related infrastructure is constructed with the development. The infrastructure will come from entrances off Prince William Parkway and University Boulevard.
Stanley Martin’s development will be a mix of townhomes, stacked townhomes and multifamily units across several buildings. The project includes two playgrounds, a park, a clubhouse and a swimming pool.
The company has agreed to fund improvements along Prince William Parkway and Wellington and Bethlehem roads, including a traffic signal at the property.
Ron Carmichael, director of administration and operations at GMU’s Science and Technology Campus, said the university supports the projects. He said GMU expects growth at the campus.
“The one thing we need, desperately need, to ensure that growth continues is the town center and the amenities it offers our students and faculty,” he said. “We’re really on a roll and I’m excited to add to this. This is a great plan.”