Developers for the Mill at Occoquan project are saying they need more time.
Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Investments requested a postponement of a public hearing after the town of Occoquan had publicly advertised the hearing to be held during a council meeting Tuesday night.
“The applicant has requested the postponement to allow additional time to review and respond to comments received since the Planning Commission public hearing,” town staff said in a statement. “Once the public hearing has been rescheduled, the town will advertise and share information on the town’s website and in the town’s monthly newsletter.”
Representatives for Mid-Atlantic Real Estate couldn’t be reached to explain the delay.
The mixed-use development, which would be built along the town’s waterfront on Mill Street, has been in the offing since 2019 and undergone a series of changes since it was first presented.
The most recent design, unveiled at a planning commission hearing in November, would feature 70 condominiums built on top of retail and restaurant space. All told, the commercial component of the project would total 3,000 square feet. That number was a sharp reduction from the original proposal of 6,600 square feet. Also in the initial designs were 88 condo units.
The development would also feature a top-floor “observation deck” and a publicly-accessible boardwalk along the Occoquan River. The condos would get a total of 170 parking spaces, and 57 would be built for the public. As of last year, Mid-Atlantic was planning to set condo prices between $350,000 and $1 million.
Mid-Atlantic Real Estate made those changes following anti-development pushback from some nearby residents. Complaints ranged from parking to size and architectural style when it was first proposed. When developers returned to the planning commission for a public hearing, they highlighted the varying building materials.
“It’s not some big huge box anymore, like it was before,” Kevin Sills, president of the Manassas-based developer, said at the presentation. “Obviously, we know where we started; now I think we’ve gotten to a nice place and I think we’re plenty happy with our results at this time.”
In January, the planning commission unanimously voted to support the project’s rezoning, which would change the site’s designation from commercial to mixed-use. If approved by the town council, the project would be allowed to build up to the requested 79 feet, rather than the current 35-foot limit. The project won’t have to go back to the commission for recommendation unless it undergoes changes that are judged to be significant in nature.
When the developers finally bring their final proposal before the town council, it will need to have a public hearing before being voted on.
At the planning commission hearing last year, some residents maintained their complaints regarding the size of the project, but others applauded the change in architectural style.
“What you have done here with the variation, the height differences, the setbacks – anything that’s going to nuance it, it’s going to, in my opinion, add to Occoquan’s streetscape,” one town resident said at the hearing. “So I’m very grateful for that.”