Board of Supervisors Gives OK to Conceptual Plans for 1831 Michael Faraday Drive

At its meeting Tuesday (video), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave its OK to conceptual plans for mixed-used redevelopment at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive.

Developer Rooney Properties’ plans for the property include 13 single-family attached and 283 multi-family dwelling units, along with up to 10,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The property owners say the multi-family structure would have seven stories, approximately 85 feet in height, and will have an attached seven-story parking garage.

McGuireWoods LLP attorney Scott Adams, representing Rooney, said the project “hits the goals and the vision of the Comprehensive Plan” by creating vibrant streets and providing publicly accessible park space.

“The site is designed to really anchor what’s an important corner within this quadrant of the Wiehle Metro TSA, providing those ground-floor retail restaurant uses with outdoor seating to really activate that street frontage,” Adams said. “In addition … the public open space is designed to be fully coordinated with the project to the east of us, and ultimately that combined open space will contain over an acre of publicly accessible park space, with both active and passive recreation amenities — a half basketball court, tot lots, a large grass area — [which is] something that just doesn’t exist anywhere else in this quadrant and isn’t really planned in this quadrant.”

The project east of the property is 11111 Sunset Hills Road, which has a Planning Commission hearing scheduled for Nov. 16. In addition to townhouses and courtyards that mirror the 1831 Michael Faraday Drive site, it would include an extension of the open space at the southeast corner of the site to create a “more extensive and coordinated park” on the southern portion of the properties. Four developers are also working together to redevelop the 17.5 acres west of the property, on Wiehle Avenue across from the Metro station.

“We look forward to the outcome of the collaboration with the adjacent parcels, because I think that’s also a plus in order to make sure this site works well,” said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Hunter Mill District representative.

Affordable housing would make up 12.8 percent of the residential units, using 70/80/100 percent AMI (area median income) tiers. A quarter of those units would have two or three bedrooms.

“We’re very excited that were able to get rid of that 120 percent AMI level, and really provide a more targeted AMI level,” Adams said. “We think it really serves a need in the area, and there aren’t a lot of those units out there, so we’re excited we were able to find a way.”

The Board unanimously approved the rezoning, conceptual development plan, and accompanying waivers and modifications. In addition, a parking reduction request (2 spaces/single-family unit; 1.3 spaces/multi-family unit; and 1.5 spaces/five seats and 1 space/2 employees for retail) was approved, based on the proximity to a mass transit station. The Board voted to require that 20 guest spaces for residential uses be designated.

“In looking at an old industrial area and seeing what the vision was in changing the [Comprehensive] Plan, we’re slowly moving through that part and getting there,” Hudgins said. “I think this application is a good reflection of it.”

Rooney hopes to begin construction on the project in the first half of 2018.

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