Major construction at Innovation Center South continues for senior facility

While a road leading to the entrance of Innovation Center Station is still closed, construction crews are feverishly raising buildings near the yet-to-open Metro station.

Bethesda-based Donohoe Construction Co. crews are well along in building the core of a Brightview Senior Living facility, part of an approximately 1.65 million square-foot development site envisioned for three other residential buildings, two office buildings and a hotel called Innovation Center South.

Rocks Engineering Co. has calculated that six of the seven buildings would also have retail, creating 871,000 square feet of residential space, 501,000 square feet of commercial space and 84,000 square feet of retail space.

Michael Rocks, managing director with the company, said the next development is expected to be an office project within the next six to nine months. Groundbreaking ground could happen in the next 12 to 18 months and be connected with a residential building at the site.

“We’ve had tons of interest from retailers over the years,” he said, citing the development’s proximity to the Metro.

The campus sits next to a $52 million parking garage that Fairfax County completed in early 2020.

Fairfax County approved rezoning for Innovation Center South in 2014 for the mixed-use development, where buildings would be built by the parking garage and near the Dulles Toll Road. In 2019, the county allowed approved building space to be taken from one block, dubbed B2, just north of the parking garage, to be reallocated for Brightview’s project.

An illustration shows a 2014 plan for Innovation Center South, with the Metro station on the lower left and Dulles toll road on the bottom (Via D|G Studios/Fairfax County)

Mindy Dillon, executive assistant to Brightview’s vice president of project management and project development team, said its facility is slated to be complete in February 2023.

“These will be all new residents to Brightview,” she said, adding that there may be some exceptions.

According to Donohoe, the seven-story senior living project at 13700 Magna Way will be nearly 230,000 square feet. An application in 2018 noted that approximately 115 units would be for independent living and 81 more for assisted living, of which approximately 26 units will be for memory-impaired residents.

According to the application regarding the aging adult living facility:

The 26-unit Wellspring Program will function as a separate and secured ‘neighborhood’ within the building for those seniors confronting various forms of dementia or memory impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the Wellspring Program is to enrich the quality of life for residents with memory impaired diseases by creating a customized plan of support and personalized care services tailored to their needs that maintains as much independence as possible in a compassionate and caring environment. This neighborhood will occupy a secured portion of an upper level of the proposed building. 

Overall, the senior living community will provide social, recreational and wellness programs, meals for residents, and independent living residents will have full kitchens in their units, although they’ll get breakfast and dinner prepared for them, according to the application.

Brightview also noted that its communal amenities include a living room, library, computer center, group dining room and café, activities room, beauty/barber salon, multipurpose room, movie theater, outdoor courtyards and exercise and physical therapy room.

Rocks said preleasing will start for those units in January.

The senior living project is rising next to the pending Innovation Center Metro Station on the Silver Line, which will be one stop away from the Dulles International Airport.

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