Fairfax County Planning Commission approves Halley Rise block changes

Jaco Acquisition’s residential project in Halley Rise (Via Fairfax County)

Planning leaders gave the final OK for a developer to build an eight-story residential block with up to 480 units despite lack of clarity on whether condos will be part of the mix.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the project on Wednesday, which will be part of Brookfield Properties’ 36-acre development known as Halley Rise by the yet-to-open Reston Town Center Station.

The project calls for 15% of the units to be workforce dwelling units, according to a November staff report, meaning up to 72 units would be under a county affordability program: Half of those would be at 100% of the area median income (AMI) and the remaining half would be reserve for 80% AMI and 70% AMI.

An eastern portion will have approximately 366 residential units, and a western portion will have approximately 114 residential units “that will be designed to be condominium ownership to broaden the appeal to the community but depending on market conditions may still be rental apartments,” Gill wrote.

Gill, representing developer Jaco Acquisition, wrote that the possible condominium portion would “provide opportunities for homeownership and appeal to a broader community” but added that the applicant “reserves the right to operate this building as a rental apartment community.”

The project also calls for 9,500 square feet of retail and above-grade parking garage spaces. Among its amenities, the site will include a double row of trees to along the Reston Parkway, bike racks, and an interior courtyard.

“The building will contain two above-grade parking garages, which will be wrapped by residential and retail uses,” Katie Quinn, a county planning staff coordinator, told the commission.

County staff said in a report that the nearly 541,000 square foot building wouldn’t have any urban park area, but Halley Rise overall will eventually have a little of five acres of green space with the addition of two upcoming parks: The Quad and the Gateway. The green space is a little over the square footage of four football fields.

“The heart of it is replacing what is largely a surface parking lot for that existing office building and developing a shared parking garage to provide parking not just for our residential project but also that office building,” Gill said of the Jaco Acquisition project, known as Block C.

A six-story residential structure with a Wegmans is currently being constructed on Block F of the development, which lies north of the Jaco Acquisition residential project. Commission member John Carter, representing the Hunter Mill District, said the Wegmans phase of the project could open toward the end of 2022.

Jaco Acquisition, tied to D.C. developer Akridge, is developing the project, but Brookfield Properties still owns the land. Gill, the land use attorney, said that Jaco is a partnership between Akridge and The Meridian Group.

Wednesday’s action finalizes approvals needed from elected and appointed government boards.

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