Decision on residential redevelopment of Worldgate Drive offices deferred

A housing development has been proposed for two vacant office buildings on Worldgate Drive (via KTGY/Town of Herndon)

A decision on the proposed redevelopment of two linked office buildings on Worldgate Drive in Herndon is going to wait until January.

At a meeting on Monday (Dec. 18), the Herndon Planning Commission voted unanimously to defer the decision on whether to recommend approval of plans to redevelop 13100 and 13150 Worldgate Drive into a residential community with a 360-unit apartment building, 49 standard townhouses and 52 units of stacked townhouses.

“We take the responsibility of being the gateway to the Town of Herndon seriously,” said Shawn Sullivan, who represented the developer, Boston Properties, at the public hearing.

Staff said they needed more time to work with the applicant on specific issues, like the design of Worldgate Drive’s westbound entrance, a trail connection into Chandon Park, improvements to the pedestrian circulation throughout the development and the design of a bus stop along Worldgate.

The developer plans to repurpose an existing parking garage for parking. In response to concerns about a request to reduce parking to 1.42 spaces per multi-family unit, staff said that amount of parking appeared sufficient based on a parking study of neighboring and comparable developments completed by Boston Properties.

Sullivan said the parking garage has a buffer of between 70 to 80 parking spaces that would be more than enough for guest parking.

“It doesn’t serve us to under-park our clientele,” Sullivan said.

Bryce Perry, a deputy director of community development for the town, told the commission that the town’s existing parking rate for its more transit-oriented areas is lower than what the developer is providing.

He noted that maintaining the town’s current parking requirements in more transit-oriented areas is difficult to implement.

“In a site like this with the smaller lots…especially with the multi-family [housing] the way it’s designed, that approach is a challenge to maintain,” Perry said.

After the planning commission completes an advisory review, the application will go to the Herndon Town Council for its consideration. The proposed development requires rezoning the approximately 10-acre site.

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