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Proposal to turn Herndon Residence Inn into housing advances

Residence Inn could shift into a multifamily housing project (via Town of Herndon)

The owners of Residence Inn in the Town of Herndon say the building’s layout and amenities no longer meet “top tier hotel brand standards.”

As a result, they hope the town will allow the hotel to shift into a multifamily residential project with half of the units dedicated for workforce housing.

“The physical layout of the various buildings on the property, the interior unit configuration, and the good condition of the underlying building structures, presents a unique opportunity with the Town of Herndon to repurpose the current building as multifamily units,” a March 2 application to the town says.

The 168-room hotel — which is spread out over 11 buildings — was built in 1990. The 6.5-acre site is located south of Elden Street, west of Herndon Parkway, and north of Grove Street.

Town staff said the proposal is the town’s first for a multifamily development with a workforce housing component.

Staff said the hotel is set to “lose its flag because it cannot meet the standards of the brand anymore,” according to a March 14 report.

“Other commercial uses allowed by-right in the CS, Commercial Services, zoning district are likely not feasible without a complete teardown and redevelopment of the entire site,” the report says.

Approval of the project requires the town to rezone the property from the Commercial Services District to urban residential.

So far, the developer plans to provide 170 units. Half of them would be set aside for households earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income. That’s roughly $57,650 for a family of one and $82,300 for a family of four.

The developer is seeking a 30% reduction in the number of parking spaces — 184 parking spaces for 170 units — to meet actual parking demand. On-site bicycle parking and a bicycle repair and maintenance station will also be included on the site.

Parking will be purchased separately from unit rental rates in an effort to encourage residents to minimize car ownership.

“We believe the site is well positioned for success as both a workforce housing and market-rate housing project due to the site’s proximity to the future Metro station to the south and east, existing nearby public transit service, existing and planned pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and importantly, nearby employment in Downtown Herndon and along the Dulles Toll Road and Route 28 corridors, providing easy access to more than 100,000 existing jobs along the corridor,” the applicant said.

The Town of Herndon Planning Commission will consider the proposal at a meeting tonight (Monday) at 7 p.m.

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