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New hotel proposal could finally usher in Springfield Town Center redevelopment

A plan has been submitted for a scaled-back version of a new hotel at Springfield Town Center (via Fairfax County)

The first pieces of the massive redevelopment of Springfield Town Center have finally come forward, more than 12 years after Fairfax County initially approved a mass of new development for the property.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust has filed a plan for a five-story hotel along Loisdale Road, according to an application submitted to the county on May 11.

The hotel would stand alongside a proposed residential building, bringing about the property’s “much-desired rebirth” and acting as a catalyst for the “first free-standing buildings to be built at the property in decades,” according to the application.

The town center is slated for up to 2,736 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial development, a plan fell into place more than a decade ago, when the complex was still known as Springfield Mall.

While the mall underwent an extensive renovation in 2012, no new development proposals have gained traction since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ preliminary approval in 2009.

“Over the years, a variety of users have tried to introduce both commercial and residential uses to the property, but the significant proffer package and details plans have hamstrung those projects,” the application says.

The developer says the proposal should be able to move forward because it covers a limited application area, fits “seamlessly” within the existing landscape at the mall, and helps establish a new internal street network that will support future development.

The hotel would take up surface parking spaces and sit next to a 460-unit residential building proposed by Hanover to the south of the property. PREIT says it plans to coordinate with Hanover as it moves forward with its application.

A big sell of the project, according to PREIT, is that the building requires minor changes to previously planned access road and uses existing curb cuts from Loisdale Avenue. The latest proposal shifts the hotel from across Village Drive to Loisdale Avenue.

The hotel will also have 140 rooms instead of the 225 proposed in the original redevelopment plan, along with some retail to serve hotel guests. Originally, up to 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail were planned with the hotel.

PREIT says the plan will bring vitality to an area that has been “overlooked” and will create a “mixed-use center as a community and regional focal point.”

The company purchased the town center seven years ago after Vornado Realty Trust, the previous owner, completed nearly $200 million in mall renovations and established retail facing Village Drive.

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