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Community center, skyparks planned for all-affordable high-rises in Tysons

The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is scaling up its ambitions for Tysons.

The nonprofit has submitted a new plan to Fairfax County for its much-touted affordable housing project in Dominion Square West, the planned redevelopment of a strip of car dealerships on the west side of Spring Hill Road.

After getting the county’s approval in January for a 175-unit, nine-story residential building at 1592 Spring Hill Road, APAH wants to bump that up to 225 units and 20 stories in height in order to match a second tower that it can now construct, thanks to a $55 million investment from Amazon.

Collectively, the two buildings will deliver 516 units — all aimed at people earning 60% or less of the area’s median income, according to the application, which the county received on Thursday (June 2).

“This important project addresses a key objective for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors by providing significant affordable housing opportunities within close proximity to Metro,” Scott Adams, a McGuireWoods land-use attorney, wrote on APAH’s behalf in a statement of justification dated May 31.

The final development plan for the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s Dominion Square West affordable housing high-rises (via Fairfax County)

Designated as C5 in the plan, the second building will allocate up to 33,500 square feet on its ground floor to a community center that will be operated by the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.

The community center will be much larger than the 15,000 square feet of retail currently allowed by the existing Dominion Square West plan. Despite the increase in units and height for the approved building C6, the developer says it’s proposing 69,000 fewer square feet of residential space than what it could have to compensate for the additional commercial use.

The buildings will be constructed on top of five levels of underground parking, which will provide one space for each housing unit as well as 140 spaces for the community center. There will be two loading spaces and 209 bicycle storage spaces, including 15 for the community center.

According to the submitted development plan, the buildings will abut each other, but they will have separate lobbies. Proposed amenities include:

  • Private skyparks for both buildings, totaling 12,900 square feet, with swings, an outdoor kids’ play space, lawn games, a community garden, and movable tables and seating
  • A 1,900-square-foot skypark for the community center
  • A 14,800-square-foot interim park with publicly accessible seating on turfed areas along a planned Boone Boulevard that will extend west off of Spring Hill Road

The interim park will eventually become a 3,700-square-foot urban park once the property on the other side of Boone Boulevard is redeveloped, shifting the road’s final alignment.

APAH’s proposal covers two of the six buildings envisioned in the Dominion Square West conceptual plan that the county adopted in 2017. Final plans for the other four buildings — two office buildings and two residential — haven’t been submitted yet.

While the new application hasn’t been formally accepted yet, the county has previously said construction on the all-affordable housing project could begin by the fall of 2023.

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