The developer planning to convert the former Sheraton hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike) in Tysons into multifamily housing has proposed enhancing the property with nearly 3.5 acres of park space.
A portion of the now-vacant hotel’s existing parking lot would be replaced by pocket parks, larger recreational parks, and an urban plaza to serve both future residents and the general public, according to an application filed with Fairfax County on Friday (Nov. 11).
“The urban park spaces on the east and west sides…will include a variety of amenities including a sport court, a tot lot, an outdoor gaming area, and a variety of seating areas and gathering spaces,” Walsh Colucci land use attorney Robert Brant, representing developer JBG Smith, wrote in a statement of justification.
County planners are currently reviewing a proposal from JBG Smith to convert the 449-room, 22-story Sheraton — which closed in April 2020 — into a multifamily residential building with up to 544 units and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
By renovating the existing building instead of tearing it down and turning the hotel’s relatively small guest rooms into permanent residences, the project will provide a “naturally affordable” housing option in Tysons West, the application argues.
The only part of the hotel building that won’t be preserved is a porte-cochère over the main entrance, which will be removed so the driveway can be realigned with Cornerside Blvd to the east. An existing underground parking garage and loading dock will remain.
The submitted final development plan amendment also shows possible expansions of the hotel’s private, interior courtyard spaces. The building’s southeast corner could serve as commercial space or be subdivided into three additional two-bedroom residential units.
In addition to the Sheraton conversion, JBG Smith is also seeking to increase the 245 units approved for another building in the Tysons West development — a residential mid-rise designated as Building C — to up to 300 units.
With its new application, the developer says it will provide an open lawn and meadow as an interim park on the future Building C site, an undeveloped parcel at the intersection of Cornerside Blvd and Ashgrove Lane that’s currently used for parking.
Replacing Ashgrove Lane east of Cornerside, which will be extended to the north side of the Sheraton, the 89,000-square-foot interim park would give Tysons West 3.46 acres of public park space in all — well above the 0.9 acres recommended by the county. The total includes an existing “pocket park” of benches and flower planters outside Moby Dick.
Proposed transportation improvements include a “Tysons West Trail” for pedestrians and bicyclists on the northeast corner of the Sheraton property by Route 7 and a 6-foot-wide sidewalk by the interim park along Cornerside.
“Approval of this FDPA will continue to implement the County’s vision for Tysons by expanding upon the type of residential housing options and advancing its transformation into a transit-oriented mixed-use neighborhood,” Brantley wrote.
Overall, Tysons West encompasses 16 acres, including the existing shopping center, and could total 1.1 to 1.6 million square feet of construction as approved by the county in 2013.
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