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Planning Commission approves affordable apartment buildings at county government center

A rendering of the proposed Residences at Government Center II development (via Fairfax County)

A major public-private partnership for affordable housing on the Fairfax County Government Center campus is moving forward.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted Wednesday (Jan. 11) in approval of a plan to build 291-unit apartment buildings dedicated for affordable housing, a 10,000-square-foot daycare, and a service facility on the site.

Lincoln Avenue Capital and the Fairfax County Redevelopment Housing Authority plan to develop the 4.5-acre site through the partnership, titled The Residences at Government Center II — a model that has been adopted by the county in each magisterial district to boost the stock of long-term affordable housing.

Braddock District Planning Commissioner Mary Cortina stressed the need for affordable housing in the county, calling the lack of supply a “critical issue” for housing, the economy, and the county’s ability to attract and retain businesses.

“One of the most impacted actions of the board is to build affordable housing,” Cortina said.

The county has committed to securing 10,000 new affordable units in the next 15 years for individuals who make up to 60% or less of the area median income.

At the government center development, roughly 324 parking spaces are planned in a garage, with 13 dedicated for surface parking.

Cortina reflected on how the campus has evolved since the government center moved from downtown Fairfax to the new campus. She noted that a residential component has long been contemplated for the site — which has not become the victim of “suburban sprawl.”

“I think it shows in the special place that it has become,” Cortina said.

Before construction can begin, the county’s Board of Supervisors must approve an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan and a rezoning amendment from the government center campus.

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