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Dominion Square developer projects 2027 finish for affordable housing, Tysons Community Center

(Updated at 4:40 p.m. on 6/29/2023) Tysons could have a community center all of its own within the decade.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement yesterday (Tuesday) committing the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to building the future Tysons Community Center as part of its Dominion Square West housing development near the Spring Hill Metro station.

Located at the base of one of two planned residential high-rises at 1592 Spring Hill Road, the community center will feature a “full-size gymnasium, sensory and recreational spaces, multigenerational and community meeting rooms, fitness rooms, a kitchen, and administrative offices,” along with an outdoor courtyard, county staff said in a summary for the board (page 664).

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, whose district includes the southwestern quadrant of Tysons, trumpted the center as “a big deal” not for future Dominion Square residents, but for the whole area, which he said has “a dearth of public facilities.”

“It’s going to be a major asset,” Alcorn said before the board voted on the agreement. “…I know NCS has been engaging with other communities in the area about programming and how the community center’s going to be a benefit to the broader community, which is just fantastic. I’m a little bit over the moon on this one.”

Under the agreement, APAH will develop the 33,000-square-foot, two-level community center. The property will be owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and operated by the county’s Neighborhood and Community Services.

Replacing an auto dealership parking lot, the Dominion Square development will provide 516 units to residents earning 30% to 70% of the area median income. Fairfax County’s AMI for a family of four in 2023 is $152,100, per county staff.

APAH intends to construct both 20-story buildings concurrently, thanks to a $55 million grant from Amazon, which was secured in part by the community center’s inclusion, Alcorn said.

APAH says it anticipates simultaneously starting construction on the northern Building 6 and Building 5 to the south — which contains the community center — in December 2023, putting the overall project on track to be completed in November 2027, as shown in a schedule submitted to the county.

(This article previously cited incorrect dates for the beginning of construction.)

The agreement notes that the schedule is “preliminary and subject to change.” An APAH spokesperson confirmed that the construction timeline hasn’t changed since the schedule was developed on June 6.

Conditions for the community center include a ground-floor entrance at the corner of Boone Blvd and Spring Hill Road separate from the access for residents, along with a designated drop-off area and a courtyard.

It will also get 75 parking spaces reserved for employees and visitors in a planned below-grade garage with 427 spaces total — 65 of them available to either community center users or residents.

During yesterday’s meeting, the board approved a 17.2% reduction from the 516 parking spaces that the county’s zoning ordinance requires for the development.

The county had explored allowing a 29.3% reduction, bringing the number of spaces down to 365, but none of the potential nearby, off-site parking options “penciled out,” according to Alcorn.

“In this part of Tysons anyway, we have the interesting conundrum of an over-abundance of parking, but it’s privately owned and wrapped up in development approvals and sometimes other uses that aren’t fully using those parking spaces,” he said, adding that he and supervisors John Foust (Dranesville) and Dalia Palchik (Providence) are pursuing “some longer-term leads for public parking” in the area.

According to a provided budget, the community center will cost an estimated $38.8 million, over $34 million of which is for construction.

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